New Invasive Species Found in Arlington — A county contractor has found Wavyleaf Basketgrass, a particularly prolific invasive species, in Donaldson Run Park. The plant was removed but the county is now on the lookout for more. [Arlington County]
Murky Coffee Owner Still Owes County — Nicholas Cho, the proprietor of Murky Coffee, which closed six years ago in Clarendon, recently repaid his tax debts to the District of Columbia but still owes Arlington more than $84,000 in unpaid meals taxes and interest. [Washington Post]
Lyft Sees Lift in Arlington Corporate Customers — For some reason ride hailing service Lyft is seeing a relatively large increase in business from corporate customers in Arlington. [Pymnts]
Flickr pool photo by David Giambarresi
The attempted sexual assault happened in a grassy area near the George Washington Memorial Parkway and Key Bridge about 2:30 a.m. Sunday, police say.
The woman and the man were walking past each other on the bridge when he grabbed her and forced her into the nearby grass, police said. The man then covered the woman’s mouth and tried to get his hands under her shorts.
But the victim was able to get away, and the man fled. Police described the suspect as:
A white male, in his late 20’s to early 30’s, approximately 5’8″ to 5’10” with a medium build. He is described as having fair skin, dirty blonde hair and was clean shaven at the time of the incident. He was wearing a dark t-shirt with tan shorts or possibly pants. He was last seen fleeing the area on foot along the Key Bridge towards Washington D.C.
“If anyone has information on the identity of this individual or details surrounding this incident, please contact Detective R. Icolari of the Arlington County Police Department’s Special Victim’s Unit at 703.228.4240 or at [email protected],” police said in a press release. “To report information anonymously, contact the Arlington County Crime Solvers at 866.411.TIPS (8477).”
APS Testing for Lead in Pipes — Arlington Public Schools has been testing systemwide for lead in pipes. Already, the school system has replaced a water fountain in Jamestown Elementary School found to have lead levels above a level considered safe by the state health department. [InsideNova]
Bayou Bakery Raising Money for Flooding Victims — Bayou Bakery in Courthouse is raising money for Louisiana flooding victims. The restaurant is offering a special Shrimp Creole appetizer for $9 this week; half the proceeds from that dish will benefit flood victims, including chef/owner David Guas’ own aunt, whose home in Abbeville, LA flooded with two feet of water. [Bayou Bakery]
Arlington Names New Communications Director — Dr. Bryna Helfer has been named Arlington County’s new Director of Communications and Public Engagement. She joins county government from the federal government. “Helfer currently serves as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Public Engagement at the U.S. Department of Transportation and also serves as Senior Advisor to the Secretary on Accessibility and Workforce,” a press release notes. [Arlington County]
Crystal City Boxing Recap — It was a nine-bout, nine-knockout night at the Crystal City Hilton Friday night. [Fight News]
Transport Nerds ‘Playing With Traffic’ — A big group of “transportation techies” gathered recently at WeWork in Crystal City to discuss creative and tech-based solutions to transportation problems. The group is sponsored by Mobility Lab, the research arm of Arlington County Commuter Services. [Washington Post]
Flickr pool photo by Kevin Wolf
Fox 5 personalities Erin Como, Annie Yu and Tucker Barnes will be broadcasting from Rosslyn as part of its “Zip Trip” morning news feature.
The live broadcast will take place in the small park on the corner of Wilson Blvd and N. Oak Street. Local notables including Arlington County Board Chair Libby Garvey and District Taco co-founder Osiris Hoil will be interviewed, and local restaurants like Barley Mac, Pancho Villa, Heavy Seas Alehouse, AllSpice Cafe & Catering and Bistro 360 will be featured.
The Rosslyn Business Improvement District is encouraging Rosslyn residents and workers to stop by the park during their commute to meet the anchors and, perhaps, appear on live TV.
From the Rosslyn BID website.
Rosslyn will be featured on Zip Trip on August 19 when Fox 5 broadcasts live Friday morning from 7 to 11 a.m.
Fox 5 anchors Erin Como, Annie Yu and Tucker Barnes will visit local restaurants and talk about the fun activities going on in the neighborhood.
The Monday Properties’ Park at the corner of Oak Street and Wilson Boulevard (1401 Wilson Boulevard) will be the scene for the live broadcast. Feel free to stop by for a free coffee from Dunkin Donuts and check out the live set! The anchors are excited to meet residents and employees from Rosslyn and may ask you to appear on TV on your way to work.
Special guests during the live broadcast will include Arlington County Board’s Chair Libby Garvey, Co-founder and CEO of District Taco Osiris Hoil, the Happy Whistler and staff from the Art Institute.
Local restaurants including Barley Mac, Pancho Villa, Heavy Seas Alehouse, AllSpice Cafe & Catering and Bistro 360 will also be featured.
So make your morning commute more interesting and stop by Oak and Wilson between 7 and 11 a.m. on Friday the 19th. We can’t wait to see you!
(Updated at 11:15 a.m.) The big TV screen and news ticker at the entrance to the WJLA (ABC 7) offices in Rosslyn have been quietly removed.
The electronic displays, which helped with Rosslyn’s “Manhattan on the Potomac” vibe, were recently taken down by Monday Properties, which owns the gleaming 1100 Wilson Blvd tower (and its twin tower at 1000 Wilson Blvd).
A spokeswoman described the removal as “temporary.”
“For the WJLA news ticker, the decision to temporarily remove the news ticker from outside of 1100 Wilson Boulevard was solely based on Monday’s desire to improve the outdated technology that supported the service,” the spokeswoman said in an email. “They’re in the process of evaluating new technology providers to help ensure such a service provides the utmost convenience and value to the community.”
No word yet on when new displays may be installed. WJLA just signed a new lease that should keep the television station at 1100 Wilson Blvd for at least another 15 years.
The Arlington County Board originally approved the replacement of the screen in 2012, but voted against WJLA and Monday’s request to devote part of the screen to sponsor messages. Near the end of its twelve-year lifespan, the screen only displayed a weather map because it was incapable of displaying WJLA’s high definition broadcast.
Geared toward tech businesses, the redeveloped property will have an open layout that is intended to encourage collaboration among workers.
“Co-working is becoming increasingly popular with millennials and those who prefer a more flexible workspace,” Monday Properties president Tim Helmig said in a statement. “1101 Wilson Boulevard, with its diverse services and prime location, is the right home for Spaces and for other cutting edge firms that are looking to optimize and effectively grow their businesses.”
Regus and Monday Properties are working to transform the former Artisphere building over the next year. It wasn’t immediately clear when the co-working space will open.
Arlington County terminated its lease on the Artisphere space last fall. Before the county used the building, it housed the Newseum.
The full press release, after the jump.
Between large construction projects, utility work and street paving, Rosslyn has had a bumper crop of orange barrels this summer.
Expect more barrels and lane closures starting Sunday, as a new road paving project gets underway. Wilson Blvd between N. Oak Street and N. Quinn Street is scheduled to be repaved from August 14-19.
To minimize traffic disruption, work will be mainly done from 9 p.m-5 a.m. The milling and paving is expected to be completed by 5 a.m. on Friday, August 19.
For two days before and then throughout the paving project, temporary “no parking” signs will be posted along the sides of the street. Cars that remain on the street will be towed.
In the meantime, as part of the continued construction on the Central Place project across from the Rosslyn Metro station, utility work is being conducted at the corner of 19th Street N. and N. Moore Street.
The work is being done by Dominion Power, which is setting up electrical systems for the new development. As a result of the construction activity, vehicles are only able to make right turns at the intersection. That has prompted detours for buses trying to access the Metro station.
The utility work is scheduled to be completed around Saturday, August 27.
Television station WJLA (ABC 7) will remain in Rosslyn after its owner, Sinclair Broadcasting, signed a new 15 year lease.
Monday Properties, which owns the 1000/1100 Wilson Blvd “twin towers” in which WJLA is based, first announced the 100,000 square foot lease renewal on Tuesday.
The renewal helps to maintain Rosslyn as something of a media hub, home to WJLA, Politico, Washington Business Journal, Graham Holdings, Salem Radio Network News, Washington Free Beacon and New Media Strategies.
More from a press release:
Sinclair Television Group, Inc is renewing its over 100,000 square foot lease at 1000 Wilson Boulevard and 1100 Wilson Boulevard until 2031. The Towers is one of 10 buildings owned and operated by Monday Properties throughout Rosslyn and the greater metropolitan area.
“Over the past several years, we have been running an extensive search in the Metro D.C. area with the goal of selecting a long-term real estate solution that meets our future business objectives. As we looked at our options, which included building a new, standalone facility, we kept coming back to the Towers,” said Del Parks, Senior VP and Chief Technology Officer of Sinclair Television Group, Inc. “With its expansive building infrastructure and operational flexibility, we are able to execute our growing platform in Rosslyn most efficiently.”
“It’s clear that Rosslyn’s ongoing transformation offers a robust and diverse array of businesses, retailers and housing options which are critical for our employees’ overall workplace and social requirements,” Dan Mellon, General Manager of Sinclair’s WJLA and News Channel 8, which will occupy part of the space. “The Towers proximity to Northern Virginia, Maryland and Washington, D.C., also provides our employees the ability to cover stories quickly, from a location that is free from transportation inefficiencies.”
Sinclair’s decision to re-commit to Rosslyn builds on its extensive occupancy history at the Towers, where its landmark media companies, WJLA and News Channel 8 (acquired by Sinclair in July 2014) have been long-term tenants. Sinclair’s 15 year lease will be accompanied by an extensive infrastructure investment to suit their unique business needs, which includes vital connectivity to the Washington D.C. area.
With the renewal of their lease, Sinclair has joined a growing ‘media hub’ trend in Rosslyn, which has an impressive roster that includes Politico, Washington Business Journal, Graham Holdings, Salem Communications, Washington Free Beacon and New Media Strategies.
“When we did our initial short-term renewal with Sinclair earlier this year, we did so hoping that we would provide Sinclair the time necessary to fully vet their real estate search which included the Towers. Over the past couple of months, we have worked collaboratively with the Sinclair team to formalize a comprehensive lease renewal structure that enables them to firmly achieve their firm’s new programming endeavors. As companies increasingly look to pursue first-rate amenities, easy accessibility and a business-friendly environment, the Rosslyn submarket continues its upward trend of being a location that firms look to in attracting and retaining high quality employee talent.” said Tim Helmig, President and Chief Operating Officer of Monday Properties. “We’re pleased that Sinclair will remain a tenant of Monday Properties, enjoying the unparalleled amenities and lifestyle opportunities Rosslyn has to offer.”
Including the Sinclair transaction, Monday Properties has executed over 345,000 square feet of new and renewal leases in 2016 in its portfolio as Rosslyn continues its impressive, upward absorption trend this year, joining other recent high profile transactions with global consulting group, Grant Thornton, PriceWaterhouseCooopers, Eastern Foundry, CalAtlantic Group (Ryland Homes) and Silicon Valley Bank, to name a few.
(Updated at 5:05 p.m.) Continental Pool Lounge is expanding with a new, 180-seat indoor/outdoor beer garden.
The new Continental Beer Garden will be located in what’s currently a pop-up urban park with tables, chairs, potted plants and a mural, at the corner of 19th Street and N. Moore Street. Despite being a block from the Metro station, in the bustling, bus-clogged heart of Rosslyn, the 4,000 square foot outdoor beer garden will be a relaxing place to eat, drink and have fun with friends, says Continental owner Curt Large.
“The seating will include a large communal table, picnic tables, outdoor sofas and Adirondack chairs,” Large told ARLnow.com. “Our menu will feature foods meant for sharing, including sausages, appetizers, and other light fare. The beer garden will showcase local Virginia craft beer along with a couple of German brews. Continental will also build outdoor bocce courts for beer garden patrons and will host bocce tournaments and leagues.”
The space, which is just steps away from the Continental Pool Lounge, was formerly the parking lot of a service station. It sat vacant for some two decades, Large said, before being converted to an outdoor seating area by property owner JBG and the Rosslyn Business Improvement District in 2014. The space has hosted a number of events, including a pop-up beer garden organized by the Continental two years ago.
Large says the inside of the service station will be incorporated into the beer garden.
“We will also renovate the interior service station area, located under the office building at 1901 N. Fort Myer Drive,” he said. “The approximately 1,000 foot area will have a bar and small seating area, along with a kitchen and bathrooms. The interior will embrace the industrial grit of the former service station, showcasing some great 1970s vintage garage cabinets and signs behind the bar area.”
Mary-Claire Burick, head of the Rosslyn BID, said the beer garden will be a welcome new amenity for the area, building upon the “pop-up” events that have been held there over the past two years.
“This is a big part of what we do as a BID,” she said. “We saw this underutilized, industrial open space with a ton of foot traffic and made it a priority to reclaim and activate it with our partners, Continental Pool Lounge and JBG. ”
Large has applied for building permits and a liquor permit. He hopes to open the beer garden in the spring of 2017.
It’s been a busy summer for local restaurateur Reese Gardner.
Gardner has two new Arlington establishments in the works — Dudley’s Sport and Ale in Shirlington, which we first reported on in August 2015, and Quinn’s on the Corner, which we first learned about this past June, while lease negotiations were still reportedly in progress.
Despite Dudley’s nearly one year head start, it’s going to be Quinn’s, at 1776 Wilson Blvd, that opens first.
The neighborhood bar and restaurant, which will offer sports on the TVs and Irish and Belgian beers on draft, is aiming for a September opening, Gardner tells ARLnow.com. Work appeared to be in progress at the restaurant today.
Dudley’s, meanwhile, had been beset by permitting and regulatory delays stemming from its addition of a rooftop patio.
The county permit page for Dudley’s, at 2766 S. Arlington Mill Drive, tells the tale of the tape — a solid column of rejected permit applications, with comments from county inspectors like:
- “This is not a tenant improvement. The conversion of the roof to a terrace with roofs over stairs, restrooms, and bar is an addition. Change permit information from CTBO to CADD or submit another permit for the addition.”
- “The drawings indicate that new storefront will be installed. However, no information is presented regarding the U-factor of the storefront system, the air infiltration rate of the storefront system or the SHGC of the glass used in the storefront system.”
- “Sheet E0002 includes motion sensor switches in the restrooms. It is unclear if these switches meet the requirements of section C405.2.2.2 of the 2012 VECC. In the resubmission, include a note on sheet E0002 that states that these motion sensors will shut off all non-emergency lighting within 30 minutes of all occupants leaving the space.”
Gardner, who in February said he was hoping to open Dudley’s in time for the beginning of the summer, did not provide an updated estimate on when it might open now. He said the process has been excruciating, ballooning in complexity as time has gone on.
“We actually had to divide the permit into and interior permit and exterior permit because of the rooftop and new facade,” Gardner said. “If you read they are also making us go through a special inspection process over and above the normal one.”
Though some improvements have been made in recent years, Arlington County has been criticized for having a permitting process that many business owners describe as unfriendly to smaller, brick-and-mortar businesses.
Key Bridge Marriott Lease Sold — The ground lease for the 57-year-old Key Bridge Marriott in Rosslyn has been sold to a luxury hotel and resort operator, leading to speculation that the hotel — Marriott’s longest continuously-operating property — may soon be replaced. [WTOP]
Sales Tax Receipts Nudge Up — Arlington received $39.68 million in sales tax disbursements from the state this year, up 0.2 percent compared to the year prior, pointing to an ever-so-slight increase in retail sales in the county despite some challenges dragging that figure down. [InsideNova]
Arlington to Host Community Conference — Arlington County is hosting the 17th annual Virginia Statewide Neighborhood Conference from Sept. 29-Oct. 1. Hundreds of neighborhood leaders, community activists and government agencies are expected to attend. [Arlington County]
Local Yoga Studio Featured on National TV — Spark Yoga, an aerial yoga studio on N. Pershing Drive in Lyon Park, was featured in a segment on business news channel CNBC with reporter Diana Olick. [CNBC]
Bikes With Roofs — Is the hot summer sun beating down on you during your bike commute? If so, perhaps you can follow the lead of these two local cyclists and attach a canopy to your bike. [Twitter]
Flickr pool photo by David Giambarresi
Two such incidents were reported to police, who were called to the 2300 block of Fort Myer Drive just before 11:30 p.m.
The man was wearing a gray shirt and a baseball hat at the time of the incidents. From an ACPD crime report:
EXPOSURE(series), 160802001, 2300 block of N. Fort Myer Drive. At approximately 11:27 p.m. on August 1, an unknown male subject exposed himself to a female victim. The suspect then fled the scene prior to officers arrival. The suspect is described as a male wearing a gray shirt and a baseball hat. Another witness in the area reported a similar incident with a description matching the suspect.
The eatery’s second annual community day is scheduled for its location at 1725 Wilson Boulevard from noon to 2 p.m. Saturday.
— Rosslyn, Virginia (@RosslynVA) July 27, 2016
The day also will include the unveiling of Ben’s Chili Bowl’s “latest family member,” spokeswoman Vida Ali said in an email. But she didn’t elaborate.
Photo via Ben’s Chili Bowl
More than 500 people have signed a petition calling for the Arlington County Board to take Rhodeside Green Park in Rosslyn off the list of potential locations for a temporary fire station.
As of 10:00 a.m. today, the Change.org petition titled “Save Rhodeside Green Park – No to Fire Station” has 550 signatures, over halfway to its goal of 1,000.
Arlington County originally proposed building the temporary fire station behind the future the H-B Woodlawn school in Rosslyn, but agreed to consider other locations after parents spoke out against the plan, citing concerns about student safety and the loss of open space.
The petition cites concerns about losing “one of the last green spaces we have” in the neighborhood and calls for the County Board to select an alternate location.
From the petition:
On Saturday, July 16, the Arlington County Board voted unanimously to consider the Rhodeside Green Park at the corner of Rhodes Street and Clarendon Blvd. as a location to construct a temporary fire station. This station location would remain in place for at least 3 years while a new fire station is constructed as part of the new school development on Wilson Blvd. next to what is currently Wilson School. The Board plans to take final action at a meeting scheduled for September 24th, 2016. The first time Radnor/Ft. Myer Heights Civic Association (RAFOM) heard Rhodeside Green Park was one of 3-4 possible sites was at the July 16 Board meeting. There was no notification or consultation with the residents of Bromptons Rosslyn Homeowners Association (BARHOA), residents living in apartments and condos near the park, or anyone else impacted. Rhodeside Green was created during development of BARHOA then turned over to Arlington County in 2002 as part of a deal to create green space for our area. We request the Board not stray from the original intent. Construction of a temporary fire station will displace one of the last green spaces we have in Ft. Myer Heights. We are grateful for the services provided by the Arlington County Fire Department, this in no way diminishes our support and gratitude for what they do for all of us every single day. This petition is about protecting a cherished park that serves as a place for children to play, residents to gather, and for a small part of nature to exist within our over developed neighborhood. We urge the Arlington County Board to remove Rhodeside Green from consideration and select one of the alternate locations under consideration.
Photo Courtesy of Arlington County
(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.