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by Tim Regan — February 17, 2017 at 1:15 pm 0

(Updated at 1:36 p.m.) A raccoon apparently took a wild ride through Arlington today.

Politico reporter Helena B. Evich first spotted an adventurous animal hitching a ride on the back of an American Disposal Services trash truck in Rosslyn a little after 11 a.m. this morning.

Naturally, she tweeted about it:

Evich also called American Disposal Services to report the creature she dubbed the “trash raccoon.” Eventually, that report made its way to Anna Wilkinson, the company’s communications director.

“As soon as we found out that the raccoon was on the truck, the driver pulled over because we didn’t want the raccoon to get injured,” Wilkinson said.

By the time the driver pulled over, the truck had traveled all the way from Rosslyn to Falls Church. Wilkinson said she then called the Falls Church Police Department’s animal control team, who came to retrieve the skittish stowaway and make sure it was out of harm’s way.

“He looked like he was hanging on pretty tightly,” Wilkinson said. “The picture is adorable.”

Wilkinson later confirmed the raccoon was removed safely and without harm.

This isn’t the first time a local raccoon has gotten into a strange situation. In fact, one found itself stuck in a drain at Wakefield High School earlier this week.

by ARLnow.com — February 13, 2017 at 5:05 pm 0

Nearly 900 Dominion customers are still without power in Arlington as of 5 p.m. Monday, with numerous small outages scattered across the county.

That’s down from more than 6,500 outages last night, after an initial line of 60+ mile per hour wind gusts swept through the area. The strong winds continued through this afternoon but have since died down.

Dominion’s power outage map shows the two biggest power outages are in the Highgate/Colonial Terrace community in the Rosslyn area, and along 26th Street N./31st Street N., near Marymount University, where photos (above and via Twitter) show at least one tree down in the roadway and a power pole snapped in half.

Dominion is estimating that power will be restored by 11 p.m. and 8 p.m., respectively, for each outage.

In all, around 3,000 Dominion customers are still in the dark around Northern Virginia.

by ARLnow.com — February 13, 2017 at 9:30 am 0

Wind meter (animated)

Traffic Lights Dark in Rosslyn — Due to power outages, several traffic signals at busy intersections in Rosslyn were dark during the morning rush hour. Police were stretched for resources as they tried to direct traffic and deal with wind-related issues elsewhere in the county. [Twitter, Twitter]

Arlington’s Child Care Shortage — “In Arlington, Virginia, Erika Gibson, child care supervisor for the Arlington County Department of Human Services, said most of the county’s 50 licensed care centers have waiting lists for children under 2.” [WTOP]

Grocery Association Coming to Rosslyn — On the heels of food and beverage giant Nestle’s announcement that it is moving to Rosslyn, the Grocery Manufacturers Association has announced it is going to move from D.C. to Rosslyn, leasing 34,000 square feet at 1001 19th Street N. [Washington Business Journal]

New 2017 Commission Chairs — The Arlington County Board has approved the new 2017 chairs of more than a dozen county commissions and boards. [InsideNova]

Obit: Bill Hurd, Jr. — Arlington resident Bill Hurd, Jr. died Jan. 27 at the age of 66 after “aggressive battle with prostate cancer.” The last decade of Hurd’s life was eventful: his first wife died in 2010, shortly after they moved to her hometown in Minnesota. He became active in the community there and was elected mayor. A native of Northern Virginia and a fan of politics, sports, cigars, dogs and Texas Hold’em poker, Hurd later remarried and in 2015 moved back to Arlington. [Legacy]

by Tim Regan — February 10, 2017 at 3:30 pm 0

A national business advisory firm now has a more sizable footprint in the D.C. area.

Chicago-based company Grant Thornton held a ribbon-cutting ceremony last night to celebrate the grand opening of its new Rosslyn outpost. The office is part of a $15.75 million investment that is bringing hundreds of jobs to the Arlington area.

The office, located on the 14th floor of 1000 Wilson Blvd, can hold about 1,500 staffers. Grant Thornton is moving around 1,000 of its employees to the office and will be hiring 348 additional staffers as part of the opening.

Grant Thornton CEO Mike McGuire, Arlington County Board Chair Jay Fisette and Rosslyn BID President Mary-Claire Burick were among those scheduled to speak during the ceremony.

McGuire stated that the workplace “enables us to connect with each other and our clients, whether they’re here in Arlington or on the other side of the world.”

The space, dubbed the “workplace of the future,” is equipped with state-of-the-art audiovisual equipment, modern conference rooms and complimentary access to a fitness center, according to a press release. The office also has large windows that let in plenty of natural light and a provide a panoramic view of the District.

“We wouldn’t have let just anybody into this space,” Fisette said, referring to Grant Thornton. “You are one of the top professional services firms in the world.”

Burick said that Rosslyn was ready to welcome with open arms the company’s “best and brightest.”

“I think the staff at Grant Thornton will find connections here that will help them grow professionally,” she added.

Rosslyn is projected to have 4,000 new residents, 15,000 new jobs, 2,740 additional residential units and 200,000 additional square feet of retail space by 2030, according to the BID. Large companies like Grant Thornton are expected to help fuel that long-term growth.

Arlington County and Virginia both successfully beat out the District in a bid for Grant Thornton’s new office. Earlier this year, Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe called the opening a “big win for the Commonwealth.”

“Grant Thornton is a valued leader in the business community, and it is a priority to ensure that the company continues to grow in the Commonwealth as we diversity and build the new Virginia economy,” McAuliffe said yesterday in a statement. “We are confident that Arlington County and the Rosslyn Business Improvement District will provide the infrastructure, workforce and resources necessary for the company to thrive.”

by Tim Regan — February 9, 2017 at 10:15 am 0

The TargetExpress store in Rosslyn is getting a facelift.

Two sections of the store — an area next to the women’s apparel aisle and the Starbucks — are currently blocked off by plastic sheets. Large pieces of construction equipment and tools were spotted in those sections.

Though several Target employees told ARLnow.com they weren’t sure what kind of work is being done or when those areas might reopen, one said a new beer and wine section might replace the shuttered Starbucks. A media representative for Target did not immediately respond to requests for more information.

(Luckily, Rosslynites needing a caffeine fix will not have to go far to find another Starbucks.)

The 23,000 square foot store, located at 1500 Wilson Blvd, sells groceries, beer, wine, personal care items, clothing, gadgets and other goods. It opened less than two years ago.

by ARLnow.com Sponsor — February 9, 2017 at 6:00 am 0

Explore an extraordinary experience at the most beautiful apartment residence to come to the Washington, D.C. area. Bringing together truly luxurious features and amenities, Central Place not only redefines the local skyline — it redefines high-expectation living.

You’ll definitely want to schedule a private tour to take a closer look at their stunning interiors, remarkable amenities and panoramic views — all in a perfectly central location. Instant Metro access, excellent restaurants, lounges and music venues — plus nearby parks and trails — open the door to the best of it all.

From stylish studios to three-bedroom apartments, every space sparkles with expansive windows and outdoor light.

Best of all, you can enjoy up to a half month rent-free. Visit www.centralplace.com to see the full list of luxe amenities and call 703-372-9831 to schedule your private tour. Central Place is located at 1800 North Lynn Street at Wilson Boulevard.

The preceding promoted post was written and sponsored by Central Place.

by Tim Regan — February 6, 2017 at 3:50 pm 0

American Dreams image via HSNLocal entrepreneurs can learn how to get their ideas, products or inventions featured on the Home Shopping Network during a free event in Rosslyn later this month.

The D.C.-area chapter of business mentoring organization SCORE is scheduled to host an event for the Home Shopping Network program “American Dreams” at the Spectrum Theater (1611 N Kent Street) on Monday, Feb. 27 at 10 a.m.

“American Dreams” features inventions and products from small businesses and entrepreneurs across the country. The program’s tagline is to “make your product tomorrow’s best seller,” according to its website.

The upcoming event is set to include a “high energy” presentation about the Home Shopping Network and its various product success stories. Attendees can pitch their products, then refine those pitches during a “show and tell” portion of the event. Afterward, they’ll be able to submit their products for a chance to be featured on “American Dreams.”

“They’ll have an opportunity to describe or pitch their concept,” said SCORE marketing chair and mentor, Len Johnson. “This is a preliminary introduction to the program. It’s kind of a filtering process.”

Unlike a program such as “Shark Tank,” the businesspeople don’t need to show up with a working prototype of their product or invention to be considered for the show.

“That’s why they call it American Dream,” Johnson said. “It’s a program that features people that have a dream but don’t have the means to be successful. It allows an entrepreneur to get airtime.”

After the event, the Home Shopping Network will review the day’s submissions and possibly pick out some Arlington entrepreneurs for a second round of interviews. If all goes well during those interviews, the product could then head to television.

Those interested in attending the free session can sign up online. The event is limited to 500 people.

by Tim Regan — February 6, 2017 at 12:30 pm 0

Startup Monday header

Sponsored by Monday Properties and written by ARLnow.com, Startup Monday is a weekly column that profiles Arlington-based startups and their founders, plus other local technology happenings. The Ground Floor, Monday’s office space for young companies in Rosslyn, is now open. The Metro-accessible space features a 5,000-square-foot common area that includes a kitchen, lounge area, collaborative meeting spaces, and a stage for formal presentations.

(Updated at 12:48 p.m.) Up-and-coming tech companies that cater to the U.S. government now have a refuge in Rosslyn.

Government contracting startup accelerator Eastern Foundry threw a party last week to celebrate the opening of its new office on the 10th floor of 1100 Wilson Blvd. It first announced the expansion last June.

Though the 19,237-square-foot space is slightly smaller than Eastern Foundry’s first office in Crystal City, it still offers plenty of room for government-focused startups.

People playing table tennis at Eastern FoundryThe new Rosslyn office features an open layout and is geared more toward tenants that work with civilian government agencies, said Eastern Foundry co-founder Andrew Chang. The space features 43 private offices, three conference rooms, a training room and a shared common area with couches, chairs, tables and games.

“It’s two very different vibes, and that’s what we’re going for,” Chang said. “Crystal City is Pentagon-focused. It’s more office intensive. Here, we’re kind of pushing a more innovative, younger crowd.”

In Crystal City, many of Eastern Foundry’s tenants work with sensitive government defense contracts and therefore need a little more privacy, he explained. In contrast, the Rosslyn office is suited for collaboration and open discussion. Job opportunities and announcements are beamed onto two televisions in the office’s kitchen each day, for instance.

Eastern Foundry party on Thursday, Feb. 2Representatives from dozens of small businesses mingled over food and drinks during the company’s grand opening party last Thursday. Though the new office has been open for less than a week, it’s already about 30 percent full, Chang said. Eastern Foundry expects that number will grow quickly.

“Virginia is all about business,” Chang said. “It’s very small business friendly and it works for our member companies.”

But it’s not just Eastern Foundry’s tenants that stand to benefit from the new office. Rosslyn itself could also see an economic boost from all the new tech companies setting up shop there.

“Eastern Foundry is a unique and important addition to our business community because they are cultivating the next generation of government-focused technology companies,” said Mary-Claire Burick, president of the Rosslyn BID. “These companies, and the investment capital and young talent they attract, stand to have a major impact in Rosslyn for years to come.”

Check out some more photos of Eastern Foundry’s new offices below.

by ARLnow.com — February 2, 2017 at 9:30 am 0

Bronx Pizza owner Mike Cordero teaches Arlington students how to make pizza (photo courtesy Alexis Fedoroff)

It’s Groundhog Day — Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow today, suggesting that we’re in for six more weeks of winter. The meteorological scolds at the Capital Weather Gang, however, think the prognosticating groundhog is wrong and that spring may arrive early. [Capital Weather Gang, Accuweather]

More Details on Nestlé DealLanding Nestlé is a huge win for Arlington County, for Rosslyn and for 1812 N. Moore Street owner Monday Properties, which stuck to its plan of keeping the skyscraper’s top floors empty as it awaited a big tenant. As part of the deal, Monday will put the company’s logo on two sides of the building, will nix a restaurant space to build a separate entrance for Nestlé’ employees, and will “more than double the size of the building’s wellness center to include space for spinning, yoga and pilates.” [Washington Business Journal]

Towing Bill Fails in Senate — A legislative effort to sandbag Arlington with state-mandated towing regulations that are friendlier to towing companies has failed in the state Senate. But a similar bill is still alive in the House of Delegates. [InsideNova]

Library Tells Story of Stratford Desegregation — Arlington Public Library is launching “a unique online exhibition and searchable database – built from thousands of photos, documents and recordings – surrounding the legal and moral battles that culminated with four courageous African American students taking their seats on Feb. 2, 1959 at Arlington’s Stratford Junior High School.” Dubbed “Project DAPS,” the collection will debut Feb. 25. [Arlington County, Project DAPS]

Catholic Diocese Launches New Website — The Catholic Diocese of Arlington has launched a new website. The new bishop, Bishop Michael Burbidge introduced the redesigned website in a video. [Catholic Diocese of Arlington, YouTube]

Arlington Men’s Club Turns 10 — Arlington has a “secretive and haphazardly organized” group called the Men’s Development Club. The club, formed 10 years ago, is basically an excuse for dads to get out of the house and drink beer with other dads. [Falls Church News-Press]

Photo courtesy Alexis Fedoroff

by Tim Regan — February 1, 2017 at 4:15 pm 0

(Updated at 4:30 p.m.) It’s now possible to live in Rosslyn’s long-awaited Central Place development.

JBG announced today the opening of the residential portion of its Central Place project in Rosslyn, which is one of the tallest apartment buildings in the region. Prospective tenants can now rent studio, one-bedroom, two-bedroom and three-bedroom apartments, and tours will be available starting next week.

The 31-story mixed-use building, which is located on N. Lynn Street across from the Rosslyn Metro station, features 377 apartments with access to amenities such as a swimming pool, private cabanas and grilling areas, an outdoor fire pit and lounge, a fitness center and massage rooms. The building also has billiard tables, a library, a dog washing station and direct access to the Metro.

“The magnificent residences feature open floor plans with epicurean kitchens, fine cabinetry and expansive windows that welcome abundant light and spectacular views,” a press release for Central Place reads. “Built for entertaining, relaxation and comfort, the residences at Central Place set a new standard for sophisticated living.”

Restaurants coming to the ground floor of the apartment building include Sweetgreen, The Little Beet and Nando’s Peri-Peri. Those eateries have not yet announced their opening dates.

The residential tower is just one half of the Central Place development. Construction crews are also busy putting the finishing touches on the CEB Tower, a 350,000 square foot office building that is slated to open next to Central Place Residences early next year. The building’s main tenant and namesake is CEB, a publicly-traded company that’s currently based out of a building down the street.

When it opens, the new office building will include a public observation deck once hyped as a possible “game-changer” for Rosslyn. Cava Grill and Compass Coffee also have both signed leases to open in the office tower. It’s not clear whether those businesses will open at the same time as the office building or at a later date.

Workers first broke ground on the massive construction project a little over two years ago.

“The development of Central Place is one of Rosslyn’s most important milestones since the Metro came to town. It’s an embodiment of our community’s transformation from a commercial district into an active, mixed-use center,” said Rosslyn BID President Mary-Claire Burick in a statement. “The observation deck and public plaza, key components of the Central Place development, are set to immediately become important community gathering places and iconic features in our neighborhood.”

Read the full press release from JBG, after the jump.

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by ARLnow.com — February 1, 2017 at 1:55 pm 0

1812 N. Moore Street model at groundbreaking ceremony

(Updated at 4:15 p.m.) Nestlé is moving its U.S. corporate headquarters from Southern California to Rosslyn, the company announced today.

The move, a boon to Arlington in its effort to reduce the county’s office vacancy rate and its reliance on government-related employment, will finally bring an anchor tenant to 1812 N. Moore Street.

1812 North Moore Street (photo courtesy Monday Properties)The 35-story office building, owned by Monday Properties, was completed in 2013 after being built “on spec” and has remained vacant since, awaiting a major tenant. Nestlé will be initially leasing 40 percent of the building, just over 200,000 square feet on the top nine floors, with the option to expand to over 250,000 square feet, according to a press release.

Nestlé had $26 billion in sales in the United States in 2015. The company’s brands include Haagen-Dazs, Coffee-mate, Stouffer’s, DiGiorno, Gerber, Kit Kat and Pure Life bottled water.

“Monday Properties is proud to welcome Nestlé, one of the world’s finest companies, to our landmark property, 1812 North Moore Street, in the heart of Rosslyn,” said Anthony Westreich, CEO of Monday Properties, in a statement. “This transaction is particularly special to my family and me because we have been intimately involved in the early development of Rosslyn, dating back to the early 1960s. My father, Stanley Westreich, and his partners developed many of the first high rise projects in Rosslyn, having overseen the Gannett Company’s relocation in 1984 to Rosslyn at our 1000 Wilson Boulevard project just one block east of 1812 N. Moore Street.”

Nestlé will be investing $40 million in the relocation and estimates that it will be creating about 750 jobs locally. The company chose Rosslyn over 20 potential locations across the country after being offered $10 million in grants from the state, and $4 million in grants and $2 million in infrastructure improvements by Arlington County, the Washington Post reported.

The Washington Business Journal was the first to break the news, ahead of a 3:15 p.m. press conference with Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe in Rosslyn. Less than weeks ago ARLnow.com predicted that 1812 N. Moore Street would get its first tenant this year.

Arlington is not the only beneficiary of Nestlé’s move. St. Louis stands to gain 300 jobs as Nestlé centralizes its information technology operations in the city, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported today. But Arlington is the big winner, gaining high-paying jobs and a prestigious corporate tenant that will further boost the county’s business reputation.

A big part of the draw: the highly-educated workforce in the area. Nestlé USA’s CEO cited “benefits for our current employees as well as a great talent pool for the future” in an Arlington County press release. That echoes what Monday Properties says is driving leasing along Arlington’s Metro corridors.

“Nestlé’s announcement comes on the heels of a number of high-profile corporate commitments to the Rosslyn-Ballston corridor, which has transformed and attracted one of the country’s most desirable pools of top talent for companies looking to leverage for future growth,” the property owner said.

More from the press release:

“It is an honor to have Nestlé as our anchor tenant at 1812 North Moore Street,” said Tim Helmig, President and COO of Monday Properties. “The magnitude of securing one of the most widely recognized corporate brands in the world reinforces our initial strategic business plan which was to develop an office project that would attract prestigious corporate tenants to occupy what is arguably the highest quality designed office project in the metropolitan Washington, D.C. area. As companies such as Nestlé increasingly look to procure first-rate amenities and easy accessibility to Washington, D.C., they’ll find that Rosslyn offers a business-friendly environment unparalleled with lifestyle opportunities for its employees.”

Soaring 390 feet, the LEED Platinum certified 1812 North Moore Street building is metropolitan Washington, D.C.’s tallest building with unprecedented visibility and recognition in the marketplace. Of incomparable caliber, distinct design and boasting the most efficient floor plates of any trophy building in the area, the building offers 537,000 square feet spanning 35 stories. The project’s remaining floors (encompassing over 300,000 square feet) provide future tenants with quality view space which is situated within a neighboring “who’s who” tenancy, including but not limited to Grant Thornton, Sinclair Broadcasting, Sands Capital, Raytheon Company, and BAE Systems.

“Rosslyn has clearly arrived,” noted Austin Freeman, Monday Properties Regional Portfolio Manager, who added “Companies are searching not only for quality and efficient real estate solutions, but want to be situated in a premier, transit accessible location that can attract and retain employee talent. 1812’s centralized location and Rosslyn’s unparalleled access to the entire metro DC region has resonated with corporate decision makers. When a company of Nestlé’s stature and global reach enters the market, it says a lot for the Rosslyn, Virginia story.”

On the heels of the Nestlé transaction and as a result of projected increases in defense spending under the Trump administration, Monday Properties expects to see sustained momentum in commercial real estate leasing within Rosslyn over the coming months.  Monday has transacted on over 650,000 square feet of leasing activity in Rosslyn over the past 18 months.

by ARLnow.com Sponsor — January 31, 2017 at 12:45 pm 0

Ask Eli banner

This regularly-scheduled sponsored Q&A column is written by Eli Tucker, Arlington-based Realtor and Rosslyn resident. Please submit your questions to him via email for response in future columns. Enjoy!

Question: What’s being built across the street from Turnberry Tower in Rosslyn?

Answer: We don’t see many new condo projects these days in Arlington, developers are going with apartments due to low interest rates and surging rents, so the new Key & Nash condo and townhome project in Rosslyn is a welcome addition to the neighborhood. Over the last five years, we’ve had an underwhelming number of condo deliveries.

Along the Rosslyn-Ballston corridor, the only new condo sales have been Arc 3409 in Virginia Square (converted from a hotel in 2014) and Gaslight Square in Rosslyn (luxury condos).

On Thursday evening, the Key & Nash team hosted an unveiling party on the 23rd floor of 1812 N. Moore (the Monday Properties/Goldman Sachs building that has sat empty the last few years) to release details of the project and start sales for a late-2017 delivery. Leading up to the project, I expected that NVHomes’ new Urban Division would look to successful nearby luxury projects like Gaslight Square, The Wooster, Rosslyn Key, and Rhodes Hill Square for their design and pricing with an emphasis on Gaslight Square considering its most recent success with Phase 3 (final build-out).

Instead of delivering a fully custom luxury product, NVHomes is sticking with their bread and butter formula of delivering a more moderate project that fits surprisingly well between Rosslyn’s mid-market options like The Atrium, The Belvedere, 1800 Wilson and its luxury options like Turnberry Tower, Waterview, and those mentioned above. It makes sense for NVHomes, avoids over-saturating the Rosslyn luxury market, and satisfies demand.

With just over sixty units including 1BR + den, 2BR, 2BR + den, and 3BR flats ranging from about 850sqft to just over 1,500 sq ft, plus five 3BR townhomes at nearly 2,000 sq ft there are a surprising number of options for buyers.  Starting in the low $600s and clearing the $1M mark for some of the larger flats and townhomes, it’s an attractive $/sq ft for a new building just a block from the metro and likely to benefit from the massive redevelopment of downtown Rosslyn. For market-average condo fees, residents will get a high-end gym, 7-day/week concierge, roof deck, large common terrace w/ grills, and underground parking.

I’m looking forward to seeing how the larger 2BR + den/3BR flats do compared to the townhomes. I think the challenge for the townhomes will be the fact that the master bedroom is the entire top floor, with the 2nd and 3rd bedrooms on the 2nd floor (main level is kitchen and living space), making it a difficult layout for buyers with a young child (prefer to sleep on the same level) and a lot of steps for regular trips between living space and master bedroom. However, with only five townhomes being delivered, they’ll probably be the first to sell-out.

Personally, I think the best value purchases are the 1BR + den and smaller 2BR/2BA because they’ll make great rental properties with the dens/2nd bedrooms being on opposite sides of the apartment from the master bedroom (ideal for roommates). If you’re planning to live there for a while and can afford the premium, there are two 2BRs with 500 sq ft private terraces and a handful of 1BR + den and 2BRs in the back with larger Limited Common Element terraces (only accessible to your unit, but technically common space) that offer hard-to-find “useable” outdoor space.

While there wasn’t anybody camping out for the sales office to open, the line to sign-up for a sales meeting on Thursday night reached 50+ people at some points and there were probably a few hundred people at the event. The R-B corridor and Arlington market is hungry for new condos and this delivers at a price range that meets a lot of budgets and designed to accommodate a range of buyer types, so I expect sales to move fairly quickly, even though people won’t get to step foot into a unit until the end of the year.

Feel free to reach out to me at Eli@RealtyDCMetro.com if you have any specific questions about the floor plans, pricing, location, sales process, etc or if you’re considering a purchase in the building. I’d be happy to discuss details and my thoughts on the investment potential of purchasing in Rosslyn.

If you’d like a question answered in my weekly column, please send an email to Eli@RealtyDCMetro.com. To read any of my older posts, visit the blog section of my website at http://www.RealtyDCMetro.com.

Eli Tucker is a licensed Realtor in Virginia, Washington DC, and Maryland with Real Living At Home, 2420 Wilson Blvd #101 Arlington, VA 22201, (202) 518-8781.

by ARLnow.com — January 26, 2017 at 3:45 pm 0

Overhead view of proposed Spirit of America Tower site (photo via Google Maps)

A local developer is proposing to build a 325-foot Space Needle-like tourist destination, dubbed the Spirit of America Tower, in Rosslyn.

The tower would be built on VDOT land alongside Route 110, near the junction with I-66, and would be designed to be a first stop for visitors to the nation’s capital, according to developer James H. Burch.

From a description of the project:

The Spirit of America Tower is going to be an interactive, introductory museum about Washington, D.C. and the founding principals of our country. People come to Washington, D.C. and rarely get an introduction to the whole city; rather, they see it piece-meal. The Spirit of America Tower will not only give that introduction to the city and its founding principles, but also take note of the fact that every individual has a unique talent or gift, and that this country was founded so that they could fulfill their dream. This monument will be one in which they see the radical beauty in those plans and that they have the opportunity to live up to the founders’ hopes for America.

Burch was a former owner of the land on which National Harbor now sits; he sold it after proposing a mixed-use townhouse-and-office project called the “Bay of America.” Burch also recently bid, unsuccessfully, on the redevelopment of the World Trade Center in New Orleans.

The Spirit of America Tower, Burch says, will feature a modern design — “lofty yet very real, and a visceral experience” — from the firm behind the One World Observatory on the top of One World Trade Center in New York City. Early concept sketches show at least three levels on the tower: an observation deck, a landing deck and an event facility deck.

“It will be designed by the best visionary firms available… with interactive depictions of historic events, and then guides/storytellers who tell the stories of Washington, D.C.,” Burch told ARLnow.com. “It is also a spectacular view.”

Road plan for Spirit of America Tower site (photo courtesy James H. Burch)The exact placement of the tower and its accompanying parking garage and ground floor welcome center and theater may seem unusual and fraught with regulatory hurdles, but Burch says it is doable.

“The Tower is projected to be on a VDOT property just outside Rosslyn at the foot of Wilson Boulevard, between River Place and the Potomac River,” he said via email. “It will be 325′ tall, about 100′ lower than the Rosslyn skyline, and below the National Airport height limitation of 328′. It will be one floor of parking (all parking on site), one floor of introductory experiences on top of the garage, and all covered by a 4-acre landscaped public park, with walking and bike paths. There will be one 10,000 sq. ft. floor at the top of a spindle, accessed by glass elevators, and another 10,000 sq. ft. floor at that elevation for events — 650 sit-down dinner or 1,000 for a standing reception.”

“The only way in or out will be via Wilson Boulevard, where a new road will go under the tunnel and into the property via a bridge or a tunnel,” he continued. “The Commissioner of VDOT has said that this will not be an engineering problem, and our traffic engineer has said that we will not cause noticeable traffic congestion.”

Another part of the plan: a possible connection to the Potomac River.

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by ARLnow.com — January 25, 2017 at 1:00 pm 0

Police car (file photo)A woman was arrested last Thursday night and charged with biting an Arlington County police officer.

Police say the woman was in Rosslyn, arguing with someone she knew, but became “aggressive and hostile” after officers intervened.

From this week’s ACPD crime report:

ASSAULT & BATTERY ON POLICE, 2017-01190332, 1800 block of N. Nash Street. At approximately 10:06 p.m. on January 19, officers responded to the report of a dispute between two known individuals. While officers were interviewing the involved parties, the female suspect became verbally aggressive and hostile. As officers were attempting to secure her in handcuffs, the suspect allegedly bit one of the officers on the leg.  Idella Tah, 38, of an unknown address, was arrested and charged with assault on police. She is being held on no bond.

The rest of the past week’s crime report highlights, including some that we’ve already reported, after the jump.

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by Tim Regan — January 24, 2017 at 5:15 pm 0

A low-rise Best Western hotel along Route 50, in Rosslyn, could be slated for a big redevelopment project.

Alliance Hospitality, which owns the Best Western Iwo Jima hotel at 1501 Arlington Blvd, has filed a preliminary site plan for the property. The company proposes to redevelop the hotel and an adjacent garden apartment building it also owns — the Ellis Arms Apartments at 1523 Fairfax Drive — into a 250-room “dual brand hotel” and a 64-unit residential building.

Sketches included in the filing appear to show a hotel building that is 12-13 stories tall. According to the site plan, the redevelopment would also include a five- or six-level parking garage and amenities like public art; sidewalk, curb and gutter improvements; streetscape improvements and bicycle parking.

The Best Western, which would be torn down, currently houses a Ledo Pizza restaurant on the first floor.

The planned redevelopment is still in its early stages. The project must be reviewed by the Site Plan Review Committee (SPRC), then be presented to both the Arlington Planning Commission and the County Board.

Photo (5) via Google Maps

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