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Sponsored by Monday Properties and written by ARLnow, Startup Monday is a weekly column that profiles Arlington-based startups, founders, and other local technology news. Monday Properties is proudly featuring Three Ballston Plaza

An Arlington-based company that helps startup founders turn their ideas into viable ventures has a new permanent home in Rosslyn.

Founded in 2017, Unstuck Labs is a small venture capital and consultancy firm that provides founders of small tech startups with mentorship, office space and, sometimes, investment.

Until recently, Unstuck operated from various co-working spaces across Arlington. With the help of Arlington Economic Development, the Rosslyn Business Improvement District and the county’s Innovation Fund grant, Unstuck moved to an office in Rosslyn, where Co-founder and CEO Wa’il Ashshowwaf says he hopes to add more programming.

Ashshowwaf says Unstuck is not a typical accelerator program.

Whereas most accelerator programs provide founders with a “curriculum” on how to set up their company, Ashshowwaf says Unstuck treats the program more like an apprenticeship.

“Think about sitting in a classroom versus doing an apprenticeship. Like someone can tell you, ‘This is how you fix a car,’ but our apprenticeship is going to be like, ‘Okay, let’s open the hood and fix it,’” he told ARLnow.

The program lasts 12 weeks, during which Ashshowwaf says the company assists founders in everything from designing a logo to pitching to potential investors — including Unstuck.

Although Unstuck does not guarantee it will invest in participating startups, Ashshowwaf noted that “86% of the founders got some kind of seed funding… within three months of the program.”

“The goal is you come in on day one, and no one really cares about you. You have your idea. By week 12, people care about you. You have an idea. You have a customer. You have revenue, and you’re invested in,” he said.

Unstuck Labs Co-founder and CEO Wa’il Ashshowwaf waves to attendees following a ribbon-cutting event in Rosslyn this September (staff photo by James Jarvis)

Even if the product “doesn’t work,” Ashshowwaf says it is not the end of the world. For Unstuck, a failed product launch is less a setback and more a learning opportunity that can lead to a more successful venture down the line.

“If the idea doesn’t work, that’s not a failure because in 12 weeks, you would learn, ‘Okay, that didn’t work.’ You didn’t spend two years of your life doing that. And then you can move on to the next thing,” Ashshowwaf said.

In addition to its accelerator program, Unstuck offers free workshops, such as “Startup Patent Survival Skills, and weekly meetups where entrepreneurs can discuss their current projects. Ashshowwaf says he hopes to host 50-100 free workshops and weekly meetups a year now that Unstuck has its own office.

Ashshowwaf says the free workshops cultivate an “ecosystem” where entrepreneurs can collaborate and help each other get “unstuck,” instead of navigating the often daunting process alone, he said.

“Someone has an idea. Says, ‘Okay, I want to build a startup. I want to build a business.’ So they’ll ask friends and their family, then they usually jump to a company and say, ‘Hey, can you build the app? How much? Oh, $100,000? How do I find the money?’ And it’s a very disjointed process,” he said.

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Several roads in Pentagon City and Rosslyn will be temporarily closed this Saturday for the Arlington 9/11 Memorial 5K and 2023 Rosslyn Jazz Fest.

While jazz enthusiasts sway to soulful tunes, just a few miles away, emergency responders will be lacing up their running shoes for the Arlington Police, Fire, Sheriff, & ECC 9/11 Memorial 5K race in Pentagon City.

From 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., two roads will be closed for the music festival:

  • Langston Blvd, eastbound from Fort Myer Drive to N. Moore Street
  • Fort Myer Drive access road, from 19th Street N. to N. Moore Street

The festival will take place from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. and feature several jazz acts, including Anjelika “Jelly” Joseph, Pedrito Martinez Group, Oh He Dead and DuPont Brass, as well as food trucks and games.

Road closures around the Pentagon City and Crystal City will begin at 5 p.m. to prepare for the Arlington 9/11 Memorial 5K, which has raised money for 9/11-related charities since its inception in 2002.

The race, which kicks off at 6 p.m. and ends at 7:30 p.m., will start and end at the DoubleTree Hotel in Pentagon City. All road closures in the area will be lifted by 8:30 p.m.

Street closure maps for the 2023 Rosslyn Jazz Fest and Arlington 9/11 Memorial 5K (via ACPD)

More on road closures about the 5K from a police press release:

The Arlington County Police Department will close the following roadways around the Pentagon and in Crystal City to accommodate the event:

From approximately 3:00 p.m. until 9:00 p.m.

  • Army Navy Drive, from S. Eads Street to 12th Street S.

From approximately 5:00 p.m. until 8:30 p.m.

  • S. Eads Street, from Army Navy Drive to 12th Street S.
  • S. Fern Street, from Army Navy Drive to 12th Street S.
  • S. Hayes Street, from Army Navy Drive to 12th Street S.
  • Army Navy Drive, from S. Joyce Street to S. Eads Street
  • S. Joyce Street, from Army Navy Drive to Columbia Pike
  • Columbia Pike, from S. Oak Street to Washington Boulevard
  • S. Washington Boulevard, from Arlington Boulevard to Columbia Pike
  • S. Washington Boulevard, from SB George Washington Parkway
  • Route 110 S., from I-66 and Wilson Boulevard to Army Navy Drive
  • Marshall Drive, from Iwo Jima Access Road to Route 110 S.
  • Southgate Road, from S. Nash Street to Columbia Pike
  • The ramp to Army Navy Drive from NB I-395 Exit 8A, Arlington Ridge Road, and N. Washington Boulevard
  • The ramp from NB I-395 Exit 8C to Pentagon City / Crystal City

ACPD said motorists should expect traffic and “extended travel times” in the surrounding areas. The department advises seeking “alternative routes to reduce road congestion,” including taking Metro.

The Rosslyn Metro Station is located within walking distance of the jazz festival while both the Pentagon City and Crystal City Metro stations are in walking distance of the race. Paid parking is available at the Pentagon City Mall garage.

Police say additional street parking near both events will be restricted and motorists should be on the lookout for temporary “No Parking” signs.


(Updated 10:30 a.m.) Where the prosaic golden arches of the stand-alone McDonald’s once perched, a residential high-rise now joins the many skyscrapers defining Rosslyn’s changing skyline.

Some old landmarks have been incorporated into new high-rises, including the McDonald’s now beneath Central Place Tower on N. Lynn Street and the former Fire Station 10 at the base of The Highlands.

Others, such as Tom Sarris’ Orleans House, a fixture for nearly 50 years, were replaced with offices and a newer generation of businesses like Compass Coffee and Cava.

Although commercial office buildings have been a constant feature of Rosslyn’s skyline over the past 40 years, the last decade has seen a shift towards more living space.

Anthony Fusarelli, Arlington County’s planning director, says that out of the approximately 8 million square feet of new development planned in Rosslyn, nearly half is designated for residential use. Office space accounts for roughly 2.8 million square feet, retail occupies 171,459 square feet, and the remaining space is allocated for hotels.

The transformation reflects a broader shift the county undertook over the last 20 years to steer urban planning toward residential and mixed-use development to accommodate a growing population, boost economic activity and adapt to people’s waning enthusiasm for the conventional workplace.

This trend is likely to persist, not only because of changes in work patterns post-pandemic, but also because Arlington County is encouraging residential development in Metro-oriented Rosslyn to help address its reported shortage of housing supply.

Planning Rosslyn’s future

To understand how and why this shift occurred, Fusarelli pointed to Rosslyn’s history.

Sixty years ago, if someone had ascended the 555-foot Washington Monument and looked westward across the Potomac River, they would have seen a very different Rosslyn. The view would have been dominated by rail yards, pawnshops, oil storage tanks and other retail and industrial operations.

“So, just this mix of varied uses that is quite different from what we have today,” Fusarelli said.

Aerial view of Rosslyn circa 1962 (via Arlington County)

After  World War II, Fusarelli said the Arlington County Board recognized the area was valuable because of its proximity to D.C. Eager to establish Rosslyn as an auxiliary office hub for the growing federal government, the county embarked on an aggressive campaign to transform the area into a vibrant business district.

“Back in the early ’60s, Arlington established a new zoning tool called the ‘site plan process,’ which incentivized private landowners to build much taller buildings, much bigger buildings, in exchange for providing certain public benefits,” Fusarelli said.

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A proposal to redevelop the Red Lion Hotel near Rosslyn is beginning its journey through the Arlington County approval process.

Local development group Orr Partners took over previously approved plans from 2019 to replace the hotel and the Ellis Arms Apartments in the Radnor-Fort Myer Heights neighborhood with a 10-story condo building and 12-story hotel.

After taking over, Orr expanded the scope of its project. Now, it intends to build on a 2.2-acre site composed of the hotel, formerly the Best Western Iwo Jima hotel, which opened in 1958, as well as the Ellis Arms and Williamsburg apartments, which were built in 1954.

Instead of a condo building and hotel, it proposes building a 446-unit, 8-story apartment complex at 1501 Arlington Blvd, bounded by Fairfax Drive to the south and the Parc Rosslyn Apartments and Belvedere Condominiums to the north.

Existing conditions at the Red Lion Hotel site (via Arlington County)

“We think it will revitalize this neighborhood and bring critically needed housing to Arlington County,” Tyler Orr of Orr Partners said in a video. “Our company has been honored to deliver numerous projects in Arlington County over the last 35 years. In all our projects, we seek to enhance the fabric of the surrounding community, be considerate of our neighbors and give something back with any new community we deliver.”

In exchange for razing the two 14-unit apartment buildings, Orr says the company will provide on-site affordable housing.

That has to amount to at least 28 units or the same square footage lost to redevelopment, according to county planner Adam Watson. He said in a video that Orr is held to this standard because it is building on a site that is mostly designated a “special affordable housing protection district.”

Watson said county staffers are working with Orr on an affordable housing plan that replaces the lost housing.

Presentation materials from Orr say the proposal mostly includes a mix of one- and two-bedroom units, though there are 15 two-bedroom “junior” apartments and 12 three-bedroom units, which are at a premium in Arlington County.

Orr Partners intends to reach LEED Gold certification and plans to include three courtyards as well as at- and below-grade, at a rate of 0.57 spaces per unit.

“Architecturally, the base of the building is scaled to respect the heights of the residential developments along the Arlington Blvd corridor,” architect Chris Gordon said in the Orr presentation. “The design incorporates various techniques to break up the massing, through alternating materials, use of color, textures and providing interior courtyards out to Arlington Blvd beginning at third-level amenity terrace.”

He notes the structure is shaped to capture “primary views of the Capital mall” and to bring together amenities so “all residents to engage in this terrific location.”

Orr Partners is also leaving enough space in its development to allow Arlington County to reconstruct the Arlington Blvd Trail that is across street, says county planner Adam Watson. Base engineering for that project is in progress.

The county is asking for feedback on the proposal related to land use, building form, architecture, transportation, landscaping and public space and community benefits.

After the feedback form closes later this month, the first Site Plan Review Committee meeting will be held in September, followed by a second in October. Meetings for commission and Arlington County Board approval have yet to be scheduled.


Architecture, art and the sun are all coming together Tuesday morning, August 1, for Dark Star Park Day.

Dark Star Park in Rosslyn features several concrete spheres, installed in 1984, whose shadows will perfectly align with their markings on the ground tomorrow morning only.

“Each year at 9:32 a.m., actual shadows cast by the poles and spheres align with permanent forms in the shape of the shadows on the ground beneath them,” the Arlington County website says. “The date marks the day that William Henry Ross purchased the land that later became Rosslyn.”

Located at 1655 Fort Myer Drive, the public art installation was restored in 2002. Artist Nancy Holt carefully designed the installation so that the alignment would happen at the same time every year.

“Holt worked with an astrophysicist to make the shadow alignment happen. The time it takes place was chosen simply because Holt liked the light at that hour,” the park’s webpage said.

Dark Star Park, which was formerly a gas station, became Arlington’s first public art installation.

“Encompassing landscape architecture, sculpture, and astronomy, Dark Star Park by Nancy Holt (1938-2014) is among the first major examples of integrated public art,” the county website says.

An event, held each year, marks the annual shadow alignment.

Those planning to attend tomorrow’s free event should arrive at the park around 9:15 a.m. to secure a good viewing spot, according to the Rosslyn Business Improvement District. There is limited parking available near the park.

For those who can’t attend, the Rosslyn BID Facebook page will be live-streaming the event beginning around 9:15 a.m.

This year marks the 40th anniversary of Dark Star Park Day — described by Arlington Cultural Affairs as “a deeply moving experience in-person.” The weather forecast calls for sunny skies, perfect for shadow viewing.

File photo

(Updated at 1:10 p.m.) A suspect fleeing from police ran onto the tracks at the Rosslyn Metro station shortly before 1 p.m., delaying some trains.

The suspect ran into a tunnel in the direction of Arlington Cemetery station, according to scanner traffic. It’s not immediately clear why he or she was running from police.

Arlington County police coordinated with Metro and Metro Transit Police to stop train traffic in the area while trying to locate the suspect.

Officers were in active pursuit of the suspect after he or she exited the tunnel, leading to their being taken into custody on Memorial Bridge shortly before 1:10 p.m., according to scanner traffic.


A climate change protest temporarily shut down a Rosslyn bank this morning.

The relatively small demonstration drew a handful of older protests and a few of grad-school age to the Wells Fargo at 1500 Wilson Blvd.

The organizers, ThirdAct Virginia, touted it as a protest of elders demanding climate action alongside youth climate activists. It featured rocking chairs outside the bank and a sit-in inside. Just over a dozen people participated, most of them older.

The issue, according to organizers, is Wells Fargo’s role in the Mountain Valley Pipeline, a planned 300-mile natural gas pipeline which would run through parts of Virginia. Construction on the pipeline was again halted by a federal court this week, despite being fast-tracked by Congress in the recent debt limit deal.

More on the protest, below, from a ThirdAct Virginia press release.

Members of ThirdAct Virginia, elders demanding climate action, and youth climate activists shut down an Arlington branch of Wells Fargo, disrupting business by staging a sit-in inside and protesting outside.

The multi-generational group, some sitting in rocking chairs outside the bank, sang songs and chanted, and waved signs and banners, demanding that the bank stop funding new fossil fuel projects including the contested Mountain Valley Pipeline that cuts across the mountains of southern Appalachia in West Virginia and Virginia.

The Friday protest is part of a series of actions across the country against the big four dirty banks (Wells Fargo, Chase, Bank of America, and Citibank) that are the worst offenders, continuing to finance billions of dollars in new fossil fuel projects, despite surging climate disasters. A large public protest with art, music and dance is planned for later in the day outside Wells Fargo headquarters in San Francisco.

The July 14 protests are timed to coincide with the announcement Friday of the bank’s 2023 second quarter earnings results.

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What remains of the RCA building in Rosslyn looks like something pulled from a post-apocalyptic film.

Demolition work for the building (1901 N. Moore Street) has been ongoing since the end of March and the pedestrian bridge to a building next door was removed in the spring.

Now, passers-by can see a narrowed shell of the building with rebar, pipes and wires drooping from it.

By the end of this month, the RCA building will be “demolished to grade,” notes a calendar on a website providing updates on the building’s progress.

The website also projects a sanitary and storm sewer system will be installed by mid-July or by the end of this month. Once this is done, and electrical infrastructure is relocated, workers will begin installing a retaining wall that will keep the ground in place as they excavate.

“Once at the subgrade, we’ll excavate for the new building’s footings and erect two tower cranes to start pouring concrete,” the website says.

The construction company overseeing the project, CBG Building Company, has “a light pollution reduction and rainwater management plan in order to protect the community’s natural habitat and minimize the project’s environmental impact,” the website adds.

The developer, Jefferson Apartment Group (JAG), will replace the RCA building with a 27-story apartment complex composed of two towers that share a podium and are joined at the rooftop by a sky bridge.

The building, one block from the Rosslyn Metro station, will also have 11,444 square feet of retail space. Planned amenities for residents include a fitness center, pet spa, landscaped patio, green rooftop terrace and a pool.

JAG is aiming to complete the new structure in January 2026.


Missed the fireworks on the National Mall last night? Or just want to relive the Fourth of July grandeur?

ARLnow staff photographer Jay Westcott brought his cameras to the Marine Corps War Memorial near Rosslyn to capture the show and some of those watching the show.

Unlike past years when weather resulted in extra haze that obscured the fireworks, the 2023 edition benefited from clear skies and relatively pleasant temperatures.

The fireworks viewing was not the only Independence Day celebration of note in Arlington. Neighborhood events were held throughout the county, including the annual parades and block parties in places like Barcroft and Douglas Park.

Have your own photos to share? Show them off in the comments.


A long-time Rosslyn sushi spot has closed.

Kanpai Japanese Restaurant inside 1401 Wilson Blvd and near the intersection with N. Oak Street had its last day of service on Friday (June 23), per the restaurant’s Facebook page. Additionally, online ordering is no longer available and the phone number is disconnected.

A sign is also now on the door of the former restaurant appearing to thank the owners. It reads, “Thank you, Kanpi. The best sushi. The best neighbors. The best friends. We will miss you so much.”

Kanpai appears to have been open since at least 2006, according to Yelp reviews. Its menu consisted of sushi, tempura, and other Japanese favorites.

ARLnow has attempted to reach the Kanpai’s owners about the closure, but it’s likely due to the pending redevelopment of 1401 Wilson Blvd. The building is nearly 60 years old and aging. The plan is to build newer, more modern office and retail space in its place. Earlier this month, owner Monday Properties got a two-year extension on the project.

The building’s parking garage is noted for being the spot where reporter Bob Woodward secretly met with Deep Throat during the Watergate investigation. A historical marker was placed in front of the building in 2011.

Hat tip to Matt Siniscal

Thai Select expansion (staff photo by Jay Westcott)

Rosslyn’s Thai Select is adding a sushi bar in the former home of a spin studio.

The four-year-old Thai food restaurant located just off Wilson Blvd in the Colonial Village Shopping Center is expanding, a restaurant representative confirmed to ARLnow.

The restaurant is adding a sushi bar and a small dining area in the space that formerly housed Good Sweat. The independent spin studio at 1711 Wilson Blvd closed back in May 2022.

It’s expected the sushi bar will open sometime in October or November, the representative said, though it depends on when county permits are received.

The expansion was needed because their original space “is tiny” and it often gets very crowded when there are both customers and drivers picking up food orders packing into the space, we’re told. The restaurant’s take-out and delivery business grew significantly during the pandemic, the representative said.

Colonial Village Shopping Center in Rosslyn has seen a good deal of turnover in recent years, with a French pastry shop replacing a coffee shop and a Brazilian steakhouse moving into the former home of Ben’s Chili Bowl.

One thing that has not changed is the well-known, cash-only Pho 75, which has been in the shopping center for years.

Hat tip to anonymous and Ben L.


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