Arlington, VA

Morning Notes

Tow Truck Chase Ends in Arlington — “A suspect involved in a domestic dispute in Prince George’s County lead officers on a chase through D.C. and into Arlington, Virginia, Tuesday night… police believed the suspect was armed and had kidnapped a young child, but the child was safe in Maryland.” [NBC 4, Twitter]

New D.C. United Player Dines at El Pollo Rico — “Great to see legendary #ArlingtonVA business, El Pollo Rico in @dcunited’s video introducing their new #10, Peruvian Edison Flores.” [Twitter]

Rave Review for New Rosslyn Restaurant — “Sfoglina exceeds the preview offered by the sfogline in the window. The fare is comforting to the core and will leave you wanting more of Trabocchi’s cooking. You’re in luck, he’s considering opening more restaurants in Northern Virginia.” [Northern Virginia Magazine]

ACFD Helps Retrieve Wayward Pentagon Flag — “When the flags came loose earlier this month at the #Pentagon, Truck 105 from Crystal City was called in for a rescue. Good work everyone!” [Twitter]

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

(Updated 3:35 p.m.) Higher Logic (1919 N. Lynn Street),an engagement platform that uses community and marketing automation to improve customer and member experiences., is still growing quickly.

The company, founded 13 years ago, helps people within companies, nonprofits and member-based organizations build stronger communities, according to a company spokesperson. It was named to the Inc. 5000 list of the fastest growing companies in the country last year.

Higher Logic was founded under Rob Wenger, who is the executive chairman. It moved to Rosslyn in 2018 and now has offices in Portland; Saratoga Springs, New York; and Australia.

The company’s nonprofit customers include organizations like 340B Health and the American Association of Airport Executives.

Though Higher Logic specializes in building online communities, development of marketing automation and integration of pre-existing platforms, according to a company spokesperson.

The software gives people the tool to to facilitate efficient conversations, clear up confusion and answer questions by connecting the right people and even help people form mentorships, the spokesperson said.

Throughout the years, the company has received grants and awards including a $60,000 grant from Arlington Economic Development. It was also listed in 2016 as one of Virginia’s Fantastic 50 Companies by the Virginia Chamber of Commerce.

In an interview published by the Rosslyn Business Improvement District, Hunter Montgomery, who was previously in charge of the Higher Logic’s marketing, said the company’s growth can be at least partially attributed to its acquisition of two companies: Informz and Real Magnet, Inc.

Now, the company employs around 320 people and is actively hiring, according to a press release, which added that the company is looking to take on roughly 30 new employees in almost every department.

Every year around the fall, Higher Logic hosts a conference in D.C. bringing together clients from around the country. The spokesperson said the gathering serves as a training opportunity to educate customers on how to use the software and allows people to brainstorm new potential improvements and give feedback.

The 2020 conference is set for September.

Photo via Higher Logic/Facebook

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Morning Notes

Rail Project Will Include New Pedestrian Bridge — “As part of the Long Bridge project, a stand-alone bike and pedestrian bridge would be built upstream from the new rail bridge, allowing people to walk or bike across the Potomac River between the D.C. waterfront and Crystal City in Arlington. Virginia officials said the state plans to build that pedestrian and bike bridge.” [Washington Post]

Weekend Propane Leak in Ballston — Per the Arlington County Fire Department: “FD and Haz-Mat units are on scene in the 4000 blk of Fairfax Dr investigating a report of a large propane [tank] leaking… Crews located a large propane tank leaking at a building under construction. The leak has been controlled and units are remaining on scene to [perform] air monitoring.” [Twitter]

ACPD Increasing Bike Lane Enforcement — “The county… says that Arlington police are stepping up their enforcement of bike lane violations. Cycling advocate Gillian Burgess says that she has seen evidence of more police presence, though she believes that the problem will ultimately be solved by better street design, not enforcement.” [WAMU]

Rosslyn Startup Gets Big Investment — “Arlington-based Advantia Health, a growing national provider of women’s healthcare, announced a $45 million investment by BlueMountain Capital Management, LLC (BlueMountain), a subsidiary of Assured Guaranty Ltd. This funding comes after a year of rapid growth.” [Advantia Health via Potomac Tech Wire]

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Arlington County Police and medics are on scene of a crash involving an Arlington County school bus and an electric scooter.

The crash happened around 3:45 p.m. at the intersection of Wilson Blvd and N. Oak Street in Rosslyn. Initial reports suggest the scooter rider has serious but non-life threatening injuries.

Students were on board at the time but no injuries were reported on the bus, according to scanner traffic. The students were loaded onto another bus to continue their journey home.

N. Oak Street and at least one lane of Wilson Blvd was blocked at the crash scene as of 4:15 p.m., as police investigate the crash.

Vernon Miles contributed to this report

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Morning Notes

New Security Measures at ANC — “Arlington National Cemetery is implementing heightened security measures after a U.S. airstrike killed a top Iranian general. The extra security will create longer lines at security checkpoints and delays… All visitors over the age of 16 will be required to show a valid state or government photo ID to enter by foot or car, Arlington National Cemetery says. Visitors aged 16 or 17 can show a school-issued ID.” [NBC 4, Twitter]

Office Building Above Rosslyn Safeway Sold — “An affiliate of The Meridian Group has paid $113.15 million for 1525 Wilson Blvd., a Rosslyn office building featuring the colorful sculpture of a dancing couple, after selling another building in the Arlington County office market last summer.” [Washington Business Journal]

Lee Highway Planning Update — “To mark the end of a year collecting ideas for the road’s ‘reimagining‘ by the nonprofit Lee Highway Alliance, its executive director, Ginger Brown, gave an update predicting that phase two — development of land-use and zoning ideas — could be ‘the most contentious.’ […] ‘Lee Highway is stuck in 1950s strip-mall zoning,’ Brown told a Dec. 19 breakfast group.” [Falls Church News-Press]

Local Shop Has Best Cheese Selection in the U.S.? — Arrowine, a long-time ARLnow sponsor, has the best wine selection in the D.C. area and possibly the best cheese selection in the country after its recent renovation, according to local restaurant reviewer Don Rockwell. [DCDining.com]

Pike Lane Closures Are Hurting Local Business — “An employee at Cinthia’s Bakery II on Columbia Pike said the restaurant is seeing a significant drop off in the number of customers and an increase in empty tables all due to the construction.” [WJLA]

Yorktown Boys Improve to 11-0 — “This is the new Yorktown basketball: Take the first available shot, press nonstop on defense, substitute in a whole new lineup every 90 seconds. It’s a strategy some other area schools have tried — Lake Braddock, most successfully — but few have perfected. And it has the Patriots, the worst team in their conference last season, undefeated at 11-0 after a dazzling 86-51 rout of Madison (6-5).” [Washington Post]

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Morning Notes

Thieves Hit Three Local Car Dealerships — A group of thieves stole a dozen cars from three car dealerships in Arlington. Some of the thefts were caught on surveillance video. In one instance, five vehicles were damaged as the thieves made their getaway. [WJLA, Arlington County]

Some Amazon Neighbors Wanted More — “Amazon.com Inc. easily won approval this weekend to start work on its first new HQ2 construction in Arlington, yet many of the company’s new neighbors remain exasperated over the benefits the community will receive… Though Amazon’s proposed investments may seem substantial, some people residing close Met Park feel that these benefits will inevitably fall short in mitigating the impacts of the construction.” [Washington Business Journal]

Spotted: Albino Squirrel — An albino squirrel was caught on video in Arlington’s Waverly Hills neighborhood. [Facebook]

Accounting Firm Touts ‘Zero-Waste’ Office in Rosslyn — “Grant Thornton LLP has consolidated its workforce in the Washington, D.C., area in the firm’s MetroDC office – its first zero-waste office in the country. The office, located at 1000 Wilson Blvd in Arlington, unites staff from other Washington-area locations and is the firm’s largest, by headcount, in the United States.” [Grant Thornton]

Nearby: Alexandria Bans Scooters from Sidewalk — The Alexandria City Council has voted to ban electronic scooters from sidewalks across the city. [ALXnow]

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A new watering hole for Rosslyn office-dwellers and residents is planning to open next week.

Open Road and Salt will both open on Tuesday at 1201 Wilson Blvd in Central Place Plaza, according to owner Metropolitan Hospitality Group.

Open Road is an award-winning bar and grill that is expanding to a second location, from its original Merrifield spot. Salt is described as “a hidden and cozy cocktail bar featuring an array of classic and seasonal cocktails” — “an entirely new concept” from the company.

The decor at Open Road will be Americana “inspired by music and the great outdoors.”

“Reclaimed wood, an American flag mural, a suspended Harley Davidson Fatboy motorcycle, and paintings of Marilyn Monroe and Bruce Springsteen from local artist Jack Labadie adorn the space,” the company said in a press release.

Open Road will seat 16 at the bar, 66 in the dining room and 54 on a seasonal, outdoor patio, while Salt, on the bottom floor, will be a more intimate venue.

The head of the Rosslyn Business Improvement District said the new drinking and dining establishments will serve visitors as well as locals.

“Rosslyn has a population of foodies who have been craving cocktail bars like Salt and award-winning gathering places like Open Road,” said Mary-Claire Burick, president of Rosslyn BID. “We’ve been seeing an uptick in people staying in Rosslyn after work and visiting on the weekends, so now they’ll have even more opportunities to enjoy our neighborhood.”

The full press release is below, after the jump.

Read More

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(Updated at 1:45 p.m.) The latest addition to Rosslyn’s food scene is now open.

Happy Endings Eatery, an Asian food hall with a Vietnamese focus, opened last week in Rosslyn’s Central Place complex (1800 N. Lynn Street). The two-level, 5,000-square-foot space features two counters serving a variety of different cuisine and drinks, including as bubble tea, banh mi sandwiches, pho, and more.

A counter downstairs serves coffee and Teas’n You bubble tea. Upstairs is a larger walk-up counter, touch-screens for food and drink orders, and a back room with lots of indoor plants and cozy seating.

Other options include “Roll Play Grill” for customized wraps and bowls, and “Xin Coffee” for Vietnamese iced coffee. The entire food hall is cash-free and only takes electronic payments, per a sign on the wall.

The food hall is a project of Happy Endings Hospitality, an area restaurant group responsible for local eateries such as Chasin’ Tails in East Falls Church and Lei’d Hawaiian Poke in Tysons Corner.

“As you know, today’s consumer is much more experiential than in the past,” said Happy Endings co-owner Tuyet Nhi Le. “They search out new experiences including authentic cuisines and flavors. Our food is all made from scratch using recipes that have been in my family for four generations. I think people in the area really appreciate the different menu options and flavors that we offer and how fast and efficient our system is, especially when they don’t have a lot of time during lunch!”

The food hall is scheduled to hold its grand opening party on January 25, to celebrate the Lunar New Year, said Nhi Le. Future plans for the eatery include “launching breakfast,” along with opportunities for private events.

“Happy Endings Eatery is family-owned and -operated, which is keeping with the community feel of Rosslyn,” said Mary-Claire Burick, president of Rosslyn BID. “With a leadership team that is 50% women and a cuisine that will wake up your senses, there’s no question that this brings wonderful diversity to our lively food scene.”

Happy Endings has faced some criticism for its innuendo-laced brands, but that did not deter the owners from moving forward with the opening.

Happy Endings Eatery is the first of three food halls coming to Rosslyn in a two-block radius.

Coming to the same address as Happy Endings is Common Ground Social Eatery, which has pushed its opening date back three times. Common Ground is now expected to open by the spring or summer of 2020 on the second floor of the Central Place complex, “above the McDonalds overlooking the plaza.”

Another food hall is set for the Rosslyn City Center development, above the Rosslyn Metro station.

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A fire in the engine compartment of a Loudoun County commuter bus snarled traffic in Rosslyn this morning.

The fire was reported shortly before 7:30 a.m. on Lee Highway and N. Nash Street. The fire was small — at least compared to yesterday’s truck fire in Pentagon City — and quickly extinguished.

No injuries were reported, but at least two lanes of Lee Highway were blocked as a result of the emergency response.

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Metro has released the results of a pivotal study of options for increasing capacity of the Metrorail system, and the preliminary conceptual designs suggest big transit changes might eventually be coming to Arlington.

Among the ideas floated by the transit agency are a second Rosslyn Metro station, a new tunnel under the Potomac, and an new stretch of the Silver Line to either run down Columbia Pike or through North Arlington.

Metro says its “Blue/Orange/Silver Capacity & Reliability Study” is necessary because the existing Rosslyn tunnel is a bottleneck for all three lines, producing delays and crowding that will only get worse — particularly in Arlington — due to expected population and job growth.

The study is intended to “identify the best and most cost-effective solutions to address future ridership, service, and reliability needs on these Metrorail lines,” Metro said. “The approval of dedicated funding from Metro’s jurisdictional partners provides funding to bring the existing system into a state of good repair and keep it well maintained going forward; however, there are future transportation needs that we must begin addressing now.”

Among the changes being considered are:

  • A second Rosslyn Metro station, with a pedestrian connection to the current station.
  • A second tunnel across the Potomac.
  • A Blue Line extension to run from Rosslyn through Georgetown and upper Northwest D.C., and into Montgomery County.
  • A Blue Line extension to run from Rosslyn through Georgetown and mid-city D.C., and into Prince George’s County.
  • A new urban core loop “connecting Pentagon, Rosslyn, Georgetown, the Dupont and Shaw neighborhoods, and the Navy Yard/Waterfront area.”
  • New “NoVa Circulator” option that will route some trains from the Pentagon, around Rosslyn and down the Orange/Silver line toward Courthouse.
  • A Silver Line extension down Columbia Pike and up Route 7, connecting with the West Falls Church Station.
  • A Silver Line extension north of I-66, through North Arlington and McLean.

Major capital projects like a Metro line extension would take several decades and the cost is only described as “high.”

The idea of running Metro down Columbia Pike was discussed while debate raged over the since-canceled Columbia Pike streetcar project, and might find some public support, but the concept of Metro running through mostly residential North Arlington seems much more politically infeasible. Wherever a new Metro line runs, big changes, development and a rise in property values can be expected, as happened with the original construction of the Metrorail system in Arlington.

A number of comparatively minor changes are also proposed, like pocket tracks, crossovers and turnarounds to better mitigate delays and incidents, reconfiguring train seats to provide more space, and adding new station entrances.

Metro says it is now embarking on a public engagement process, with a goal of selecting a set of “locally-preferred” options, both long- and short-term, by next fall.

A public open house is planned in Arlington next week, to be held Monday from 4:30-7:30 p.m. at George Mason University’s Van Metre Hall (3351 Fairfax Drive) in Virginia Square.

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With Thanksgiving right around the corner and the winter holidays quickly approaching, a festive day-long event is coming to Rosslyn next week.

Hosted by the Rosslyn Business Improvement District (BID), Rosslyn Cheer will take place on Wednesday, December 4 from 11 a.m.-1 p.m., and then from 5-7:30 p.m, at the Central Place Plaza (1800 N. Lynn Street)

During the lunchtime hours, there will be free hot chocolate, holiday cookies for sale, and a performance from an a cappella group.

Later in the evening at 5 p.m., the H-B Woodlawn Chamber Singers will be performing and a holiday food and drink bar will be offered.

Throughout the day, the BID will host its annual Rosslyn Holiday Clothing Drive, where they will be collecting warm hats, coats, sweaters, sweatshirts, and gloves. All items will go towards the Arlington Street People’s Assistance Network.

“Rosslyn Cheer is a time for the community to come together and kick off the holiday season, from the tree lighting in Central Place Plaza to the lighted buildings across our distinctive skyline,” said Rosslyn BID president, Mary-Claire Burick. “The highlight will be a performance from Rosslyn’s new school, H-B Woodlawn, who have brought their own light to the neighborhood since moving in this September.”

H-B Woodlawn, meanwhile, held a Thanksgiving parade along Wilson Blvd this morning.

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