Bye, Bye Bank Building — “A new residential development is on the boards for Columbia Pike. Marcus Partners filed plans late last week with Arlington County for a new 250-unit residential development at the site of the Bank of America office building at 3401 Columbia Pike. The six-story building will have ground floor retail, a central courtyard and 287 parking spaces on 2.5 below grade levels.” [UrbanTurf]
It’s Official: No Caucus — From Blue Virginia: “The @arlingtondems announce that their School Board Endorsement Vote process is canceled, as there is only one candidate (Bethany Zecher Sutton) left after the other withdrew.” [Twitter]
Rents Still Rising — “The median Arlington apartment rent in April was up 16.8 percent from a year before, the third highest growth rate among the nation’s 100 large urban areas, according to new data. The median monthly rental for an apartment in the county last month was $1,999 for a one-bedroom unit and $2,420 for two bedrooms, according to data reported by Apartment List.” [Sun Gazette]
Truck Crash Caught on Camera — From Dave Statter: “Just happened. 3rd crash in as many days on I-395S at Exit 8C/Rt 1. It appears the red car didn’t stop & no other cars struck. @VSPPIO has all lanes open.” [Twitter]
Protest Outside DEA HQ in Pentagon City — “I’m outside DEA headquarters in Arlington, where protests have gathered to draw attention to terminally ill patients’ rights to try experimental drugs like psilocybin.” [Twitter, The Hill]
WaPo Reporter Rappels Down Hotel — “On Thursday and Friday, about 80 people, including two local elected officials, a Washington Post reporter, and a member of the D.C. Divas women’s football team, dressed in full pads and uniform, rappelled down the side of the Crystal City Hilton to raise funds and awareness for New Hope Housing.” [Washington Post]
Boeing HQ May Draw More Companies — “Even without a sizable addition of jobs or expansion, Northern Virginia landing another major corporate headquarters has strategic ‘marketing value,’ Terry Clower, director of George Mason University’s Center for Regional Analysis, said in an interview. The presence of a headquarters attracts the attention of other corporations, as well as site-selection consultants who advise companies where to locate new facilities. ‘Nothing draws a crowd like a lot of people,’ Clower said.” [Washington Business Journal]
Metro: Ridership Rebounding — “Metro ridership is outpacing projections through the first three quarters of fiscal year 2022 by nearly 40 percent. Through March, ridership has exceeded the initial forecast by 28 million passenger trips as more people chose bus and rail for travel throughout the region. Metrobus leads the way, accounting for 60 percent of overall Metro ridership, compared to about 40 percent for rail.” [WMATA]
It’s Tuesday — Clear throughout the day. High of 68 and low of 48. Sunrise at 6:02 am and sunset at 8:11 pm. [Weather.gov]
Rent on the Rise — “Living in Arlington, Virginia has its perks. ‘Young. It’s vibrant,’ said Arlington resident Robert Buck. ‘That’s why I moved here.’ However, those perks come at a price and for many, that price comes with a roommate… Arlington isn’t getting any cheaper according to a new study from Apartment List that says while rents are getting higher across the DMV they have gone up the most in Arlington by 16% over last year, compared to 10% in D.C.” [WUSA 9]
New Subdivision Gets New Name — “Toll Brothers has chosen a name for the luxury subdivision it is building on the site of the historic Febrey-Lothrop House, demolished one year ago. The winner? The Grove at Dominion Hills. The company was considering suggestions to name the new streets its 40 new homes will require off McKinley Rd. and Wilson Blvd. for the former landowners Febrey and Rouse. But on learning of Arlington’s street grid (new streets would have to be three-syllable “M’s” and N. 9th St.), the firm opted not to seek an exception from the county board, I’m told.” [Falls Church News-Press]
APS on Spring Break — “Arlington Public Schools wishes you a wonderful, relaxing and safe Spring Break! APS schools and offices will be closed for the break, April 11-15, and Mon, April 18 for Grade Prep. We will see you back on Tue, April 19!” [Twitter]
Safety Push for S. Carlin Springs Road — “A dangerous stretch of road in Arlington is prompting community advocates, civic groups, and neighbors to request the county implement new safety measures. Arlington County Public Schools Parent, Gillian Burgess, says there are three schools along South Carlin Springs Road, and the traffic, as well as the congestion, makes her worried about children’s safety.” [Fox 5]
GMU Hosting ‘Yappy Hour’ Tonight — “Bring your pup and get to know the Arlington community at Mason Square! Bring your furry friends and get your paws on some doggie treats, puppachinos, toys, belly rubs, and more! It’s time to paw-ty!” [George Mason University]
Blood Drive This Afternoon — “Fire Works American Pizzeria and Bar is partnering with Inova Blood Donor Services to host an Arlington Community Blood Drive on Monday, April 11. An Inova Bloodmobile will be parked in front of Fire Works, near the intersection of Clarendon Boulevard and North Adams Street, from 1:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. on April 11.” [Patch]
Lt. Gov. Sears Coming to Arlington GOP Dinner — “The Arlington and Alexandria Republican committees yesterday announced that the lieutenant governor would be the guest of honor at their joint Lincoln/Reagan Dinner, to take place May 19 in Alexandria. Tickets are $100 to $250. No doubt Sears will guarantee a sold-out event. People like a celebrity, and with no offense to the other two statewide officeholders in Virginia, it is Sears that has that status at the moment.” [Sun Gazette]
This Place Is for the Birds — From the Twitter account Bunnies of Arlington County: “Not a bunny, but birds appear to have nested in the A of the Oracle building in Court House.” [Twitter]
It’s Monday — Partly cloudy throughout the day. High of 67 and low of 40. Sunrise at 6:38 am and sunset at 7:42 pm. [Weather.gov]
Is Arlington experiencing a Gen Z takeover?
Zoomers — the generation born after 1997 — make up the “only active generation of apartment seekers nationwide,” and they are disproportionately choosing Arlington County, according to a new study from RentCafe.
Between 2020 and 2021, Arlington saw a 55% increase in apartment applications submitted by this age group, according to the website, which follows trends in the apartment market. It analyzed 3.2 million applications for the study.
“Once known as a verified Millennial hub, Arlington is getting a much-needed glow-up from this up-and-coming generation of young renters, ranking as the country’s sixth trendiest Gen Z hub,” RentCafe said.
That ranks Arlington behind the cities of San Francisco, Jersey City, New York City, Philadelphia and Boston and ahead of San Jose (California) and Seattle.
Zoomers are gravitating here after spending a one-year hiatus back home or in their college towns, RentCafe says.
“Young adults returned to their families’ homes in larger numbers in 2020, and with Gen Z being particularly affected by the pandemic, it’s safe to say it played an important role in their migration pattern,” RentCafe spokeswoman Michelle Cretu tells ARLnow.
But now, as society emerges from the pandemic, Zoomers are “following in the footsteps of their Millennial counterparts when it comes to independent living,” she said.
Millennials came to Arlington in droves during the Obama years, according to a previous RentCafe study, which found 52% of Crystal City’s population was made up of the generation also known as Gen Y. For them, Arlington offered employment opportunities plus plenty of nightlife and housing options, Cretu said.
Now, Gen Yers are in their home-buying years, and many are ditching their renter status to buy homes in Alexandria, Reston and Frederick, Maryland, according to RentCafe.
Younger Millennials, however, are still renting because they’ve been “outpriced by an overly competitive housing market,” she said.
Data show the new generation is, on a relative basis, choosing Arlington over D.C., which recorded a smaller increase — 31% — in the share of Gen Z renters. The City of Alexandria, the 13th trendiest Zoomer hub, also ranks higher than the District.
“So, it’s not a matter of Gen Z not choosing D.C., but one of Zoomers choosing Arlington in higher numbers,” Cretu said.
One reason is Arlington’s growing concentration of tech jobs, fueled in part by the construction of Amazon’s second headquarters.
“While both cities score in diversity and vibrant social scenes, Arlington is a developing city where new career opportunities are just emerging,” she said.
Zoomers are showing a keen interest in tech jobs, with three in 10 ranking software development as their top career choice, according to a study by the software company CloudBees. So it comes as no surprise that they are choosing Arlington alongside the well-known tech sectors of San Francisco and Seattle and the new tech hubs of Atlanta, San Diego and Baltimore.
Another factor behind the trends Cretu cited is that Arlington has bigger apartments.
Developers are building larger units here than they were five years ago, while in D.C., the average square footage of a new apartment is shrinking. The prospect of more spacious new construction could also be why the RentCafe list features suburbs of New York City and Dallas.
Crashed Car Still Along Riverbank — “Two months after a man’s car careened two hundred feet off George Washington Parkway in Virginia, the National Park Service is developing a plan to remove the vehicle from an embankment next to the Potomac River… Police tape surrounds the car, which remains resting upside down. The driver’s papers and personal belongings are still scattered next to the car, which has graffiti painted on it.” [Patch]
February Rents Up Slightly — “The median monthly rental for an apartment in the county last month was $1,982 for a one-bedroom unit and $2,399 for two bedrooms, according to data reported March 1 by Apartment List. Compared to the period immediately preceding the arrival of the pandemic in March 2020, Arlington rents are up 0.5 percent.” [Sun Gazette]
Clarendon-Based Axios Expanding — “This year, Axios is pouring $30 million into expanding its footprint, said Jim VandeHei, the chief executive. It is spreading into cities (Axios Local), industries (Axios Pro) and workplaces (Axios HQ)… It now has more than 400 employees, with 150 in its newsroom in Arlington, Va., and 2.2 million subscribers across its 34 national and global newsletters.” [New York Times]
Arlington Man Arrested for Abduction — “Victim One stated that she had been at an establishment in the 500 block of 23rd Street S. with the known suspect when they became involved in a verbal dispute. When Victim One attempted to leave with Victim Two and another witness, the suspect approached Victim One and allegedly began physically assaulting her before being separated by additional witnesses. The victims then went to retrieve Victim One’s vehicle from a garage in the 500 block of 12th Road S., when the suspect approached them, brandished a firearm and made threatening statements… A struggle ensued, during which the suspect attempted to prevent Victim One from leaving.” [Arlington County]
Comcast Upping Broadband Speeds — “Comcast announced today that it has increased speeds for its most popular Xfinity Internet tiers, providing an extra boost for millions of residential customers across 14 northeastern states from Maine through Virginia and the District of Columbia.” [Comcast]
Va. Tornado Drill Today — “Join us for the Statewide Tornado Drill TOMORROW at 9:45 AM! Practice sheltering from a #tornado: Go to a lower level of your home or office, away from windows. Get under sturdy shelter like a desk if you can.” [Twitter]
Record High Temperature Set — “For the second day in a row, record highs were set across the area. Highs of at least 80 in Washington, 76 at Dulles, and 78 at BWI are all records for the date. That 80-degree reading in the city is 10th-earliest on record.” [Capital Weather Gang]
It’s Tuesday — Mostly cloudy throughout the day. High of 56 and low of 41. Sunrise at 6:31 am and sunset at 6:10 pm. [Weather.gov]
Retail Rents Rising on the Pike — “Arlington economic-development officials say they will assist where possible, but in many cases, small-business owners wishing to stay in the corridor will have to do the hunting on their own… The arrival of Amazon not far down the road in the Pentagon City area is just one factor that is impacting rents in the Columbia Pike corridor, once known as a low-cost alternative to Arlington’s Metro corridors.” [Sun Gazette]
Affordable Housing Buy Nearby — “A 14-story Arlandria apartment complex has been acquired by the Alexandria Housing Development Corporation, the latest move in an effort to preserve affordable housing in an area facing significant development pressure. AHDC recently announced that it bought the Park Vue of Alexandria apartments from Florida-based ZRS Management with support of $51.4 million from the $2 billion Amazon Housing Equity Fund.” [ALXnow, Twitter]
Va. Weed Bill Goes Up in Smoke — “Republican members of Virginia’s House of Delegates on Monday voted down a bill that would have permitted legal sales of marijuana later this year, delaying any movement on the issue until at least mid- or late-2023 — if not even later than that. The party-line 5-3 vote in the House’s General Laws Subcommittee dashed the hopes of many Democrats and marijuana legalization advocates.” [DCist]
It’s Fat Tuesday — Mostly cloudy throughout the day today, the first day of March and the last day before Lent. High of 57 and low of 32. Sunrise at 6:42 am and sunset at 6:02 pm. [Weather.gov]
DCA Has One of TSA’s ‘Top 10 Catches’ of 2021 — “On March 6, 2021, TSA officers at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA) stopped a traveler carrying a well-worn, heavy-duty, wooden-handled machete. Officers noted the blade showed significant wear, as if it had seen a lot of use.” [Patch]
Arlington Apartment Rentals Rebound — “After falling 13 percent in 2020 as the pandemic roared in, median apartment rents in Arlington were up a tidy 16.8 percent in 2021, according to new data, leaving renters paying more now than they did before the COVID crisis started.” [Sun Gazette]
Hundreds Use SoberRide Over Holidays — “While the count was impacted by the ongoing pandemic, 461 individuals in the Washington region availed themselves of a SoberRide free ride home during the holiday period, the sponsoring organization said on Jan. 6.” [Sun Gazette]
State Police Give Arlington Company Kudos — “The state police said a trooper waved a group of men from CG Remodeling Services of Arlington driving by to ask for a shovel, and instead ‘they all jumped out of their trucks and dug the motorist out in minutes and got them safely on their way again.'” [WJLA]
County Board Names Commission Leaders — The delegations to the advisory boards, which range from groups on transportation to housing to economic development, will run through the end of 2022. [Sun Gazette]
It’s Tuesday — Today will be sunny, with a high near 28. Northwest wind 5 to 10 mph. Sunrise at 7:26 a.m. and sunset at 5:06 p.m. Tomorrow will be sunny and a bit warmer, with a high near 43 and south wind 7 to 11 mph, with gusts as high as 20 mph. [Weather.gov]
A Subway location on the ground floor of Arlington County’s jail could be getting a rent lifeline this weekend.
The sandwich shop renting space at the base of the Arlington County Detention Center (1435 N. Courthouse Road) has struggled to stay afloat since the pandemic slashed its sales. Although it still operates in the space, it has not paid rent to the county since March 2020, according to a report.
“Subway’s business has declined precipitously during the COVID-19 pandemic,” the report to the County Board says. “It was closed for business altogether in April 2020. Its sales in May 2020 were less than 15% of normal. Although Subway’s sales have recovered to a degree, they are still, as of the date of this report, around one-third below normal.”
On Saturday, the Board is set to review a proposal to lower Subway’s rent during the remainder of the pandemic to a level it can afford. County staff settled on a base rent equal to 9.5% of its gross sales, retroactive to April 2020, according to the report.
“Staff worked with Subway to determine what Subway could afford to pay in rent based on its reduced sales,” the report said. “As a rule of thumb, restaurants can afford to devote roughly 10% of sales to the payment of rent. When sales decline substantially below normal, inflexible overhead like employee salaries and utility charges does not decline to the same degree, and accordingly absorbs a greater percentage of sales. This leaves a smaller percentage of sales that can be applied to rent.”
If approved, the reduction would last until Subway has two months in a row of sales in which 9.5% of their sales is greater than the base rent it is paying, or until one year after the amendment is signed — whichever occurs first. Then, Subway would have 18 months to pay back the rent it owes from before the agreement went into effect.
The sandwich shop’s lease on its 1,360-square foot space in Courthouse, last renewed in 2017, is up in 2024, the report said.
Slight Dip in Apartment Rents — “The average rental rate for an Arlington unit over the past month was down 0.4 percent compared to the month before, according to figures reported Nov. 1 by Apartment List. Arlington’s rental rates averaged $2,032 for one-bedroom units and $2,460 for two-bedroom units. Arlington was one of 22 of the nation’s 100 largest urban areas to see pullbacks in rental rates over the month.” [Sun Gazette]
Federal Funds for Local Bridge? — From reporter Michael Lee Pope: “@RepDonBeyer #VA08 infrastructure projects requested: $9 million for renovating the bridge connecting Mount Vernon Avenue in #AlexandriaVA to Arlington Ridge Road in #ArlingtonVA” [Twitter]
Post Reviews Lyon Park Restaurant — “When not hawking food, she is a parking enforcement officer with the Arlington County Police Department… In September, she moved indoors when she took over El Fuego Peruvian Kitchen, an Arlington business that had already made the successful transition from street vendor to a bricks-and-mortar restaurant.” [Washington Post]
Wild Incident on Columbia Pike — “At approximately 9:30 a.m. on November 6, police were dispatched to the report of an assault just occurred and fire department units were also responding to investigate the smell of smoke and natural gas. Upon arrival inside the residential building, the suspect approached responding officers and began shouting. As the officers attempted to place the suspect into custody, he actively resisted and a brief struggle ensued before he was detained without further incident. The investigation determined that the suspect was allegedly acting irate and damaged the doors to multiple residential units.” [ACPD]
Parents Group Calls Out APS Calendar — “In prior years, APS aligned its calendar with neighboring (and vast) FCPS – an effort to support staff who worked and lived in different jurisdictions. This year’s calendar has a different start date and Spring Break than FCPS, and APS is off for five holidays when FCPS is not, which makes the schedule almost impossible for staff and working families to navigate.” [Arlington Parents for Education]
Rare Opening of Tomb Plaza — Updated at 9 a.m. — “Arlington National Cemetery will open up the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier Plaza Tuesday and Wednesday to members of the public and allow visitors to lay flowers for the first time in almost 100 years. The privilege is typically reserved for members of ‘The Old Guard,’ sentinels in the 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment who stand watch constantly at the Arlington National Cemetery landmark, officials say.” [NBC 4]
It’s Tuesday — Today will be near perfect, with sunny skies and a high of 72. Sunrise at 6:44 a.m. and sunset at 4:59 p.m. Tomorrow will be sunny, with a high near 67. [Weather.gov]
Flickr pool photo by Tom Mockler
Fundraiser for Former Restaurant Employee — “My name is Dante. I’m the general manager at the Green Pig Bistro in Arlington. Recently we had a tragedy in our green pig family. One of our former employees, Myra died in child birth. Her husband, Rolando, is also a former employee. We are… [raising] money to help this single father out.” [GoFundMe]
First for Tomb of the Unknown Soldier — “A historic first happened at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier on Friday. The Tomb at Arlington National Cemetery has been guarded continuously for the past 84 years… On October 1, for the first time ever, there was an all-woman shift change.” [WUSA 9]
Designers Weigh in on New County Logo — “I think if you think of it as a logo, it has some pretty obvious shortcomings in that it doesn’t say much about Arlington except as part of the larger region. It’s more of a reasonable mark for the DMV than it is for Arlington itself. It would be nice if they could’ve had something about Arlington to feature there. On the other hand, Arlington being part of the DMV might be what’s most interesting about it.” [Washingtonian]
Rent Keeps Rising in Arlington — “Median apartment-rental rates across Arlington continue their post-COVID rebound and are the highest in the Washington region, but the rate of growth over the past month was slightly below the national average. With a median cost of $2,061 for a one-bedroom apartment and $2,495 for a two-bedroom unit, the median price for Arlington rentals over the preceding month was up 1.9 percent.” [Sun Gazette]
Arlington Jobless Rate Dropping — “Arlington’s jobless rate in August dropped to 3 percent, according to new data, as the county and region continue to wriggle free of the economic grip of COVID… The August data… showed 145,095 Arlington residents employed in the civilian workforce and 4,549 looking for jobs. The resulting 3-percent rate was down from 3.4 percent in July, and a healthy drop from the 5.2-percent rate recorded in August 2020.” [Sun Gazette]
Seeking Police Oversight Board Members — “The Arlington County Board is now seeking applications from residents interested in serving as part of the County’s new Community Oversight Board (COB) that will have independent oversight and help to increase transparency and collaboration with the Arlington County Police Department. This volunteer COB will work directly with an accompanying Independent Policing Auditor, who will be hired at a later date.” [Arlington County]
Apartment Rents Bounce Back — “It took a little while, but average rents for Arlington apartments have now shot past pre-pandemic levels, according to new data. With median rent prices of $2,013 for a one-bedroom unit and $2,437 for two bedrooms, Arlington is among 92 of the nation’s 100 largest urban communities that has seen rents return to, or exceed, levels of March 2020, when the pandemic hit.” [Sun Gazette]
Ballston Resident Creates Bourbon Brand — “I Bourbon is one Arlingtonian’s ode to this classic American whiskey. Now, if he could just get it on store shelves.” [Washington Business Journal]
Reston to Crystal City Bus Proposed — “One of two projects proposed by Fairfax County, the new express bus service would connect Fairfax Connector’s Reston South Park and Ride lot with key employment destinations in Arlington County, including the Pentagon and Pentagon City and ending in Crystal City. The county is seeking $5.1 million to cover two years of operating costs for the service as well as the purchase of six buses.” [Reston Now]
AWLA Takes in Louisiana Pets — “A special delivery arrived Wednesday afternoon at Manassas Regional Airport: a plane carrying more than 100 pets that were evacuated from the Louisiana hurricane zone ahead of Ida’s arrival earlier this week. As the plane landed, rescue organizations from throughout the D.C. area were standing by to take the animals in. ‘There were mostly dogs, but also a few cats in the mix,’ said Samantha Snow with the Animal Welfare League of Arlington.” [WJLA]
Student Housing May Become Hotel — “Marymount University is moving to convert some of its recently acquired student housing in Ballston into hotel rooms, giving its hospitality program a boost in the process. The Arlington university filed documents with county planners Tuesday seeking permission to convert as much as half of the 267-unit residential building at 1008 N. Glebe Road into a hotel. Marymount has operated the building, dubbed The Rixey, as housing for students, faculty and staff since buying it back in 2019.” [Washington Business Journal]
Here Comes the Next Cicada Generation — “Cicada nymphs have started hatching during the past week. They’re the offspring from our recent cicada swarm, and they’ll rain down from above for the next few weeks, with numbers totaling in the billions… wearing a hat in the woods is a good idea for the next few weeks. Just in case you walk under a tiny, divebombing nymph.” [Capital Weather Gang]
Rent Rising in Arlington — “It was upended during the worst of the COVID crisis, but the Arlington apartment-rental market continues roaring back to life, according to a data analysis by Apartment List. With an average rental rate of $1,962 for a one-bedroom unit and $2,375 for a two-bedroom unit, Arlington’s month-over-month rental rate in August grew 3.6 percent from July, compared to a 2.6-percent increase nationally, ranking the county 22nd among the nation’s 100 largest urban areas.” [Sun Gazette]
Unusual Robbery in Crystal City — ” At approximately 11:26 p.m. on July 29, police were dispatched to the report of a robbery by force. Upon arrival, it was determined that the victim observed an undisclosed amount of cash on the ground and collected it in an attempt to return it to its owner. The unknown male suspect approached the victim and attempted to take the money from his hands. The victim began to walk in the opposite direction and entered a nearby business, where Suspect One followed him and was joined by two other male suspects. Suspect One successfully took the money from the victim’s hands and all three suspects fled from the business in a vehicle.” [ACPD]
County Covid Testing Location Closing — “The #COVID19 mobile testing unit at Lee Community Center is officially retiring today, after administering nearly 15,000 tests throughout the pandemic. If you need a test, visit one of our three locations, open daily from 11 AM – 7 PM.” [Twitter]
Community Pantomime Performances — “As it prepares to resume in-person performances at its Crystal City venue, Synetic Theater will be headed into the community with a series of free public performances of the family-focused ‘The Miraculous Magical Balloon.'” [Sun Gazette]
Long-Distance 9/11 Walk Kicks Off — From the Arlington County Fire Department: “We were honored to host the kickoff for [the Tunnel to Towers Never Forget] Walk. The over 500 mile walk for CEO Frank Siller is meant to honor the heroism of first responders who lost their lives on 9/11.” [Twitter, Yahoo News, Twitter]
Reminder: Vote in This Week’s Arlies — Have a favorite real estate agent for selling your home? A favorite home renovation company? Let us know by the time voting closes at noon tomorrow. [ARLnow]