New Elementary School Approved — After a years-long process that included neighborhood opposition and lots of community discussion, the Arlington County Board has approved a use permit and ground lease for a new elementary school on the Thomas Jefferson middle school and community center site. [Arlington County]
Rosslyn Farmers Market Approved — Also at its Saturday meeting, the County Board gave the go-ahead to a new FreshFarm Markets-operated farmers market that will be held at the new Central Place public plaza in Rosslyn. The market will be open on Wednesday evenings from April to November. [Arlington County]
Bebe Closing at Pentagon City Mall — The Bebe store at the Pentagon City mall will close by the end of May. It’s part of a larger restructuring for the struggling young women’s clothing retailer. [Patch]
County Board to Honor Trees — “Arlington has about 755,400 trees of at least 122 species that provide $6.89 million in environmental benefits to the County annually in pollution removal, carbon storage, energy savings and avoided stormwater runoff. The Arlington County Board will honor 10 of these trees as Notable Trees at the April 25 County Board Meeting.” [Arlington County]
Blue Virginia’s School Board Endorsement — Local Democratic blog Blue Virginia has endorsed Monique O’Grady in the race for the Democratic endorsement for Arlington School Board. The endorsement cites incumbent James Lander’s recent controversial remarks about a murder victim as a reason for not endorsing him. [Blue Virginia]
Flickr pool photo by Ameschen
Rosslyn could be getting its own farmers market. The Arlington County Board is scheduled to take up the issue at its meeting on Saturday.
FRESHFARM has applied to operate a farmers market in the Central Place plaza (1800 N. Lynn Street), which would run on Wednesday evenings from 4-8 p.m. from April to November.
FRESHFARM anticipates that up to 10 vendors would sell at the market for the first year.
County staff have not identified any issues with the request and recommend that the Board approves the permit for the farmers market, with a review in one year.
(Updated 4:10 p.m.) A new McDonald’s in Rosslyn appears close to opening in the new Central Place building.
External signage is up for the fast food restaurant, and on Tuesday morning construction crews were installing signs inside the windows too. Preparations continue inside the ground-floor space, while the sidewalks around the property appear largely complete.
Rosslyn’s previous McDonald’s at 1823 N. Moore Street closed in 2014 to make way for the Central Place development. At that time, a sign in the McDonald’s window stated it would be closed “indefinitely,” which left open the possibility that the eatery would return to Rosslyn in the future.
A company spokeswoman said the eatery is set to open this spring, although an exact date is to be determined.
The first incident took place around midnight on Saturday. A witness reported in a tweet that more than a dozen riders drove the wrong way on the Key Bridge on their way into Arlington, and police followed.
The 15-20 motorbike/ATV riders have gone wrong way across Key Bridge into Arlington County now. ACPD following them.
— Alan Henney (@alanhenney) April 9, 2017
Arlington County police say they were notified of the approaching group by Metropolitan Police around midnight Saturday. The riders traveled through Rosslyn onto westbound Route 50, worked their way south to Army Navy Drive, then turned back north on I-395 and re-entered the District at 12:12 a.m., according to ACPD.
The second incident happened around 7 p.m. on Sunday when an Arlington police officer patrolling the 1200 block of N. Courthouse Road spotted a group of about 75 dirt bikes and ATVs driving on Arlington Blvd. They traveled to Route 1 and south into Alexandria.
Police say that during both occurrences they monitored the group of riders and maintained a rolling roadblock to keep pedestrians and motorists safe.
State law prohibits the operation of ATVs on public highways. An ACPD spokesperson says the drivers in question operate the vehicles without considering the care and safety of others; they have been seen locally traveling at high rates of speed, veering into oncoming traffic and driving on sidewalks. Police are investigating the incidents to identify those involved.
Several law enforcement authorities in the region report that they’re aggressively working together on a solution. Last April, they held a joint press conference regarding ATV operation on area roadways. Metropolitan Police offer a reward of $250 for information leading to the identification of suspects in these incidents.
Anyone who sees ATVs operating in Arlington County — or who knows the identity of someone riding the vehicles on county roads — is encouraged to call the police non-emergency number at 703-558-2222. Information can also be provided anonymously to Arlington County Crime Solvers at 1-866-411-TIPS.
File screen shot via PoPville
Washington Business Journal Downsizes HQ — The Washington Business Journal has moved out of its headquarters at 1555 Wilson Blvd in Rosslyn, where it had been for 20 years. The publication moved just down the street to 1100 Wilson Blvd. The downsize puts WBJ in a location that is about 3,000 square feet smaller than its previous space. [WTOP]
Civic Leaders Honored — The Arlington County Civic Federation honored two residents for their years of community leadership and activism. The organization recognized Jim Pebley and Stefanie Pryor at its anniversary dinner on Friday. [InsideNova]
Northern Virginia Businessman Dies at 100 — Well-known sportsman and businessman Randolph “Randy” Rouse died on Friday. A long-time Arlington resident, Rouse is a Washington-Lee High School graduate and began his foray into real estate in 1947. He was said to entertain visitors at his 10-acre Arlington estate — the Febrey-Lothrop house on Wilson Blvd and N. McKinley Street — with tunes from his saxophone. Rouse was 100. [Fauquier Times]
Update on New Hotel Near Rosslyn — A new Homewood Suites hotel being built near Rosslyn recently celebrated its “topping out.” The 11-story hotel, which replaced the former Colony House Furniture store, is expected to be completed by early 2018. [Commercial Property Executive]
Gov. Recommends Changes to Towing Bill — Gov. Terry McAuliffe has sent a trespass towing bill back to the General Assembly with significant recommended changes. The bill in its current form would raise towing fees in Northern Virginia and prohibit Arlington from enacting its new “second signature” requirement on tows during business hours. [InsideNova]
Hospitality Workers Lauded — The Arlington Chamber of Commerce held its 13th annual Hospitality Awards on Tuesday. From a press release: “One winner, Fayssal Samaka of the The Ritz-Carlton, Pentagon City once checked in a family at the hotel, when he overheard that the father was recovering from cancer. Samaka arranged for the family to stay in the Presidential Suite and even booked them a tour. A few months later, the family informed the general manager that the father had passed away, and because the last trip they took together as a family was at The Ritz-Carlton, they would come back every year on vacation.” [Arlington Chamber of Commerce]
Project Explores Arlington Communities — A just-submitted doctoral dissertation examines “the processes of community development, suburbanization, and segregation that Arlingtonians, black and white, used to create lasting communities that met their own needs and reflected their own preferences.” The project’s exhibits include the local history of government housing during World War II, Arlington’s historically black communities, and the history of the American Nazi Party in the county. [Built By the People Themselves]
Flickr pool photo by Lisa Novak
The incident happened behind Fire Station 10, in Rosslyn Highlands Park, according to scanner traffic.
“At approximately 3:32 p.m. on March 22, officers were dispatched to the report of two subjects allegedly engaged in sexual activity in public view,” Arlington County Police said in a crime report. “As officers were conducting the investigation, the female subject charged at the officer and struck him repeatedly.”
“Nicole Faircloth, 42, of No Fixed Address was arrested and charged with assault and battery on police and performing a sexual act in a public place,” the crime report continued. “Petko Ubiparipovic, 42, of No Fixed Address, was arrested and charged with performing a sexual act in a public place. Both were held on bond.”
The Arlington County Board approved Tuesday a $12 million package of state and local grants for the relocation of Nestlé’s U.S. corporate headquarters to Rosslyn.
The food giant will receive $6 million in Commonwealth Opportunity Fund grant money from Virginia. COF money is incentive-based, and requires at least $36 million in capital investment and 748 new jobs with an average annual salary of $127,719.
That state grant will be matched by the county’s Economic Development Incentive grant and related infrastructure improvements. The $4 million EDI grant has the same requirements as the state grant but also requires that at least 205,000 square feet of space be leased.
The additional $2 million in infrastructure improvements is already planned in the county’s Capital Improvement Plan, said Christina Winn of Arlington Economic Development.
Winn said those improvements include the Corridor of Light public art installation on N. Lynn Street, the Lynn Street Esplanade and Custis Trail Improvement project, and relocation of bus stops on N. Moore Street.
The combination of grants shows “everybody giving a little bit to get so much back,” Winn said. She added that such incentives help Arlington stay competitive against its regional rivals, and that such programs are only used 7 percent of the time, when AED looks to attract big companies like Grant Thornton.
Board vice chair Katie Cristol said that she has previously been “skeptical” of such incentive programs, but that she sees their value in cases like this. Nestlé is projected to bring $14.2 million in net tax benefit to Arlington, and will bring an anchor tenant to the previously empty skyscraper at 1812 N. Moore Street. The move is seen as a big economic development win for the county.
“The case has been well made about what this means for Arlington County and why this is a significant decision on the part of Nestlé,” Cristol said.
Photo courtesy Monday Properties
Rosslyn CAFE — Community, Arts, Food and Entertainment — is being produced by the Rosslyn BID. The free events are part of the business improvement district’s goal to create community events that take advantage of “unknown or unused spaces in the neighborhood.”
Next month’s series, known as April Arts & Beats, will take place on Fridays and feature a happy hour with new local artists each week, complimentary small plates and cocktails, wine and beer available for purchase.
The Bennett Park Art Atrium at 1601 Clarendon Blvd will host each Friday night. The space already has several pieces of public art by the likes of Virginia sculptors Foon Sham and Kendall Buster, and is open to the public from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays.
Entrance is free, but space is limited. More information is available on the Rosslyn BID website.
A Roti Modern Mediterranean restaurant is opening in Pentagon City, permits show.
The fast casual rotisserie eatery is coming to the ground floor of the Met Arcadia apartment building, at 1211 S. Fern Street, between two recently opened businesses: a Starbucks and an Orangetheory Fitness.
Interior construction appears to be underway inside. So far there’s no word as to when the restaurant is expected to open.
This will be Roti’s second location in Arlington County. The first is located at 1501 Wilson Blvd in Rosslyn.
The Rosslyn parking garage in which a Washington Post reporter met a source dubbed “Deep Throat” to discuss the Watergate scandal looks like it may not be relegated to the history books quite yet.
The garage and the two office buildings atop it were set for a major redevelopment. Approved in 2014, the plan was to build a 24-story office tower and a 28-story, 274-unit apartment building on the site.
But the original County Board approval for the plan expires in June and property owner Monday Properties is asking for a three-year extension at the Arlington County Board meeting this Saturday.
Other than the extension, no other changes to the development’s site plan have been proposed. County Manager Mark Schwartz is recommending the Board approve the extension.
Pacers is hosting its annual Four Courts Four Miler on Saturday. The race takes runners from the start at Ireland’s Four Courts along Wilson Boulevard and Jefferson Davis Highway before returning to the finish line outside the pub.
The starting gun will sound at 9 a.m.
Arlington police said they will close Wilson Boulevard from Courthouse Road to N. Rhodes Street from 6:30 to 11 a.m.
Wilson Boulevard also will be closed from Route 110 to N. Courthouse Road from 8:45 to 11 a.m., while Route 110 will be closed between Interstate 395 to Interstate 66 at the same time.
Police said street parking will be restricted, and vehicles parked illegally where there are temporary “No Parking” signs could be ticketed or towed.
The Safeway at 1525 Wilson Boulevard can be still be accessed at N. Nash Street or N. Oak Street, while southbound Route 110 will stay open. Metrobuses will detour from N. Moore Street west onto Wilson Boulevard and north on N. Nash Street from their regularly scheduled routes.
— Pacers Running (@runpacers) March 10, 2017
A live national stage show returns to Arlington later this year, and it’s all about motherhood.
Rosslyn’s Spectrum Theatre will welcome Listen To Your Mother on May 7 in the show’s final nationwide tour. It was first produced in 2010 in Madison, Wisc.
The show features live readings about motherhood by 11 local writers and bloggers, but not all the performers are mothers. In fact, director Kate Hood said, variety of experiences is key.
Perhaps one participant talks about their grandmother, or another describes the work of a friend’s mother. It is not just a show for mothers to share their stories of motherhood.
“There’s going to be some things that will make you laugh, stories that are crazy and you’ve never heard before,” Hood said. “But I think we have some pretty powerful moments too. It’s hard to say, because each person has a unique story.”
Hood worked alongside director Stephanie Stearns Dulli — a former actor previously based in Los Angeles — to choose the cast from about 40 people who audition. Both agreed it is very hard to narrow it down to a list of less than a dozen participants.
“Every year, casting feels like separating diamonds from diamonds, and this year was no exception,” Stearns Dulli said. “[One] minute I was spellbound by heartbreak and poignancy and then five minutes later in another audition, I would be laughing so hard my stomach ached.”
After participants are selected, Stearns Dulli leads a full read-through with the entire group, then meets with each person individually to give them tips on how to present and when to pause for laughter or at poignant moments.
Then on the day of the performance, those involved are led onto the stage, told where to sit, then say their first line and last line into the microphone to get a feel for being on stage. That is the closest the group gets to rehearsing their material before the event.
“It’s not very rehearsed, it’s very authentic, I guess you’d say,” Hood said.
But Hood said audiences react positively to the experience, and feel more involved in what takes place on stage.
“One thing we hear from the audience members that we talk to is that they felt like they weren’t just watching a show, they were experiencing something as a community,” Hood said. “It’s really special. It’s not just going to be entertained, it’s going to bear witness and to feel honored that somebody is letting you into their life.”
This year’s performers will be Jennifer Andos, Ejima Baker-Morales, Lou-Ann Wattley Belk, Hannah Grieco, Jessica Haney, Taylor Harris, Lottie Joiner, LaPonda Kersey-Salisbury, Rachel Nusbaum, Nina Parrish and Alison Rascher.
Tickets are available for purchase online.
From tomorrow until April 17, the trail will be rerouted east of N. Lynn Street onto an adjacent paved public driveway, according to Arlington County.
The route will have a steeper grade than the current trail, so bicyclists are advised to dismount before entering the detour zone.
On April 18, the next phase sees the trail rerouted at the northeast corner of its crossing at N. Lynn Street. The crossing will be shifted north until May 8.
The fourth and final phase begins May 9 west of N. Lynn Street, with the trail rerouted to the south side of Lee Highway between N. Lynn Street and N. Fort Myer Drive by Gateway Park until June 1. As the detour route for this phase is narrower than the current trail, bicyclists are asked to dismount or slow down when pedestrians are nearby.
Workers from the county along with the Virginia Department of Transportation and Dominion Virginia Power will be performing the work as part of the Lynn Street Esplanade & Custis Trail Improvements project. The project is intended to improve safety for bicyclists and pedestrians, particularly at the dangerous intersection of Lynn Street and Lee Highway.
Signs will inform trail users of the various detours, and work dates may vary.
Rosslyn is slated to get a new 180-seat indoor and outdoor beer garden this April.
Or at least, that’s the plan, said owner Curt Large, who also owns nearby Continental Pool Lounge. Large is working to open a new hangout dubbed the Continental Beer Garden in a space currently used as a pop-up urban park with tables, chairs, potted plants and a mural at the corner of 19th Street and N. Moore Street.
“Everything still has to come together,” Large said. “We’ve made a lot of progress, but all the finishes need to occur.”
As ARLnow.com originally reported last August, the work includes a full renovation of the former service station located under the office building at 1901 N. Fort Myer Drive. That indoor area will be transformed into a bar and small seating area with a kitchen and bathrooms. But the real action happens outside, Large said. When it opens, the 4,000 square foot outdoor beer garden will have two bocce courts, picnic tables, outdoor sofas and comfy chairs.
“We hope that the seats fill up just because there’s demand for it,” he said. “As soon as the weather gets nice, people who are in offices all day will want to spend some time outside.”
At the bar, patrons can order beers from Virginia breweries such as Port City and Lost Rhino, Large said. The beer garden will also serve a couple German beers, a selection of wines on tap and happy hour mainstays such as sausage platters, meat skewers and pretzels with beer cheese.
Large started working on the former service station in 2013, when it was occupied by cars and two dumpsters.
“I walked past the space one day and had an epiphany,” he said. “This should be a beer garden.”
The space sat vacant for about two decades before being converted to an outdoor seating area by property owner JBG and the Rosslyn Business Improvement District in 2014. In the past, the lot has seen a number of events, including a pop-up beer garden organized by the Continental two years ago.