49°Fog

by ARLnow.com Sponsor February 20, 2018 at 6:00 am 0

Arlington Construction Management is now Alair Homes Arlington. While the company’s name is new, its values remain the same.

Alair Homes Arlington specializes in residential construction for people in the Washington D.C. metropolitan area. Home projects range from renovating a bathroom to building an entirely new abode.

Check out the before and after photos from one recent Alair project, above.

Because of the company’s reputation in the industry, they’re able to score discounts from vendors, which they pass along to budget-conscious clients. The idea is to build better and save more.

Alair Homes Arlington also works to eliminate any unexpected surprises. Before entering an agreement, projects are fully scoped, priced and validated. Alair’s unique Client Control approach to construction – which it uses for every project — gives homeowners the certainty they deserve before their project actually ever begins.

“It was the first time in my life working with a contractor that not only everything on my written list was addressed in the proposal, but all the things that we verbally talked about were itemized and listed out as well–we were just blown away,” said homeowner Kim, in a testimonial video.

Once the project is underway, clients use an online portal to manage costs, schedule payments, make selections, and more. The portal is also a way to communicate project managers, who receive ongoing training on a weekly and monthly basis.

“There’s a quality aspect as well and that was delivered, which is a very delicate and difficult balance to do,” Kim said. “From an overall standpoint when you’re talking about wanting a project to be delivered that’s on time, on budget, and meets your quality expectations, Alair Homes does a great job and will definitely be able to meet that for you.”

Please contact me at [email protected] if interested in joining us for a home building seminar we are presenting in partnership with Keri Shull Team.

The preceding was sponsored by Alair Homes Arlington.

by ARLnow.com February 7, 2018 at 10:45 am 0

Murder of Crows Pooping All Over Shirlington — A large contingent of crows have taken up residence in Shirlington, and locals are getting fed up with cars and sidewalks being covered in bird doo-doo. [WTOP, NBC Washington]

Design Contest for 2019 ‘I Voted’ Sticker — “In an effort to gin up voter enthusiasm during what is expected to be a slow 2019, Arlington election officials… plan to hold a competition to design a logo for next year’s election.” [InsideNova]

Arlington No. 3 on ‘Best Counties’ List — A new list of “best counties” in the U.S. ranks Falls Church — a city — No. 1 while Arlington is No. 3 and Fairfax is No. 6. The list was compiled by the website 24/7 Wall Street. [WTOP]

Mitten Given the Boot By Grand Rapids — The city of Grand Rapids, Michigan is restarting its search for a new city manager after an outcry from residents and interest groups. Arlington Deputy County Manager Carol Mitten was among the three finalists for the job to speak at a community forum, prior to the city announcing the restart. [Fox 17, MLive]

Police Recruiting for Student Safety Patrol Camp — “The Arlington County Police Department’s School Resource Officer Unit is currently accepting applications to the Summer Safety Patrol Camp. This weeklong camp is offered to incoming 4th and 5th grade students who want to participate in safety patrols during the upcoming 2018-2019 academic year.” [Arlington County]

More on Market Common Redevelopment Approval — The redevelopment of a portion of Market Common Clarendon will widen a narrow sidewalk that was the source of resident complaints, among other community benefits. Arlington County Board member Christian Dorsey hopes the project can help “bring a little funkiness back into Clarendon.” [Arlington Connection]

Flickr pool photo by John Sonderman

by ARLnow.com February 7, 2018 at 10:00 am 0

With the addition of new experience-oriented tenants, Ballston Quarter is billing itself as “one of the largest experiential and entertainment hubs in the D.C. area.”

The center is bucking its identity as a mall as construction continues on what was once the Ballston Common Mall. Set to open this fall, Ballston Quarter has already announced hip food options in its 18-restaurant food hall and a marquee entertainment tenant in the planned 25,000 square foot Punch Bowl Social.

This morning, mall owner Forest City announced a handful of new tenants, including:

  • 5 Wits — “A live-action entertainment venue that immerses visitors in realistic, hands-on experiences, similar to escape rooms…”
  • Cookology — A “recreational culinary school” that “offers professionally taught, hands-on cooking classes for adults and kids… perfect venue for families, date nights or corporate outings.”
  • Nook — “A modern indoor play and learning space for young families” that is moving from its current Lee Highway location.

Those are also in addition to the existing Regal Cinemas and Sport&Health club, which are undergoing multi-million dollar renovations.

More from a Forest City press release, after the jump.

(more…)

by Chris Teale January 30, 2018 at 2:45 pm 0

A historic pharmacy in Nauck is closed, reportedly for renovations.

A sign on the door of Green Valley Pharmacy at 2415 Shirlington Road said it “will reopen in the near future” once work is done. A reader said it has been closed since the end of last year.

The pharmacy earned local designation as an Arlington Historic District in 2013, after a request by longtime owner Dr. Leonard Muse.

“When Green Valley Pharmacy opened, no other pharmacies in Arlington welcomed the black community,” county staff wrote. “Typically, black customers had to use rear entrances and were not treated well with their medical prescriptions. Green Valley served both black and white customers, and it was especially popular for its dine-in food counter, where breakfast, lunch, dinner and an abundance of ice cream desserts were served. In the early days, an order of two hot dogs cost just 25 cents.”

But Muse died in August at the age of 94 after operating the pharmacy since 1952.

by ARLnow.com January 24, 2018 at 9:30 am 0

Career Center Redevelopment Could Be Big for Pike — County and school officials are moving forward with a redevelopment of the Arlington Career Center site, which holds the possibility of helping to shape the future of Columbia Pike. “We see this as a huge opportunity to create a crown jewel of Columbia Pike. The only question is the amount of money that might be invested,” said Columbia Pike Revitalization Organization Executive Director Cecelia Cassidy. [InsideNova]

N. Va. Real Estate Continues Upward Trajectory — As illustrated by a table showing the past four decades of Northern Virginia real estate sales and average prices, the local real estate market has been on a long-term upward trend. Last year continued the trend, with a 4.1 percent increase in prices and a 6.9 percent increase in total sales. [InsideNova]

Five Guys at DCA Closed for Renovations — The Five Guys burger restaurant in Terminal C of Reagan National Airport is reportedly closed, temporarily, for renovations. [PoPville]

TechShop Evicted in Crystal CityFinancially troubled makerspace chain TechShop has officially been evicted from its location in Crystal City. [Washington Business Journal]

Some Experts Say Prepaid Property Tax Will Be Deductible — Don’t ask for a refund of your prepaid property taxes, say some tax experts. Despite the IRS stating that taxes prepaid to jurisdictions like Arlington County will not be deductible on your taxes this year, before a cap on state and local tax deductions goes into effect, some experts believe that legal challenges to the IRS determination will prevail. [Washington Post]

Applications Accepted for ‘Neighborhood College’ — “Learn how to become a neighborhood advocate and effect change through Arlington County’s free Neighborhood College program, which meets on eight consecutive Thursday evenings, beginning April 12, 2018.” [Arlington County]

by ARLnow.com January 22, 2018 at 8:00 am 0

Map Tracks Water Main Breaks — A new map created by Arlington’s Dept. of Environmental Services shows the location of the dozens of water main breaks in Arlington County since Nov. 1. “It has been a particularly brutal winter season in Arlington,” DES said via Twitter.  [Google Maps]

Local History Archives Closing Temporarily — “Beginning February 1, the Center for Local History’s off-site Community Archives, located at the Woodmont Community Center, will temporarily close for a renovation project.” The archives are not open to the public but are available to researchers on a by-request basis. [Arlington County]

County to Release Amazon Bid Details — Win or lose, after Amazon’s HQ2 process concludes Arlington County plans to release details of its bid for the tech and online retail giant. Arlington is now among those in the Top 20 for the second corporate headquarters. [InsideNova]

Fake ID Stat from ACPD — Bouncers caught 703 fake IDs in Clarendon last year, according to stats from the Arlington County Police Department. Extra vigilance from establishments like Don Tito and Whitlow’s helps “maintain Clarendon has a safe place to enjoy nightlife and entertainment,” says ACPD. [Twitter]

Nearby: DCA Noise Case in Federal Court — “The three-year battle between residents in Northwest Washington and the Federal Aviation Administration over noise from flights at Reagan National Airport is now in the hands of a federal appeals court… A ruling, which could take several months, will be closely watched by communities across the country grappling with similar issues tied to the FAA’s efforts to modernize the nation’s air traffic system.” [Washington Post]

Flickr pool photo by Kevin Wolf

by ARLnow.com January 18, 2018 at 12:45 pm 0

Arlington Construction Management is now Alair Homes Arlington. While the company’s name is new, its values remain the same.

Alair Homes Arlington specializes in residential construction for people in the Washington, D.C. area, with a focus on Arlington. Home projects range from renovating a bathroom to building an entirely new abode.

For projects of all sizes, Alair follows a client control model, which emphasizes convenience, customization, service and transparency for the client. That helps to eliminate any unexpected surprises. Plus, before entering an agreement, projects are fully scoped, priced and validated.

The photos above are an example of one of Alair’s recent projects. Here’s what company owner Chad Hackmann said about how he totally transformed this Arlington home:

This home started out as a typical 1940’s Arlington Cape, brick and block construction with a center hall stair, upstairs had two bedrooms and one bath under a shed dormer off the back and two small dormers off the front. Clients were looking to add room without significantly expanding the footprint of the house in order to keep the budget reasonable and preserve the large back yard for the enjoyment of the growing family.

After getting into the design it was quickly decided that so much drywall and plaster were being removed that it made sense to gut the entire floor, completely updating everything including insulation, electrical, HVAC, all windows and creating a new thermal envelope. The new dormers were made as big as possible to raise the ceiling height in those rooms as high as possible to really open up the space. This allowed for plenty of space for a new custom bunk beds in the kids room. The master bedroom addition was built on the angle to take advantage of the side yard setbacks creating as much room as possible. A custom bureau was further cantilevered into the set back in the master bedroom. The front entrance was dressed up to blend properly with the addition. All this to maximize utility but keep to a value and budget goals of the owners.

In the end we transformed a home whose second floor could barely sleep 4 to one that could easily handle 6 and in addition the owners now have actual storage on that second floor including a walk-in closet! A major transformation indeed for the typical Arlington home.

Want to see more? Come visit Alair at the Home + Remodeling Show at the Dulles Expo Center. Need tickets? Email [email protected] or call 202-409-1280 for a free ticket while supplies last.

The preceding was written by ARLnow and sponsored by Alair Homes Arlington.

by ARLnow.com January 18, 2018 at 10:15 am 0

PenPlace Plan Revived with Apartments — JBG Smith plans to revive its stalled PenPlace project in Pentagon City by building apartment buildings rather than office buildings in the first phase of the project. The updated plans will be open to community input during a new site plan review process. The original plans were approved in 2013 over the objections of some nearby residents. [Washington Business Journal]

Traffic at DCA to Get Heavier During Construction — “Drivers heading to Reagan National Airport might soon begin to feel the impact of a major project to transform the facility. Construction crews will begin overnight work in the lower-level roadway in the next couple of weeks, and that work will spill into daytime hours come spring.” [WTOP]

More Dirt Coming to DCA — Another portion of the expansion project at Reagan National Airport will bring a big mound of dirt to the airport grounds. The dirt is needed to support the weight of a new regional jet concourse. DCA was built on land reclaimed from the Potomac River. [InsideNova]

Photo by Anna Merod

by Buzz McClain January 16, 2018 at 6:00 pm 0

After year-and-a-half of dramatic improvements, the 56-year-old Barcroft Plaza Shopping Center is ready for its close-up.  

Federal Realty, which has owned the 115,000-square-foot center since 2007, invested several million dollars and considerable expertise to bring the centrally located plaza at 6345 Columbia Pike in Falls Church up-to-date, with modern design detailing and an improved tenant mix that includes a new Glory Days Grill. 

“Federal Realty is proud to own and invest in our local community,” said Kari Glinksi, director of asset management for Federal Realty. “The scope of the improvements go beyond the superficial. Not only have we elevated the standard of design for the center but we’ve also enriched the customer experience.” 

Among the changes: Old canopies, signs and storefronts have been replaced with new facades boasting modern architectural details; improved lighting for safety and appeal; new signage above and below the canopy; and fresh landscaping that adds new energy to the plaza.  

There’s now an outdoor patio at the Starbucks, new pavement on the parking lot (plus 19 additional parking places) and new attention to detail at the nearby 7-11, which Federal Realty purchased in 2016 in an effort to maintain a standard for the entire plaza. 

But all of this is likely to be overshadowed, at least for now, by the grand opening of the Glory Days Grill on January 17. There are innumerable reasons why the Fairfax-based local chain of family sports grills has won state and local Restaurant Neighbor Awards from the National Restaurant Association 13 times since 2003, in addition to dozens of other awards (see them listed here). Newcomers to the full-service restaurant will quickly become fans. 

 The 20 shops, restaurants and services of Barcroft Plaza, including the Harris Teeter supermarket and a Bank of America branch, have a new look, new energy and a new tenant that will continue to add excitement to the community for years to come. 

Barcroft Plaza Shopping Center is at 6345 Columbia Pike in Falls Church. There are leasing opportunities of 1,500-to-3,900 square feet for interested tenants. The website is here. This article was written by ARLnow.com and sponsored by Federal Realty Investment Trust.

by ARLnow.com January 9, 2018 at 2:45 pm 0

Single-family home demolitions dropped in 2017, hitting the lowest point since 2012, according to statistics from the group Preservation Arlington.

A new report from Preservation Arlington says there were 158 single-family home demolition permits issued last year, making it the second year in a row with demolition permits falling from the year prior. Demolitions peaked in 2015 at 204, according to the data.

The downward trend may seem like a “mission accomplished” moment for Eric Dobson of Preservation Arlington, but instead he thinks it reflects changing market dynamics, not a new-found interest in preserving older homes.

“I was afraid someone would ask,” he joked after being contacted by ARLnow.com.

Dobson said that the number of homes in Arlington that are attractive candidates for demolition — those that have been poorly maintained, that sit on a lot that can be subdivided, or that are worth substantially less than the underlying property — is finite and shrinking.

But there’s another trend in play that may explain why demolition permits are falling: a trend towards gut renovations that keep just enough of the structure to not be classified as a demolition under county code.

“People are getting creative as supply dries up,” Dobson wrote. For example, “someone buys a house that is on a substandard lot — a lot that has a small side yard or something that would not be permitted today. So they cannot ‘tear it down’ because they would need to meet today’s code for setback. Instead [they] keep that exterior wall that gives them more building room and tear the rest of the house down.”

“The definition of teardown somewhat hides the fact that dozens of more houses are essentially torn down,” he added. “As lots become more scarce, people are becoming innovative/creative.”

Local realtor and ARLnow columnist Eli Tucker largely echoed Dobson’s analysis.

“The sale of single family marked as new construction increased slightly from 121 to 130 homes in 2017,” he said. “New construction can be considered a total demo or building on top of/expanding [an] existing foundation. I’m seeing more of this lately so it’s possible that we’re seeing fewer complete demolitions, but just as many or more new construction with higher numbers of new homes on existing structure.”

Meanwhile, it’s not uncommon for buyers to demolish million-dollar homes. There were a total of 12 demo permits issued in 2017 for homes purchased for more than $1 million, according to Preservation Arlington.

Image via Preservation Arlington

by ARLnow.com December 19, 2017 at 10:30 am 0

County Aims to Fix Boring Columbia Pike Architecture — “Arlington County Board members on Dec. 16 approved amendments to the county’s zoning ordinance that revamps existing regulations for Pike properties that are built under the Form-Based Code, a 15-year-old process that aims to speed the development timeline but has had the unintended consequence of rendering architectural creativity persona-non-grata on the Pike.” [InsideNova]

McAuliffe Proposes Metro Funding Plan — Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe is proposing a $150-million-per-year state funding plan for Metro. The plan includes using a portion of Northern Virginia’s regional transportation sales tax and increasing three other regional taxes. [WTOP]

Gutshall to Be Sworn In Today — Erik Gutshall, the newest Arlington County Board member, will be sworn in today at 5 p.m. at county headquarters in Courthouse. [InsideNova]

Pentagon Had UFO Office — The truth is out there, in Arlington —  at the Pentagon, specifically. It was revealed this past weekend that the Pentagon had a secretive program that investigated reports of Unidentified Flying Objects. The “Advanced Aviation Threat Identification Program” officially ended in the 2012. [Politico, Washington Post]

Phoenix House Renovation and Expansion — “On time and on budget – and without a dollar of government funding – Phoenix House Mid-Atlantic on Dec. 12 unveiled new and updated facilities in Arlington aimed at giving an extra boost to patients moving through the addiction-recovery process.” [InsideNova]

by Chris Teale December 15, 2017 at 2:45 pm 0

Construction crews have moved into the Dominion Arms apartment building as major renovations begin.

The building at 333 S. Glebe Road in Arlington Heights is set for renovations inside according to permit applications filed with the county. This will include converting 2,400 square feet of retail space on the building’s first floor into amenity space for residents.

Six laundry or storage areas will be converted into residential units, while the sprinklers and fire alarms will get an upgrade and the building’s roof will be repaired. Several trees will also be removed.

To prepare for the project, which appears to have shuttered the entire building, first-floor businesses have moved out. That included the likes of a barber shop, dry cleaners and convenience store. The entire site has been fenced off by the construction crews.

Several readers had asked whether the building would be “razed,” but no demolition permits have been filed.

by Chris Teale December 15, 2017 at 1:45 pm 0

The amphitheater at Fairlington Park is set to be replaced by a playground in the park’s final phase of renovations.

The final phase for the park at 3308 S. Stafford Street includes a playground for children in the 2-5 and 5-12 age groups, outdoor fitness equipment, a picnic area, improved ADA accessibility, furniture, landscaping, and improvements to drainage and stormwater management.

It marks the completion of a project that began in 2010 with the first round of renovations to the park. The Arlington County Board will vote on the final phase at its meeting tomorrow (Saturday).

During construction, the athletic field would be closed. County staff said they are “working with the Fairlington Creative Preschoolers Program and Fairlington Cooperative Playgroup to identify other spaces in the park that can be used for children’s play while the new playground is being constructed.”

“The outdoor amenities for Fairlington Park are past their life expectancy and are in need of replacement,” staff wrote in a report on the project. “Through meetings with program staff and feedback during the public engagement, it was determined that the existing amphitheater does not get much use. Rather than replace the amphitheater, it was determined that it will be removed as part of the project to make additional room for the playground.”

The Board will vote on whether to award a contract worth just over $1.9 million for the park renovations, with just over $190,000 in contingency for change orders. Staff recommended approval.

by Chris Teale December 6, 2017 at 4:45 pm 0

A Rosslyn pizza joint owned by a former Washington Redskins football player is temporarily closed.

Spinfire Pizza at 1500 Wilson Blvd is scheduled to reopen on December 31, 2017 after renovations, according to its Yelp page.

A sign on its front door has no further details on the work, only that it is closed. It offers customizable personal pizzas in 90 seconds, with toppings ranging from pizza staples like pepperoni and mushrooms to Sriracha sausage, candied pecans and dried cranberries.

Garcon posted a photo on his Facebook page in October showing him paying the restaurant a visit. Its other location is in Ashburn, near where the Redskins have their practice facility. Spinfire opened its Rosslyn space in 2015.

Posted by Pierre Garçon on Saturday, October 14, 2017

Hat tip to Christopher C.

by Chris Teale November 21, 2017 at 9:45 am 0

Arlington County’s only Jerry’s Subs & Pizza has reopened after remodeling.

The eatery at 2041 15th Street N. in Courthouse appears to have been given a new lick of paint and some upgraded lighting.

When an ARLnow reporter dropped by on Monday evening, business was steady after the reopening, which employees said happened last week.

Jerry’s serves pizza, hot and cold subs and a variety of cheesesteaks. It is across the street from Arlington County jail, next door to a bond office and is a block away from an entrance to the Courthouse Metro station.

Hat-tip to Joshua Folb

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