(Updated at 4:40 p.m)
Students at Virginia Tech’s Washington-Alexandria Architecture Center have joined Arlington County planners in brainstorming ideas to revitalize the Rosslyn waterfront.
Rosslyn residents and visitors currently have no direct walkway to the Potomac River or even a path to reach the Key Bridge to get into Georgetown, without crossing busy roads and on-ramps.
“Most cities and counties have recognized the value of their waterfronts as a gathering place,” Arlington’s planning supervisor for urban design and research Kris Krider said in a news release. “But the waterfront below Rosslyn has little pedestrian access and must overcome the barrier of busy highways and large numbers of drivers . . . who just whiz by with seemingly no interest in stopping to explore the area.”
Virginia Tech associate professor Paul Kelsch and doctorate student Jodi LaCoe developed three options the students could choose from as the base for their designs:
- Bike, Bathe, and Beyond — “a connection to existing bike paths leading people to the site in addition to some form of bathing.” This could include things like a structure for storing one’s bike; showering and heading to work; a new spa along the bike path; or swimming in a cleaner Potomac River or a public pool.
- A Food-Boat Wharf — “a place where future food boats could moor along the river’s edge and sell to Rosslyn workers looking for a delectable waterside lunch.”
- Urban Drive-In Theater — entertainment for people “coming by foot, bike, or car to watch movies or other performances.”
In all, 18 students submitted their designs, with most of them electing to base their ideas on the “Bike, Bathe and Beyond” program. According to the county’s website, the suggestions include:
Paige proposed moving the parkway farther inland, cutting into the slope with a large retaining wall that supports a new traffic circle for access to the Key Bridge. The former roadbed is utilized for storm water management and two swimming pools along the waterfront for lap and family swimming. The former eastbound lane of the parkway provides vehicular access and parking for the new facility.
Charlston seeked to explore and provide a connection between the perceived boundaries of the Rosslyn business district and the Rosslyn waterfront. At present time, the transportation infrastructure within Rosslyn acts as a hindrance to convenient access to the Potomac River. By occupying the void beneath Key Bridge and connecting the Mount Vernon Trail and the Potomac Heritage trail, this project aims to bridge the gap between the city and the river’s edge.
This project is designed as a place of seclusion in the midst of the Rosslyn Business Improvement District. The bike path connects to the city sidewalks and provides a way to traverse the steep hill. The existing George Washington Memorial Parkway is pushed into the Potomac to create a secluded water channel and clear land for development. The bath is set into the hillside and contains spa facilities as well as a series of indoor pools for year round relaxation.
Sebastian’s project is situated in the coastal side of the Mount Vernon Trail facing the Arlington riverside. The goal is to encourage users of the trail to use the project as a station in their commute or exercise regimen throughout the year. The building features an outside pool fed by a constructed wetland and a sports facility meant for everyday use.
Arlington County Police reported two sexual assault incidents in the Rosslyn area in its Friday crime report.
One incident happened near the Iwo Jima memorial, as a woman was walking home from the Rosslyn Metro station around 10 p.m. Police say a man in a ski mask approached the woman, possibly exposed himself and grabbed her inappropriately.
SEXUAL ASSAULT, 160721005, 1200 N. Meade Street. At approximately 10pm a female was walking from the Rosslyn metro to her residence when she was approached by a white male wearing a ski mask. As the suspect approached he lifted his shorts up, possibly exposing himself. The victim walked away from the man, who then groped her in the crotch area. The man fled the scene and is described as a White or Hispanic male, 5’8″ with an athletic build, wearing a black ski mask, long sleeve shirt, silver basketball shorts, and black Vans sneakers.
The other crime happened around 6:30 p.m. on the 1700 block of Clarendon Blvd, near the intersection with N. Quinn Street.
SEXUAL ASSAULT, 160721043, 1700 N. Clarendon Blvd. At approximately 6:30pm a female was walking on Clarendon Blvd. near Quinn Street when a man on a bicycle approached her from behind and grabbed her breast. The suspect is described as a husky White male wearing a dark colored bike helmet, maroon shirt, gray khaki shorts and white shoes.
The rest of the notable items from the Friday’s and today’s Arlington crime reports, after the jump.
A business billing itself as a “superfood cafe” is on track to open soon in Rosslyn.
Vitality Bowls is set to arrive on the ground floor of 1515 Wilson Blvd “by the end of this summer,” according Mackenzie Coopman, a representative for the company.
The California-based restaurant chain specializes in “acai bowls,” which are blends of the “superfood” berry topped with ingredients such as bananas, strawberries and granola. Other menu options include smoothies, juices salads and paninis. All of the cafe’s food is organic, according to its website.
“Conveniently situated at the busy intersection of Wilson Boulevard and Oak Street, local residents, professionals and students will have easy access to healthier food options while out and about,” Coopman said.
Vitality Bowls claims that it plans to open 10-20 locations in Arlington and the D.C. area. The company currently has 20 locations across the U.S. and says it has another 30 “in development.”
Local entrepreneurs Anisha Sharma, Narender Neerukonda and Raghu Gondi are leading the opening of the forthcoming eatery in Rosslyn.
Yorktown Neighborhood Profiled — Schools and a sense of community are two of the biggest attraction to the north Arlington neighborhood of Yorktown. Safety is another plus: there were no burglaries or robberies reported in the neighborhood in the past 12 years. [Washington Post]
County Still Seeking Private Money for Aquatics Center — Arlington County is still looking for private partners and sponsorships before moving forward on construction of the Long Bridge Park aquatics center. It’s unclear if additional private money would be used to expand the center or reduce the estimated $40-44 million in taxpayer funding. Even without additional money, park bonds already approved by voters are expected to fully fund construction. [InsideNova]
Rosslyn Metro Express Guy Featured — The Express newspaper distributor who works at the Rosslyn Metro station was featured in a “happy news” video on the Facebook page of Seattle television station KING. [Facebook]
Flickr pool photo by Erinn Shirley
Gondola Meeting Held — Local residents attended a meeting last night in Rosslyn about the study into the feasibility of a Rosslyn-to-Georgetown gondola system. The architecture firm leading the study says its goal is “proving the system isn’t going to be just a toy for tourists” and “to prove that it can be transit and it can be a great experience.” One Arlington resident quoted by WTOP, Dave Schutz, said his goal was “to free my wife from that deepest inner circle from hell, which is the Georgetown Hospital parking garage.” [WTOP]
Tech Startup Moves from D.C. to Rosslyn — Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe was on hand Wednesday to announce that civic engagement software maker Phone2Action would be moving from D.C. to leased office space in Rosslyn and bringing some 142 jobs with it. [Washington Business Journal, Patch]
Arlington Featured in Book About Walking — Arlington County is one of nine communities features in “America’s Walking Renaissance,” a new book about walkable cities in the United States. [Arlington County]
Arlington Runner Achieves Goal — An Arlington resident with cerebral palsy has achieved her goal of completing 34 races by her 34th birthday. [WUSA]
The H-B Woodlawn Secondary Program is gearing up to move to a brand new building in Rosslyn for the 2019-2020 school year, but a new wrinkle in that plan is worrying parents.
On Friday, Arlington County announced that it was collaborating with Arlington Public Schools on a money-saving plan: a temporary fire station will be placed on the school’s field while developer Penzance constructs two new mixed-use buildings next door, on the county-owned site of the current Fire Station No. 10.
The development will provide a new, permanent fire station and 100 underground parking spaces for the school — when it’s completed in 2022. In the meantime, the temporary fire station will be placed on the field at the corner of N. Quinn and 18th streets, and Arlington County will provide off-site fields and parking for the school.
The county says the plan will save it $20 million and will save Arlington Public Schools $5 million — thanks to Penzance paying for the parking, the new fire station and a new Rosslyn Highlands Park, adjacent to the development.
“We realize that opening the school without a field will inconvenience students and staff,” County Board Chair Libby Garvey said in a statement. “We chose this site because the parking provided to APS for schools will save a considerable amount of money for the school project, and it is the best location by far for the temporary fire station. We believe that when the project is finally completed, this site will not only be a great new home for H-B and the Stratford Program, but will also provide many, many benefits to our community.”
Members of the H-B Woodlawn Parent Advisory Committee, however, were none too pleased with the idea of opening the school without a field and other factors that could have “an adverse impact on our children.”
In an email to members, the committee urges parents to reach out to County Board and School Board members before each considers approving the plan at their July meetings.
Dear Members of the H-B Woodlawn Community:
Our apologies for sending this message out on the Friday before a three-day weekend, but we thought it was important to bring this issue to your attention as soon as possible.
The School Board and County Board announced today that they are in negotiations to build a temporary fire station on the planned athletic fields at the new home of the H-B Woodlawn and Stratford programs, at the Wilson site. This plan is being rushed through with very limited public input and without serious consideration of its impact on students, staff, and visitors, in the name of saving money. A press release regarding this proposal can be found here: Press Release
We strongly urge you to express your opposition to this proposal to members of the County Board ([email protected]) and members of the School Board ([email protected]). Your emails should be addressed to County Board Chair Libby Garvey and School Board Chair Nancy Van Doren, and will be distributed to all members of each respective board, including H-B Woodlawn’s School Board member liaison Reid Goldstein. The County Board plans to vote on this issue on July 16th and the School Board on July 21th.
Here are suggested points to make in your communications with Board members:
- I strongly urge you to oppose the proposed licensing agreement that would allow a temporary fire station to be built on the planned athletic field at the Wilson site.
- H-B Woodlawn and Stratford students’ instruction would be seriously compromised by the elimination of all outdoor physical education classes for three years or more if this proposal went forward. The idea of bussing students to parks almost a mile away is unworkable, as the entire class period would be spent loading and unloading busses and driving back and forth.
- The safety of HB Woodlawn and Stratford students, as well as staff and visitors, would be put at risk as the planned covered drop off and pick up entrance would be obstructed by an active fire station. There has been no analysis of the transportation impact of this major change that will result in students being dropped off and picked up on Wilson Blvd., an idea the stakeholder representatives serving on the Wilson project design committee and APS already rejected.
- There has been no public input to this last minute, backroom deal with a private developer. Indeed, the APS School Board is considering this significant change to the new building without even asking the architects for revised schematics to understand the impact on the building design, without knowing what the temporary fire station would look like or how its colocation could impact instruction, and without a new traffic analysis to determine the safest and most efficient ways for bus, auto, pedestrian, bicycle, and emergency traffic to flow on and/or around the new campus.
- The County should relocate the temporary fire station to another location that doesn’t have such an adverse impact on our children.
We will keep you informed as we gather more information about this proposal and its potential impact.
Venerable Rosslyn restaurant and happy hour spot Cafe Asia (1550 Wilson Blvd) is closing its doors this week.
The pan-Asian restaurant will serve its last customers Wednesday night, according to a restaurant manager. No special events are planned for the closing, we’re told.
The manager said that Cafe Asia’s owners declined to renew its lease, after some 15 years in business. The owners will be “taking a break” before deciding what to do next, she said.
Cafe Asia serves dishes from Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, China, Japan and Vietnam in a large, airy dining space that includes a sizable bar and separate event space.
“It’s a shame,” a customer told ARLnow.com. “It was an affordable go to place for sushi and the staff was great.”
Hat tip to @Colknewman
View from Central Place — An ABC 7 reporter visited one of the top floors of the still under-construction Central Place residential tower in Rosslyn. The residential building is slated to open in 2017 while a twin office tower next door is set for 2018. [Twitter]
Wine in the Waterpark Extended — Crystal City is extending its popular Friday night Wine in the Waterpark events through July. The event offers beer, wine and music in an outdoor setting. [Crystal City]
‘Women in Secularism’ Conference — A Crystal City hotel will be hosting the fourth “Women in Secularism” conference in September. The conference “brings together a diverse lineup of speakers to address what it means to be a ‘woman in secularism’ — not just in theory, but in practice.” [Women in Secularism]
Photo by Jackie Friedman
Locals will get a chance to learn more about the proposed Georgetown-Rosslyn gondola project in two weeks.
A public information meeting is being held at the Rosslyn Spectrum Theatre (1611 N. Kent Street) from 6:30-8:30 p.m. on Thursday, July 7.
There will be a presentation by ZGF Architects, the firm conducting the gondola’s feasibility study. There will also be a question and answer session after the presentation.
“Learn the basics about a gondola-based transit system and how they have been applied in other jurisdictions,” says the event’s webpage. “The scope of the current feasibility study will also be reviewed for the public”
Free parking is available after 6 p.m. in the building garage and the theater is two blocks away from the Rosslyn Metro station. Attendees can RSVP here.
Courthouse, Columbia Pike Developments Approved — At its Saturday meeting, the Arlington County Board approved a 90-unit condominium building at 2000 Clarendon Blvd in Courthouse. The Board voted 4-1, with John Vihstadt voting against, after hearing objections from residents of the nearby Odyssey condo tower. Also on Saturday, the Board unanimously approved a 105-unit condo building on the Rappahannock Coffee site on Columbia Pike. [Arlington County, Arlington County]
Plans Filed for New Affordable Complex in Rosslyn — The Arlington Partnership for Affordable Housing has filed preliminary plans to redevelop the 39-unit Queens Court apartment complex into a new, 12-story, 250-unit affordable apartment building, with underground parking and a 9,000 square foot public park and playground. The redevelopment was included in 2015’s Western Rosslyn Area Plan, or WRAP. [Washington Business Journal]
Woodlawn Park Renovations Approved — The Arlington County Board has approved a $616,000 contract for improvements to Woodlawn Park in the Waycroft-Woodlawn neighborhood. The improvements to the 3.2 acre park includes “replacing the playground equipment, updating the trails and better protecting Lubber Run stream.” [Arlington County]
Couple Gets Engaged at Local Event — A San Antonio, Texas couple got engaged at Friday night’s Wine in the Waterpark event in Crystal City. [Twitter]
Stream Restoration Project OKed — The Arlington County Board has unanimously approved a $3.5 million contract to restore the lower portion of the Four Mile Run stream. Work on the project, which has been in the works since 2000, is expected to begin later this summer and may result in some trail detours over the course of a year. [Arlington County]
First Day of Summer Today — Today is the first day of astronomical summer, the summer solstice and the longest day of the year. [Capital Weather Gang]
Leadership Arlington to Run Volunteer Arlington — The nonprofit group Leadership Arlington will be taking over the administration of Volunteer Arlington from Arlington County. Leadership Arlington won the contract in a competitive bidding process. Volunteer Arlington is “the County’s clearinghouse for volunteerism, matching volunteers with non-profits and government programs that rely on volunteers in carrying out their work.” [Arlington County]
The second round of closures related to Metro’s yearlong SafeTrack maintenance plan is slated to take effect today, with big impacts to Blue Line service in Arlington.
Maintenance crews will work on portions of the Orange, Silver and Blue lines until July 3, according to a service advisory.
On the Orange Line, trains will not run between Eastern Market and Minnesota Ave/Benning Road. Orange and Silver line trains will run every 10 minutes between Vienna/Wiehle-Reston and Eastern Market.
On the Blue Line, trains will not run between between Arlington Cemetery and Rosslyn. Trains will, however, run between Franconia-Springfield and Arlington Cemetery each weekday until 10 p.m. Yellow Line trains will run on a Rush+ schedule all day on weekdays to compensate for the loss of Blue Line service.
Metro will provide shuttle service for riders traveling to and from affected stations. Arlington County has also expanded ART 43 service, which runs between Rosslyn and Crystal City, on middays, evenings and weekends until Aug. 20.
Trains may be extremely crowded, especially during rush hour, Metro officials said. Regular riders are encouraged to use commuting alternatives such as carpooling or telecommuting.
Video Courtesy WMATA
The crash happened around 4:30 p.m. at the intersection of Lee Highway and N. Nash Street, near the Key Bridge Marriott hotel. Police say the bus driver was at fault.
“A Metrobus was traveling westbound on Lee Highway when the driver of the Metrobus proceeded through a red light and struck a pedestrian in the crosswalk,” said Arlington County Police Department spokeswoman Ashley Savage. “The pedestrian was taken to George Washington University Hospital in critical but stable condition. The driver of the Metrobus was issued a summons for failure to obey a traffic light.”
A Metro spokesman has thus far not responded to a request for comment.
Pancho Villa Mexican Cuisine has opened in Rosslyn.
The restaurant is located at 1850 N. Fort Myer Drive, former home to the short-lived Secret Chopsticks restaurant. The space is largely unchanged, save the new purple paint job.
Pancho Villa had its soft opening this past Thursday. According to district manager Marta Hernandez, there was a big turnout.
“So many customers came into the restaurant and we received so many compliments about the food and service, it was a big success,” said Hernandez.
The Mexican cuisine served at Pancho Villa is made from scratch, said Hernandez, and the chips and salsa are made fresh everyday. “The food here is made with lots of love,” she said.
Pancho Villa has other locations around Virginia and one in North Carolina. While the restaurant expects to have its official grand opening celebration in 3-4 weeks.
(Updated at 3:50 p.m.) A new neighborhood bar and restaurant is coming to Rosslyn.
“Quinn’s on the Corner” is billing itself as “a perfect destination for amazing food and drink in a cool neighborhood setting.” It will be located on the ground floor of the 1776 Wilson Blvd office building, at the corner of Wilson and N. Quinn Street.
There’s no word on an opening date yet. Restaurateur Reese Gardner, who’s also behind Copperwood Tavern and the forthcoming Dudley’s Sport and Ale in Shirlington, said lease negotiations are not yet finalized.
Quinn’s will feature an outdoor patio, Irish and Belgian beers on draft and, for college football fans, will be a Virginia Tech Hokies bar. From the restaurant’s Facebook page:
Welcome to Quinn’s “on the corner.” Rossyln’s perfect destination for amazing food and drink in a cool neighborhood setting. Come enjoy a snack, burger or house specialty from our European inspired menu featuring a fusion of Irish & Belgium favorites.
Our 22 foot Oak bar will be serving up traditional Irish and Belgium drafts, seasonal cocktails and a huge selection of Irish Whiskeys. The dining room will feature comfortable pub style seating amidst over-sized windows, roll up garage doors and warm wood decor.
The spacious 48 seat wrap around patio is a perfect setting for dining Al fresco.
For your entertainment pleasure, Quinn’s has multiple large HD TV’s and we will be featuring sound for all of the Virginia Tech Hokie football games, local team sports, and all special sporting events.
The Quinn’s concept is inspired by the vibrant corner of Quinn and Wilson Blvd., and the amazing feats of Saint Edel Quinn, an Irish woman with a great zest for life who was selflessly dedicated to helping children. Rumor has it, that Edel enjoyed a pint of beer each night for every child that she helped that day.
Editor’s Note: 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.
Last week, Crystal City’s Eastern Foundry — a veteran-owned working space and accelerator for startup firms interested in working with the federal government — confirmed it will open a second location in Rosslyn, just 18 months after its inception.
The new space — a 19,237-square-foot office located at 1100 Wilson Blvd — is slated to open later this year, but some tenants want to move in sooner.
“We will be slowly filling in a few companies who are quite eager to get space even while the renovations are going on,” said Dan Bowman, a communications associate at Eastern Foundry. “We expect to be fully functioning by early fall once renovations are complete.”
Eastern Foundry originally planned to expand to the District, but inaction by D.C. officials and enthusiasm from Arlington economic development staff helped to convince the company to launch a second location in Arlington County instead, DC Inno reported last week.
The Rosslyn location is about 55% pre-committed and Eastern Foundry has formed “a bit of a waiting list,” Bowman said. Companies that have pre-committed to the new space include startups focused on mobile health care, mobile banking, laser diagnostics, cybersecurity and big data.
“The 81 members in our Crystal City campus have validated our strategy, and this second location will allow us to expand into the hundreds, increasing the range of technologies, services and agency insights that our members can provide to the government and to each other,” Geoff Orazem, co-founder of Eastern Foundry, said in a release.
Bowman added, “Doubling in size not only increases the chance that our members can find powerful partners within our community, but it also serves as a larger resource for the government to tap into in order to find new and exciting solutions to their technology needs, gauge the contracting market or simply learn from agile startups.”
Rosslyn was chosen for the new location because of the area “is strategically positioned at the intersection of the civilian federal market in Foggy Bottom and the defense federal market near the Pentagon,” according to the release. “It is a direct shot to the original Crystal City campus, Tyson’s Corner and Reagan National Airport, and with the office being [near] the Metro, members can easily reach the entire national capital region all while enjoying Virginia’s business-friendly environment.”
Andrew Chang, co-founder of Eastern Foundry, said, “the expansion has been in the works for quite a while and is a crucial part to our overall growth strategy,” adding, “[W]e are very excited to continue to grow our brand and footprint in the DMV area.”