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by Chris Teale December 14, 2017 at 12:45 pm 0

Northern Virginia office space is most expensive to rent on Wilson Blvd in Rosslyn, according to a study.

Commercial real estate firm JLL found that rents on the street in Rosslyn average between $56 and $65 per square foot, and that those rents are increasing.

The study found that average rent increase is due to new high-end “trophy class” offices coming online, as well as the unobstructed views of Washington, D.C. and the Potomac River. Those “trophy” offices include top amenities, good views of their surroundings and are connected to transit options like Metro and bus routes.

“The new trophy buildings not only deliver high-end modern office space, but will help transform Rosslyn from a sleepy 9-5 business district into a vibrant live-work-play neighborhood,” Michael Hartnett, senior research manager in JLL’s Northern Virginia office, said in a statement.

Across the region, average rents on office space remain high even as jurisdictions battle with a high vacancy rate. Arlington County’s office vacancy rate is just over 17 percent, even with the likes of Nestle moving to Rosslyn.

“Despite the U.S. office market posting 81 million square feet of net absorption the past 24 months and posting rent growth of 8.2 percent, the Metro D.C. market has posted nearly 700,000 square feet of occupancy losses and a rent decline of 6.9 percent,” John Sikaitis, managing director of research at JLL, said in a statement. “In this challenging market, there are an equal mix of winners and losers and on the demand side, these nuanced high-priced corridors at the intersection of Main and Main have attracted the most demand and been some of the more resilient segments of the market.”

Photo via Monday Properties

by ARLnow.com December 14, 2017 at 8:35 am 0

Truck Crash Closes I-395 Lanes — A truck crash on southbound I-395 today closed as many as three lanes during the morning rush hour. [Washington Post, Twitter]

Stepped Up Drunk Driving Enforcement — During the holidays, from Dec. 13-31, Arlington County Police will be increasing DUI patrols as part of the national Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over enforcement campaign. [Arlington County]

Step Forward in Plan for Second Rosslyn Station — “Metro officials are taking a small but symbolic step in their hope of someday building a second station in Rosslyn. On Thursday, the Metro board is expected to approve an application to the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority to request $2 million in grant money that would help the agency study ways to increase capacity on the Blue, Orange and Silver lines in Northern Virginia.” [Washington Post]

More on Freddie’s Award — The Arlington Human Rights Commission is scheduled to present their 2017 Human Rights Awards today. Among the winners was Crystal City staple Freddie’s Beach Bar. Owner Freddie Lutz said of the award: “I’m just extremely honored having grown up in Arlington County and went from elementary school to high school in Arlington County to be recognized in this way.” [Washington Blade]

Grumbles About Delivery Trucks on the Pike — Delivery trucks often park on Columbia Pike, blocking one of two, including during rush hour. Frustration over delivery trucks parking on the Pike led one resident to tweet a short video illustrating the issue. [Twitter]

by Chris Teale December 13, 2017 at 3:45 pm 0

Central Place Plaza in Rosslyn will be alive with holiday cheer tomorrow (Thursday) for the Rosslyn Carols! Holiday Concert.

Hosted by the Rosslyn Business Improvement District for the first time at the public plaza at 1800 N. Lynn Street, the event will include a lunchtime concert, then in the evening a DJ, games and food and drink.

A choir from H-B Woodlawn will lead the singing of Christmas carols from 6:15 p.m., then local band The Woodshedders will play a live concert from 7 p.m.

And throughout the day, attendees can have free photographs taken in a life-size snow globe.

The full list of festivities on offer is below:

  • Noon-10 p.m.: Free photo-ops in the life-size snow globe.
  • Noon-2 p.m.: Holiday lunchtime concert.
  • 4:30 p.m.: Festivities start on the plaza with a DJ, holiday games, drinks and food for purchase.
  • 6:15 p.m.: Holiday caroling from H-B Woodlawn
  • 7:00 p.m.: Live concert featuring The Woodshedders

by Chris Teale December 11, 2017 at 11:00 am 0

Pancho Villa Mexican Cuisine has apparently closed in Rosslyn.

The restaurant at 1850 Fort Myer Drive opened last year in the former home to the short-lived Secret Chopsticks restaurant. It is across the intersection from Arlington Temple United Methodist Church.

As of Monday morning, the restaurant’s chairs and tables were still in place, but the inside looked bare and the bar area had been stripped of all its bottles and draught beers. A sign on one of the outside windows appeared to have been ripped down.

The phone number listed on its website is also out of service.

Pancho Villa served made-from-scratch Mexican food. Its menu included staples like tacos, burritos, enchiladas and fajitas, as well as so-called “special dinners” for customers to have different combinations. It also had an extensive drinks menu.

by ARLnow.com December 11, 2017 at 8:00 am 0

Planning for Transportation Changes in Rosslyn — “Local officials are now partnering with developers to make more improvements to help convince the next big corporate tenant to pick Rosslyn.” [Bisnow]

Teavana to Remain Open — Set to close next year, the Teavana store at Pentagon City mall is now expected to remain open thanks to a judge’s ruling against parent company Starbucks. [Washington Business Journal]

Lopez’s Detention Center Work Criticized — “Del. Alfonso H. Lopez, a Democrat who has represented a Hispanic­-heavy South Arlington district since 2012, was paid more than $5,000 a year in 2014 and more than $10,000 a year in 2015 and 2016 by Immigration Centers of America (ICA), which operates a detention center in Farmville, Va. , according to his state financial disclosure reports.” [Washington Post]

Holiday Events for Incarcerated Parents — Today and tomorrow, the Arlington County jail will be hosting a pair of “special events to allow incarcerated mothers and fathers to visit with their children during the winter holidays.” [Arlington County]

ACPD Show Goes On Despite Snow — The Arlington County Police Department’s “Operation Santa” performance, featuring cops donning costumes and dancing for children in the community, went on Saturday despite the snowy weather. [Twitter]

Flickr pool photo by Erinn Shirley

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 ARLnow.com December 6, 2017 at 8:45 am 0

Disparities in New Middle School Boundaries — “Under a staff plan slated to go to the School Board Dec. 14, middle schools will have economically-disadvantaged populations ranging from 1 percent of the student body at Williamsburg Middle School to 52 percent of the student body at Kenmore Middle School, with the other schools falling in between.” [InsideNova]

Winner of Marine Corps Marathon Works at 7-Eleven — The winner of this year’s Marine Corps Marathon lives in Nauck and works at an Arlington 7-Eleven store. Desta Beriso Morkama, a 32-year-old Ethiopian immigrant, arrived in the U.S. in September 2016. He has been receiving training and assistance settling into his new Arlington life from a number of local people and groups, including local running coach Jay Jacob Wind. [Falls Church News-Press]

JBG Installing Giant Screens at Central Place — JBG Smith plans to exceed the county-imposed public art requirement at its new Central Place development, thanks to a project that will install giant screens in various places around the apartment and office building. The screens will display moving images, including artwork and nature scenes. [Washington Business Journal]

Hybla Valley = The Next Shirlington? — Fairfax County has big plans for a car-oriented neighborhood south of Alexandria: “The plans also include a 3.1-mile extension of the Yellow Line that would connect the Huntington station to the Hybla Valley section of Richmond Highway, in hopes of creating a pedestrian-friendly urban neighborhood akin to nearby Shirlington.” [Washington Post]

Flickr pool photo by Joe Green

by ARLnow.com December 5, 2017 at 3:45 pm 0

A man suspected of robbing a store on Columbia Pike was arrested while trying to steal a car in the Rosslyn area, according to a pair of ACPD crime reports.

The alleged crimes happened over the weekend.

Around 9:15 p.m. Saturday, police say 54-year-old Arlington resident Donnell Cook held up a store on the 5500 block of Columbia Pike by implying to the clerk that he had a gun, before fleeing on foot. The store was not named in the police report.

The next day, just before midnight, police say they responded to the 1800 block of N. Quinn Street, in western Rosslyn, for a report of a man tampering with a vehicle. They say they found Cook inside a car that had “extensive damage,” and identified him as the previous night’s robbery suspect.

Cook is now facing a litany of charges, including robbery, attempted grand larceny auto, destruction of property and providing false identification to law enforcement. Earlier this year Cook was arrested and charged with public intoxication.

More from the Arlington County Police Department crime reports:

ROBBERY, 2017-12020258, 5500 block of Columbia Pike. At approximately 9:15 p.m. on December 2, police were dispatched to the report of a larceny just occurred. Upon arrival, it was determined that an unknown suspect entered a business and approached an employee behind the counter, implying he had a gun. The suspect forced his way behind the counter and stole money from the cash register, before fleeing on foot. Units set up a perimeter and a K-9 track yielded negative results. During the course of the investigation, officers developed a suspect identification and obtained an arrest warrant. Upon hearing the broadcast suspect lookout in the below attempted grand larceny auto (2017-12030251) case, officers responded and confirmed he was wanted on the outstanding robbery warrant. Donnell Cook, 54, of Arlington, VA, was arrested and charged with Robbery and Providing False ID to Law Enforcement to Avoid Arrest.

ATTEMPTED GRAND LARCENY WITH APPREHENSION, 2017-12030251, 1800 block of N. Quinn Street. At approximately 11:57 p.m. on December 3, police were dispatched to the report of a suspect tampering with a vehicle. Upon arrival, a suspect was located inside of the vehicle, which had extensive damage. Arriving officers identified the suspect as being wanted in a robbery case that occurred on December 2. Donnell Cook, 54, of Arlington, VA, was arrested and charged with Destruction of Property, Possession of Burglarous Tools and Attempted Grand Larceny Auto.

by Chris Teale December 5, 2017 at 1:45 pm 0

A CVS in Rosslyn will close early next year.

A sign on the door of the pharmacy and store at 1555 Wilson Blvd says it will shutter on January 3.

The CVS is on the first floor of a soon-to-redevelop office building, alongside the now-shuttered Quiznos Subs and Domino’s Pizza.

Developer Penzance is planning to raze the current building and replace it with two apartment buildings, ground-floor retail and the new Fire Station 10.

The site is also close to the Wilson School, future home of the H-B Woodlawn Secondary Program, where construction is underway. Both properties are a part of the broader Western Rosslyn Area Plan, a vision for development in that section of the neighborhood.

The other CVS in Rosslyn is located at 1100 Wilson Blvd.

Hat-tip to Allix H.

by Chris Teale November 30, 2017 at 3:15 pm 0

Update at 3:25 p.m. – Police have reopened the left-hand lane of westbound I-66. Traffic is proceeding slowly. Drivers can still expect delays as firefighters leave the scene.

Earlier: A vehicle fire closed the Rosslyn Tunnel on I-66 just after 3 p.m. this afternoon.

According to scanner traffic, a vehicle caught fire in the westbound lanes at mile marker 74.5. Traffic cameras showed the car had pulled over into the right shoulder.

Virginia State Police shut the tunnel to traffic heading west, with firefighters from the Arlington County Fire Department on scene to help put out the flames.

From the traffic cameras, there appeared to be some flames from the car’s underside, but firefighters quickly put out any fire just before 3:20 p.m.

Drivers in the area can expect delays.

by ARLnow.com November 22, 2017 at 8:15 am 0

ACPD Urges Vigilance at Malls, On Metro — “As the Holiday Season approaches, residents and visitors of Arlington County are asked to help protect their community by reporting suspicious activity to police for investigation. There are no known threats to Arlington County, however, the public is encouraged to remain vigilant, particularly in areas where large crowds of people typically gather such as shopping centers, restaurant districts, religious services, and public transportation hubs to name a few.” [Arlington County]

Thanksgiving Safety Tips — The Arlington County Fire Department is again sharing Thanksgiving cooking safety tips, especially for those using a turkey fryer. Meanwhile, the county’s Dept. of Environmental Services is reminding residents to avoid pouring “FOG” — fats, oils and grease — down the drain as it can resulte in pipe clogs. [Arlington County, Arlington County]

AHC Hosts Thanksgiving Meal for Residents — Earlier this week, local affordable housing provider AHC hosted Thanksgiving celebrations at six community centers. Per a press release, “AHC staff teamed up with dozens of volunteers to cook more than 30 turkeys, prepare side dishes, and help decorate community spaces for hundreds of residents to enjoy a Thanksgiving feast together.” [AHC Inc.]

Arlington an ‘All-Star’ for LGBTQ Protections — “Arlington County has again been named one of 41 American ‘All-Star Cities’ for its high standards of inclusiveness and protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer communities. Arlington scored 93 out of 100 on the Human Rights Campaign’s Municipal Equality Index (MEI).” [Arlington County]

Turkey Trot 5K Road Closures — This year’s 12th annual Arlington Turkey Trot 5K will take place tomorrow (Thanksgiving) morning. A number of streets in the Lyon Park, Penrose and Ashton Heights neighborhoods will be closed between 7-10 a.m. as a result. [Arlington County]

Rosslyn Repositions Itself — “Once a hub for government agencies and 9-to-5 commuters, Rosslyn has transformed into a live-work-play destination for millennials. Media companies, consulting firms and financial services have set up shop in the submarket’s Class-A office buildings, drawn to amenities like fitness centers, games, roof decks and outdoor spaces.” [Bisnow]

by ARLnow.com November 21, 2017 at 8:30 am 0

Lost Hikers Found Near Chain Bridge — Two men who had apparently been hiking along the Potomac River got lost and had to call emergency dispatchers after one of them fell and hurt himself. The call came in around 2:30 a.m. this morning. Arlington, Fairfax County, D.C. and U.S. Park Police units helped to search for the men — Fairfax used its police helicopter — and eventually they were found and transported to the hospital. [WUSA 9]

Video: ACFD Responds to FC Vehicle Fire — A minivan caught on fire in Falls Church over the weekend and a camera was rolling as Arlington County firefighters arrived to extinguish the blaze. [Twitter]

Holiday Decorations Going Up — Around Clarendon yesterday — and perhaps in other parts of the county as well — lights, window paintings and other festive decorations were being put up in anticipation of the holiday season. [Instagram]

Arlington Mill Gym Floor Installed — The new gym floor has been installed and is ready to use at the Arlington Mill Community Center. The gym’s previous floor had to be removed due to water damage stemming from a March snow storm. [Twitter]

County Announces Human Rights Award Winners — Among the recipients of Arlington County’s 2017 James B. Hunter Award winners are: Signature Theatre’s Eric Schaeffer; the Building Bridges community initiative; Saint George’s Episcopal Church and its refugee advocacy; Café Sazón and its support of immigrant rights; and Freddie’s Beach Bar in Crystal City, which is considered the only gay bar in Northern Virginia. [Arlington County]

Reporter Accused of Unwanted Advances in Local Bar — New York Times reporter Glenn Thrush has been suspended following accusations that during his time at Arlington-based Politico, he made unwanted sexual advances at young, female colleagues while drinking at a Rosslyn bar. [Vox]

by ARLnow.com November 17, 2017 at 4:35 pm 0

The Key Bridge Marriott and the 5.5 acres of prime Rosslyn real estate around it are being purchased by a pair of Los Angeles investment firms for $190 million, the Washington Business Journal reported today (Friday).

The firms plan to invest in rehabbing the hotel, WBJ reports, and a portion of the partially-wooded site between Lee Highway and the GW Parkway is expected to be redeveloped as new residential properties and possibly some retail. The buyers were among a number of companies with redevelopment visions bidding to acquire the site, ARLnow.com hears.

The hotel first opened in 1959 as the Key Bridge Motor Inn, one of Marriott’s earliest hotels (the first was the Twin Bridges Motor Hotel, in Arlington near the 14th Street Bridge).

Photo via Google Maps

by Chris Teale November 16, 2017 at 10:45 am 0

The former Artisphere space in Rosslyn has a new lease on life, as co-working area Spaces opened earlier this week.

Spaces is located at 1101 Wilson Blvd, in a building owned by Monday Properties. The chain’s Rosslyn location offers 303 desks in a 37,000-square-foot office space. Members can use any workstation, or can pay more to reserve one. Suites are also available for small businesses. Up to 800 members can be accommodated.

A large open area with a full kitchen, bar/café and eight beer taps can be reserved for meetings and parties, and doubles as a co-working space when not in use for events.

Members can also access 9,000 square feet of outdoor space, including a large balcony, while its upper atrium connects to Rosslyn’s Freedom Park.

At a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Monday, Rosslyn Business Improvement District president and CEO Mary-Claire Burick said the new co-working space, one of several open or planning to open in Arlington, will foster community.

“We love how Spaces encourages a sense of community with its design, programs and overall empowering atmosphere,” Burick said. “That’s what we’re all about here in Rosslyn, so I know you and your clients will feel right at home. I want you to know that you have the full support of the Rosslyn business community, because when you succeed, we all succeed.”

Photos via Mary Parker Architectural Photography, courtesy of Monday Properties. Disclosure: Monday Properties is an ARLnow advertiser.

by ARLnow.com November 15, 2017 at 2:35 pm 0

Arlington County and seemingly every other place in North America is competing to host Amazon’s second corporate headquarters. But while the odds seem long, Crystal City actually has a good shot at being one of the finalists in Amazon’s search.

The D.C. area is widely regarded as a likely contender for “HQ2,” but sources tell ARLnow.com that the District itself is unlikely to get the headquarters, in part due to high taxes, high real estate costs, a lack of available contiguous space that meets Amazon’s expectations and a lack of congressional representation.

That would leave the areas surrounding D.C. as contenders, and none has the available space and is more accessible to downtown, transit and an airport than Crystal City.

Specifically, commercial real estate sources tell us, Crystal City and Potomac Yard are, in combination, regarded by many as the region’s best chance at landing HQ2. Among the advantages:

  • Available contiguous office space and developable land, thanks to BRAC and the development of Potomac Yard.
  • Only having to deal with one primary property owner, JBG Smith, which owns much of Crystal City and Potomac Yard. (The company did submit a bid, the Washington Business Journal confirmed this week.)
  • Proximity to Metro’s Yellow and Blue lines.
  • Close proximity to a major airport, Reagan National.
  • An urban “downtown”-like setting with restaurants, hotels, shopping and other amenities within walking distance.
  • Congressional representation.
  • Low state taxes.

As outlined by Washingtonian, Crystal City also comes with all of the benefits of the D.C. region: ample tech talent and universities nearby, proximity to the federal government, and an easy drive for Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos from his new Kalorama mansion. It also comes with some of the negatives: higher real estate costs than smaller cities, high cost of living for workers and thus higher salary costs.

Fresh off of its big win in attracting Nestle’s U.S. headquarters, Rosslyn has also tossed its hat into the HQ2 ring, sources tell us. Rosslyn has many of Crystal City’s pluses but, we’re told, lacks developable space and would be tight quarters for the online giant.

Sites in Fairfax and Loudoun counties — near existing Amazon data centers and offices — have been pitched, but sources expect a site closer to the District to be more attractive to Amazon for HQ2.

Arlington Economic Development, meanwhile, is keeping its pitch to Amazon close to the vest, publicly revealing few details. Likewise Angela Fox, CEO of the Crystal City Business Improvement District, declined to comment for this article.

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