Eastern Foundry Expanding Again — Government contracting startup accelerator Eastern Foundry is expanding once again. The accelerator is taking a 6,175-square-foot space directly below its Crystal City offices and dividing it into four suites “to attract larger companies that want a foothold in the co-working world.” [Washington Business Journal]
JBG’s Big Plans for Crystal City, Potomac Yard — The newly-merged JBG Smith sees an opportunity to transform its holdings in Pentagon City, Crystal City, Potomac Yard and North Old Town Alexandria into “24/7 environments” that “feel more like the [Rosslyn-Ballston] Corridor.” In Crystal City, the company wants to add new amenities. “What we want to do there is add retail amenities and residential to convince people who work there to live and play there,” said an executive. [Bisnow]
Real Estate Market Continues Upward Trajectory — “Year-over-year home sales and average sales prices across Northern Virginia were up slightly in July, leading to a 6.6-percent increase in total sales volume, according to new figures.” [InsideNova]
Flickr pool photo by Kevin Wolf
Work at a new Potomac Yard apartment building set to include a new church is well underway.
The County Board approved the addition of a church to the first and second floors of the 12-story residential building in 2015. The building was originally approved in 2007 but went unbuilt for some time.
Now, however, the site between Jefferson Davis Highway, 33rd Street S., 35th Street S. and S. Ball Street has been cleared by construction crews, with foundations set to be lain soon.
The new church — known previously as the “Meetinghouse of Worship” — is planned for a portion of the first and second floors of the building. It will be occupy 23,906 square feet of space, with a 300-seat sanctuary, classrooms, administrative offices and a multipurpose room on the first and second floors.
The church will be on the left side of the building, next to 33rd Street S., while on the right side of the building, the apartment complex will have a lobby and retail space.
The apartment complex is set to have 342 units, having added 11 with the church’s approval. A brochure on the building by architects DCS Design touts its “ground floor retail, rooftop pool and a private exercise facility,” and its proximity to public transit options.
The building will be close to a Crystal City-Potomac Yard transitway stop on Crystal Drive, parallel to Route 1.
Representatives with developer The Praedium Group did not respond to requests for comment on a timeline for construction, or further details on the church that will move in.
Progress on an undeveloped parcel of land in Potomac Yard may not happen for another three years after a recent County Board vote and Virginia General Assembly bill that passed this year.
At its meeting Tuesday, the Board allowed Lidl US, the owner of Land Bay C in Potomac Yard, to withdraw its application to extend the life of its final plan for the site by three years.
The site plan was originally approved in 2007, to include four buildings over an underground parking garage. It includes more than 1 million square feet of office space, 41,000 square feet of retail space and a half-acre park known as North Plaza.
Lidl looked to withdraw its extension after Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) signed HB 1697 into law. The bill automatically extends certain approvals from July 1, 2017 to July 1, 2020 on projects designed to help Virginia recovery from the 2008 housing crisis.
Lidl originally applied for a three-year extension on the site plan last November, before the bill had been debated and passed in Richmond.
The plan is valid until 2020 thanks to the bill’s passage, and at the meeting there was no discussion on a timeline for the project. Representatives with Lidl US did not respond to a request for comment. If construction does not begin before the site plan’s 2020 deadline, the applicant would either need to withdraw the plan or file for another extension.
During the public comment portion of Tuesday’s meeting, local resident Jim Hurysz noted the surrounding community’s concerns about the uncertainty surrounding much of the development at Potomac Yard.
Hurysz noted Alexandria City Council’s worries about a lack of open space in North Potomac Yard during its own planning process, as well as an expected influx of traffic when the Virginia Department of Transportation extends the HOT Lanes on Interstate 395.
An under-utilized park south of Crystal City is in line for some major upgrades.
Across jurisdictional lines, the planning process for South Park at Potomac Yard near Four Mile Run is gathering steam, with a projected completion date of later this year. Arlington County and the City of Alexandria both own portions of the park, located between Potomac Avenue and U.S. Route 1, along Four Mile Run.
The park currently has a publicly accessible playground and a playground exclusively used by a daycare facility, planted shrub/perennial beds, walkways, a large grassy field and a steeply sloped grassy area.
A post on the county website explains the park’s unique history.
“The boundary line curvature represents the natural Four Mile Run channel before it was straightened and channelized by the Army Corps of Engineers after the 1972 Hurricane Agnes, which produced heavy rain and extensive flooding,” the post reads. “As a result, the Army Corps of Engineers straightened and channelized Four Mile Run and covered the stream’s natural banks with riprap. Unfortunately, this created a less than desirable condition for the stream’s ecology.”
And with money available in the county’s capital budget as well as a federal grant available to construct and improve connectivity to the Four Mile Run Trail, staff in the parks department are preparing to make improvements.
The first phase of construction is anticipated to begin early next year and link Route 1 to the Four Mile Run Trail. The second phase is slated to begin in 2022 for the remaining park elements.
Those remaining park elements will be decided through a civic engagement process led by county parks and recreation staff that began late last month with a community meeting at Gunston Middle School.
Three more meetings are scheduled — the next on March 29 at a location yet to be determined — with a view to residents helping determine the park’s design.
Attendees wrote down their desired park amenities at that first meeting, then the next meeting will bring further determination of park elements as well as staff soliciting potential park names.
“The Four Mile Run Restoration Master Plan and Design Guidelines provide a vision for in-stream and near-stream improvements,” said Bethany Heim, an associate planner at the county’s parks and recreation department. “The vision calls for public and private improvements to recognize Four Mile Run as an asset and, through design, make visual and physical connections to the water. The master plan also calls for innovative strategies to treat stormwater runoff that will improve the water quality.
“The South Park Master Plan will identify ways to connect people to the water, take advantage of view sheds, and improve the water quality of Four Mile Run.”
Alexandria, meanwhile, intends to improve its section of the site as part of the redevelopment of North Potomac Yard.
Dana Wedeles, acting principal planner in Alexandria’s department of recreation, parks and cultural activities, said she expects plenty of cooperation between the two jurisdictions on this project despite the differing timelines.
“We are working collaboratively to ensure that what is proposed through the Arlington process does not preclude complimentary future improvements to the Alexandria portion,” Wedeles said in an email. “We envision that the site will be used by both Arlington and Alexandria residents and, despite the two jurisdictions having different, timing of planning, design and implementation, we ultimately want to see one seamless improved open space.”
The redevelopment of North Potomac Yard in Alexandria gathered more steam last week, and residents in Crystal City are keeping an eye on its potential impacts.
North Potomac Yard is in the northeast corner of Alexandria, just across the Arlington County line, near a planned Potomac Yard Metro station. It is currently occupied by a Regal movie theater, a Target and other big box stores and restaurants.
The City of Alexandria is in the planning process for a massive mixed-use development at the 69-acre site, to include retail, residential units, a hotel and office space.
On February 22, city staff released the first draft three chapters of the updated plan, then the following day met with the Crystal City Civic Association at its general meeting.
Association president Christer Ahl told ARLnow.com that his members are most concerned that Crystal City will be left behind as nearby developments spring up in Arlington and Alexandria.
“Perhaps the larger issue which the project raises is whether it could contribute to the notion of Crystal City becoming a ‘backwater,’ stuck with many old buildings which at best might be renovated, while the Rosslyn/Ballston corridor and Potomac Yard in two very different ways will be full of exciting new development,” he said.
“Of course, this depends a lot on the attitude and priorities of the county, JBG/Smith and other developers, together with the near-term market situation.”
Ahl added that many in the area are also concerned with the impact on traffic along Crystal Drive and Route 1 from the new development, which could total as much as 7.5 million square feet.
The Alexandria City Council voted to approve the new Metro station in May 2015, to be located on the Yellow and Blue lines between the Braddock Road and National Airport stops.
While the new Metro station and the Metroway bus rapid transit route along Route 1 could take care of a lot of traffic impact, Ahl said, there were still concerns about the number of cars to hit the roads with the new development.
“If we assume that the new development goes hand-in-hand with the new Metro station, that should take care of a lot of the concerns,” Ahl said. “Alexandria very strongly focuses on being as pedestrian, bike and transit-friendly as possible, and conversely avoiding car dependency. In terms of vehicular traffic on U.S. Route 1 or Potomac Avenue leading into Crystal City, I guess the proof in the pudding is hard to predict.”
One other aspect that Ahl said troubled some association members is the potential loss of amenities like the movie theater and Target, which are major draws. But he said members will continue to monitor the situation and see how it evolves.
“To some extent, it becomes wait and see,” Ahl said. “Depending on their own inclinations and their own preferences, we’re speculating on whether it will be positive or negative in some sense. Some people would hate to see losing some of their existing favorite places, although they emphasized in our meeting that Target has a lease in place until 2028, so that might be the last thing that happens down there.”
According to a timeline, an advisory group tasked with updating the North Potomac Yard plan will present its final recommendations in April.
Images via City of Alexandria
A traffic camera shows police blocking the intersection of Glebe and S. Eads Street, and directing drivers to turn around.
Initial reports suggest there was a bank robbery in Alexandria and the robber — described as a white male wearing a black beanie cap — threw a bag of cash, which also contained a tracking device, out into the middle of Glebe Road.
Police are documenting the scene and trying to deal with cash that was reported to be “all over” the road.
Update at 9:50 a.m. — Police have collected the cash and the road closures are being lifted. Alexandria Police say the bank robbery happened on the 3700 block of Jefferson Davis Highway; that matches the address of a Navy Federal Credit Union location at Potomac Yard.
Update at 5:30 p.m. — Alexandria Police have released the following press release about the robbery.
The Alexandria Police Department is investigating the robbery of a Navy Federal Credit Union located at 3725 Jefferson Davis highway. On Monday, February 6, 2017, at 9:17 a.m., a man entered the bank and passed the teller a note demanding money. The teller complied and the suspect fled in a vehicle with an undisclosed amount of cash. There were no injuries.
The suspect is described as a white male, approximately 6’1″ to 6’3″ tall with a thin build. He was wearing a black coat, blue jeans, a black hat, and dark aviator-style sunglasses.
The FBI is offering a reward of up to $5,000 for information that leads to the identification, arrest, and conviction of these criminals.
Police ask that anyone with information about this incident call Detective Brad Cecchetti at 703.746.6858.
— Alexandria Police (@AlexandriaVAPD) February 6, 2017
As detailed in an item on the County Board’s Saturday agenda, Domino’s is planning to move its current pizzeria at 2923 S. Glebe Road, in the Arlington Ridge Shopping Center, to the ground floor of the Camden Potomac Yard Apartments.
That’s the same location, at 3535 S. Ball Street, as a former Jerry’s Subs and Pizza restaurant. The new location will include 18 dine-in seats, a first for a Domino’s in Arlington County.
The County Board item is a site plan amendment to allow delivery service from the new storefront. Domino’s is proposing delivery hours of 10 a.m.-1 a.m. Sunday through Thursday and 10 a.m.-2 a.m. Friday and Saturday, with up to five drivers making deliveries at any given time.
Above Average Teacher Salaries? — Arlington Public Schools teachers are paid somewhere between the market average (for the D.C. area) and 14 percent more than the market average, according to a new report that will be presented to the School Board on Thursday. [InsideNova]
Potomac Yard Metro Station Clears Hurdle — The planned Potomac Yard Metro station in Alexandria has received environmental approval from the federal government. The project will now enter the design and construction phase. [City of Alexandria]
Police Release Sketch of Sexual Assault Suspects — Fairfax County Police have released sketches of two men accused of abducting a 50-year-old woman they met at a restaurant on Columbia Pike in Falls Church. Police say the men sexually assaulted the woman before dropping her off along Route 50 in Arlington. [WJLA]
New Finance Director Named — Arlington has named Stephen Agostini, the former Chief Financial Officer of the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, as the county’s new Director of Management and Finance. [Arlington County]
There are plenty of ways to celebrate Halloween, and even though apartment hunting may not be top-of-mind, consider attending Notch 8 Apartments‘ BOOOpen House for a frighteningly fun Halloweekend. On Saturday, October 24 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. or Sunday, October 25 from noon to 5 p.m., take a look around these brand new modern-industrial apartments in Potomac Yard.
This weekend has incentives so good they’ll make you scream! This weekend only, save up to 1.5 months FREE plus a $1,000 Giant gift card. Yep, imagine stocking your fridge with $1,000 worth of free groceries. There is a Giant grocery store located right on-site along with a PNC Bank and Starbucks, all super convenient to your brand new apartment.
Take a haunted tour of the spooktacular model apartments at Notch 8 decorated extra creepy especially for Halloween, and enjoy some complimentary tasty treats and refreshments we know you’ll be goblin up.
This is an event not to be missed, especially when you see all the features and amenities these apartments have to offer. In your apartment, you’ll find stainless steel appliances, contemporary plank flooring, oversized windows streaming in natural light, and a hi-tech Nest learning thermostat.
The amenity areas include a courtyard with swimming pool and hammocks, fitness center with a personal trainer and group classes, game room with Xbox One and PS4, lounge with billiards, and so much more.
Commuting is made easy with a Metroway bus running every six minutes during rush hour to the Crystal City and Braddock Road Metro stations on the blue and yellow lines.
Plus, Notch 8 offers the best in eco-living with a smoke-free community, EV charging stations in the garage, and Zipcar right next door.
Enjoy some fang-tastic fun and scary-good deals at Notch 8 in Potomac Yard at this weekend’s Open House. Learn more about the event on Notch 8’s website or call 866-811-1457.
The preceding post was sponsored by Notch 8 Apartments.
Potomac Yard Station Delayed Again — The new $268 million Potomac Yard Metro station in Alexandria is now not expected to be complete until 2020. The City of Alexandria is paying the project’s costs with a combination of local funds, developer contributions, state grants and federal funding. [Washington Post]
New Target Fills Niche — The new Target store in Rosslyn “fills an urban retail niche” as a type of “21st century general store.” Expect to see more such stores around, writes transportation planner Dan Malouff. [Greater Greater Washington]
Kudos for ‘Horrors’ — The Arlington Players production of “Little Shop of Horrors” is worth seeing, says a reviewer. The production “retains its quirky charms and benefits from strong performances and production values.” [InsideNova]
Flickr pool photo by Dennis Dimick
Construction on the Crystal City Potomac Yard Transitway will continue through the fall after being delayed by construction conflicts.
“Unforeseen utility conflicts, poor soil conditions and underground obstructions slowed work at several station locations,” the county said on the project’s website.
Arlington County is currently working with contractors to set a new completion date for the project, said county spokesman Eric Balliet, adding that the county will update the community once a schedule has been set.
The county is also holding a public meeting next week to give an update on transitway. The meeting on Oct. 8 will be held at the Residence Inn (2800 S. Potomac Avenue) from 6:30-7:30 p.m.
Currently, the county is working on new transitway lanes and on three of the new stations, Balliet said. Crystal Drive, S. Clark Street and S. Bell Street are affected by the road construction, he added.
“New dedicated transit lanes in Potomac Yard are nearing completion,” Balliet said. “Traffic signs and station signage are being installed, and we’ve started testing LED signs and other technologies that will support the transitway. Our contractor recently resumed construction at several station locations where utility conflicts, poor soils and underground obstructions had slowed work.”
Once completed, the Crystal City Potomac Yard transitway will provide better bus service along the Route 1 corridor, especially during rush hour, the county said.
“The new 4.5-mile Transitway between the Crystal City and Braddock Road Metrorail stations will provide faster, more reliable bus service along the congested Route 1 corridor, with amenities designed to attract new riders,” the county said.
The transitway project broke ground in July 2014 and was originally slated to take 10 months.
Photo via Arlington County
It’s impossible not to be wowed by seeing Notch 8, a brand new modern-industrial apartment building with loads of amenities and all the stops pulled out.
These upscale apartments in Potomac Yard (2900 Main Line Boulevard) have just sweetened the deal.
This weekend, Notch 8 is hosting a grand opening celebration for Grillin’ and Chillin’. On Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m., stop by for hard lemonade, sliders and other backyard barbeque favorites. But the food is only part of what makes this celebration a special one. This weekend only, incentives include up to two months free, a $1000 Giant gift card (now that’s a shopping spree!) and waived amenity fee.
Notch 8 has features to keep pace with your lifestyle, whether you’re ready to work out with the on-site personal trainer or host friends in the lounge, a multitude of modern amenities will keep you going. With a decked-out courtyard including hammocks, an outdoor flat screen and even an outdoor billiards table, there is more to this green space than just your typical swimming pool and barbeque grills. If you’re the indoor type, surf the net in the eLounge or hang out in the Game Room. Notch8 residents can have it all without leaving the comfort of home. There’s also a Giant grocery and Starbucks on the ground floor providing super convenient access for your weekly shopping and daily caffeine fix.
One can’t overlook the well-designed apartments in a variety of floorplans that offer stainless steel appliances, quartz countertops, plank flooring, high-tech Nest thermostats and an electronic key system, just to name a few of the high-end features.
For people ready to venture out to the neighborhood, there’s plenty to do in the walkable, dynamic area. Plus, the Crystal City and Braddock Road metro stations are easily accessible by the Metroway bus running every 6 minutes during rush hour. The scenic Mount Vernon trail is just a block away and a haven for runners and cyclists.
This weekend is the time to see Notch 8, with the awesome incentives and refreshments at their Grillin’ & Chillin’ grand opening celebration, but if you can’t make it, visit the website or call 866-811-1457 to learn more.
The preceding article was sponsored by Notch 8 apartments.
The County Board approved a site plan amendment for a new church to go into a planned apartment building at 3001 Jefferson Davis Highway.
The new church — the “Meetinghouse of Worship” — is planned for the first and second floors of the 12-floor residential building. It will be occupy 23,906 square feet of space, with a 300-seat sanctuary, classrooms, administrative offices and a multipurpose room on the first and second floors.
“In the spirit of continuing to work with our property owners on uses that work in buildings, I just want to note that we have approved the location of a church in a commercial building in Potomac Yard,” Board Chair Mary Hynes said. “We think it will be a really interesting addition to what’s going on down there.”
The church will be on the left side of the building, next to 33rd Street. The first floor will have a chapel, multipurpose room and classroom, as well as two bathrooms. There will also be a small retail space next to the chapel. On the right side of the building, the apartment complex will have a lobby and retail space.
“The proposed religious institutions use would be both complementary to, and compatible with the residential and retail use,” the staff report to the Board said.
On the second floor, the church will have administrative offices and classrooms. The residential units start on the second floor on the right side of the building.
With the new plan for the building, the apartment complex will add 11 more residential units, making the total amount of units 342 instead of 331. The parking lot will also have 532 spots up from the initial 438, to accommodate worshipers.
Of those spots, 167 will be for the church: 142 standard spots, 24 compact spots, two handicap spots and two spots for handicap vans.
As reported by the Washington Business Journal, the site plan amendment was proposed by New York City-based real estate investment firm The Praedium Group LLC. The future building will be located just north of the National Gateway office complex, the future U.S. headquarters of German grocery chain Lidl.
The pizza store applied for a permit to operate a delivery business from a new store to the Camden apartments at 3535 S. Ball St. The spot was previously occupied by a Jerry’s Subs and Pizza.
County staff is recommending the County Board approve the permit at its meeting on Saturday.
The store would be open from 10 a.m. to midnight on weekdays and 10 a.m. to 1 a.m. on weekends, according to the permit application. The store also asked to be able to deliver within a 1.5 mile radius.
At this time it is unknown when the new store, which will have 11 seats inside for dine-in customers, will open.
While the location is currently empty, there is still equipment and decorations leftover from when Jerry’s was in the space.
State Loan for Potomac Yard Metro — Virginia is providing a $50 million low-interest loan to Alexandria for construction of the future Potomac Yard Metro station. Previously, the Commonwealth offered Arlington up to $65 million for the now-cancelled Columbia Pike streetcar project. [Washington Post]
Hope Wants to Link Child Support, Gun Permits — Del. Patrick Hope (D-Arlington) has proposed legislation that would revoke concealed handgun permits for Virginia residents who fall more than 90 days or $5,000 behind on child support payments. [InsideNova]
Eden Center Damage Estimate — Damage to the Eden Center, caused by an explosion on Jan. 14, is estimated to be more than $1 million. The Falls Church fire marshal determined the explosion to be accidental, caused by “improper use of propane and oxygen.”
Arlington Offers Cash Bikeshare Memberships — To serve those without bank accounts, Arlington County is now offering county residents cash-only Capital Bikeshare memberships. Normally, memberships require a credit card, so that Bikeshare can charge $1,000 if the bike goes missing. [Arlington County, Streetsblog]
No News Coverage Today — In observance of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, ARLnow.com will only be covering breaking news today. Our regular news coverage will resume tomorrow. See our list of county government closures for the holiday.
Flickr pool photo by Kevin Wolf