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Sinkholes Open in Front of Rosslyn Condo Complex

Following days of relentless rain, a series of sinkholes have opened up in front of a condo complex in Rosslyn.

The front driveway and lawn of the Atrium Condominiums, located at 1530 Key Blvd, are now marked by the large pits. Two holes several feet deep have opened up around some of the complex’s front lawn, and another has caused cobblestones to buckle leading up to its driveway in front of the main entrance.

Traffic cones currently block off the complex’s driveway, including parts of it unaffected by the pits.

A tipster told ARLnow that the sinkholes first appeared “many weeks ago” and have “gradually grown as more rain has come” over the last few days.

The complex’s management company did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the severity of the sinkholes, or when they might be fixed.

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New ‘Pop-Up’ Store Coming to Rosslyn Next Month

(Updated July 25 at 3:55 p.m.) A new pop-up store is setting up shop in Rosslyn’s Central Place Plaza next month.

The Rosslyn Business Improvement District is preparing to open “The Alcove” in a roughly 5,000-square-foot space at the corner of 19th Street N. and N. Moore Street, next to Nando’s Peri-Peri. The store is set to open to the public on Aug. 8, and remain in place through the end of September.

The BID says the store, which will be the first brick and mortar pop-up the group has ever set up, will primarily be anchored by Turning the Page, a D.C. nonprofit selling used books, CDs and DVDs. Proceeds will benefit students in public schools.

The store will also offer “artisan-made products, food and beverage items, apparel, art and even bridal accessories,” according to the BID, and plans to court additional vendors, like local artists selling their wares on Etsy.

The BID plans to hold interactive events in the store, including “musical performances, fitness classes, DIY workshops and readings by well-known authors.” The Arlington County Public Library is also organizing more than 20 events for the store, including author talks and a “maker series” that allows both adults and kids to explore art, books and crafts.

Sponsors for the store include JBG Smith, Davis Construction, Gensler, Streetsense and Capitol Drywall.

The shop will be open from 11 a.m to 8 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday.

Photo courtesy the Rosslyn BID

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Rooftop Spot Now Open at Le Meridien Hotel in Rosslyn

Located on the fourth floor of Le Meridien Arlington (1121 19th Street N.) is a new rooftop restaurant aiming to be a “food truck on steroids,” in the words of general manager Calvin Ware.

The Yard celebrated its grand opening Friday (July 13) with a DJ and Washington Redskins cornerback Greg Stroman. The venue is open to both hotel guests and members of the public.

Weekly specials include Margarita Mondays ($6 margaritas) and Taco Tuesdays (buy one, get one tacos). This Tuesday (July 24), they’ll celebrate National Tequila Day with $5 “Yardaritas” from 4-6 p.m. Menu offerings include sliders, tacos and frosé (frozen rosé), and games like cornhole are set up for patrons.

Ware envisions eventually adding artificial grass to make the venue feel more like a backyard.

For now, they “definitely want to be the place to be in Rosslyn,” Ware said. The Yard is open Monday through Friday from 4-1o p.m.

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Morning Notes

Bond Referenda Total Almost $250 Million — “Arlington voters in November will be asked to pass judgment on four bond referenda totaling just under a quarter-billion dollars, under a proposal slated for County Board approval on July 14… The bond package now on the table includes $103 million for schools; $75.57 million for transportation; $37.015 million for community infrastructure; and $29.33 million for parks and recreation.” [InsideNova]

Virginia Ranks High As Pro-Business State — CNBC has listed Virginia as the No. 4 top state for business in the U.S. Texas was ranked No. 1. Virginia was ranked seventh by CNBC in 2017. [Virginia.gov]

Conspiracy Theorists Denounce Conspiracy Theory — Yesterday, lobbyist and conspiracy theorist Jack Burkman held a press conference at a Rosslyn hotel to reveal a mystery witness who supposedly heard government agents bragging about their role in the murder of DNC staffer Seth Rich. The press conference did not go as planned and has since been denounced by many who believe Rich’s murder is a political conspiracy — just not the conspiracy outlined by the “witness.” [Daily Beast, Twitter, Gateway Pundit]

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Police Still Looking for Wrong-Way Driver Who Caused Head-On I-66 Crash

(Updated at 3:20 p.m.) Arlington police are still searching for a man who drove the wrong way on I-66 Sunday (July 8) and caused a major accident before fleeing the scene.

County police have charged 28-year-old Victor Ebai of Springfield with felony hit and run and eluding police in connection with the incident, which ended only after he crashed head-on into another car near Rosslyn on I-66.

Police subsequently revealed Monday (July 9) that officers pulled another man from Ebai’s vehicle after it caught on fire following the crash. The passenger was transported to George Washington University Hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

ACPD spokeswoman Ashley Savage says police are not planning to charge the passenger with a crime. U.S. Secret Service spokesman Shawn Holtzclaw added that his agency isn’t pursuing charges against the man either. Neither would say if police believed the man was in the car voluntarily or against his will.

Holtzclaw also confirmed early reports that the victim in the head-on crash was a federal government worker who was heading to work in D.C. at the time of the crash. They’re withholding the victim’s identity, but did say they were taken to Virginia Hospital Center with non-life threatening injuries.

The Secret Service is involved in the investigation because the incident started when one of its agents noticed a red Chevrolet Sonic driving the wrong way early Sunday morning on I Street NW in D.C. The agent tried to pull the driver over, but he kept driving, continuing to drive against traffic in the eastbound lanes of I-66.

The two cars collided shortly afterward, prompting a large emergency response. Police believe Ebai managed to flee the area on foot, escaping despite a search for Ebai that involved the Fairfax County police helicopter.

Arlington County police are leading the investigation into the incident.

Photo via Google Maps

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New LED Public Art Installation Coming to Rosslyn’s Central Place Plaza

A colorful, constantly changing public art installation is now on the way for Rosslyn’s Central Place.

Arlington Public Art is teaming up with the Rosslyn Business Improvement District and developer JBG Smith to host the new work of art at Central Place Plaza (1800 N. Lynn Street), just across from the Metro station.

California-based artist Cliff Garten will be working to install and program the piece from now until Thursday (July 12), according to a county press release. The 150-foot-wide, 15-foot-tall LED artwork, titled “Gravity and Grace,” will be projected onto the top two floors of the parking garage at the site.

“The ever-changing artwork incorporates real-time environmental data that organizes its spectral shifts of color,” the county arts program wrote in the release. “Both color field painting and blues guitar inspired the design of the artwork. If the work of art were played on a guitar, you might say that the programmed environmental factors are really what are strumming the chords of color you see on the wall.”

The county added that Norm Schwab of the design firm Lightswitch and artist Pablo Molina helped write algorithms for the artwork “that drives the color and motion transitions in the artwork.”

“The significant pieces of real-time environmental data tied to the artwork vary daily and show significant fluctuations over long periods of time, such as temperature and extreme weather tied to climate change,” the county wrote. “This shifting data introduces chance into the structure of the artwork pulling data from factors like local variations in Arlington’s temperature, river level, traffic patterns or water usage.”

Garten, who is also the designer behind the “Corridor of Light” art installation coming to N. Lynn Street’s intersection with Lee Highway and I-66, will host an “on-site artist talk” about the installation tonight. The event will start at 9 p.m.

Photo via Arlington Public Art

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Morning Notes

County Board to Vote on Arts Grants — “County Board members on July 14 are slated to approve $215,810 in direct support to Arlington arts groups for the coming year. The funding request, which is in line with those of previous years, comes from the Arlington Commission for the Arts.” [InsideNova]

New Building Sign in Rosslyn — The logo for the University of Virginia Darden Graduate School of Business now sits atop one of Rosslyn’s skyscrapers. The school recently expanded its facilities within the building at 1100 Wilson Blvd. [Twitter]

‘Instagrammable’ Sights in Arlington — Stay Arlington, the county’s tourism promotion agency, has a list of the “Most Instagrammable Places in Arlington.” The list includes: the Air Force Memorial, the Netherlands Carillon, murals in Crystal City, Theodore Roosevelt Island, New District Brewing Co. and the Mount Vernon Trail. [Stay Arlington]

Local Young Professionals Spend Wisely — A “money diary” for a married, young professional couple in Arlington has none of the excesses usually found in the genre. Instead, the couple jointly makes $175,000 per year, plus bonuses, and spends it modestly on things like cheddar Chex Mix and a $1,600 per month one bedroom apartment. [Refinery 29]

New Look for Our Homepage — You might have noticed that ARLnow’s homepage has a new look. This is an interim step on our way to launching an entirely new website design. Please let us know what you think about it in the comments. Also, let us know if you find any significant bugs or problems, as we’re still working out the kinks.

Nearby: Dual-Use Path on W&OD Trail — “Within the next year, pedestrians and bicyclists will be able to use separate, parallel sections along the trail in the city of Falls Church.” [InsideNova]

Photo courtesy Dennis Dimick

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Man Leads Police on Wild Foot Chase Through Rosslyn

A 41-year-old man is facing a litany of charges after allegedly leading a police officer on a wild chase through part of Rosslyn.

The incident happened last Thursday around 6:30 p.m. Police say the man, Lamont Witherspoon, was spotted by an officer and identified as the suspect in a theft that had just occurred.

Witherspoon ran from the officer, dodged a taser, took off running again, and engaged in a physical struggle with the officer before finally being taken into custody, according to an Arlington County Police crime report.

The full crime report item is below.

ASSAULT ON LAW ENFORCEMENT, 2018-07050205, 1100 block of Wilson Boulevard. At approximately 6:32 p.m. on July 5, police were dispatched to the report of a larceny in progress. An arriving officer identified the suspect, who was allegedly in possession of stolen goods that were visible in his backpack, based upon a lookout and attempted to stop the suspect. The suspect ignored the officer’s commands and fled the area on foot. A brief foot pursuit ensued and the suspect eventually stopped running. The officer issued lawful commands to the suspect, to which he did not comply and continued to challenge the officer. The officer then attempted to deploy his taser unsuccessfully, however, the suspect complied and got on one knee on the ground. When the officer attempted to handcuff him, the suspect continued to struggle with the officer, knocked the handcuffs away and fled on foot again. A second foot pursuit ensued and the officer was able to take the suspect to the ground. The suspect resisted the officer’s attempts to control him and repeatedly pulled the officer’s hand away from his radio and interfered with his microphone, preventing him from communicating his location to dispatch. The suspect continued to be combative, attempting to strike the officer with a closed fist multiple times. Despite the suspect grabbing the officer’s hand as he attempted to use his O.C. spray, the officer was able to successfully deploy the spray, preventing the suspect from further resisting arrest. With the assistance of an additional arriving officer, the suspect was then taken into custody. The officer sustained minor injuries and was transported to an area hospital for evaluation. Lamont Witherspoon, 41, of No Fixed Address, was arrested and charged with Petit Larceny: 3+ Offense, Possession of Burglarous Tools, Assault on Law Enforcement, Attempting to Disarm a Law Enforcement Officer of a Chemical or Impact Weapon, Obstruction of Justice (x2), Preventing an Emergency Call, and served with an outstanding warrant for Grand Larceny. He was held on no bond.

Photo courtesy ACPD

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Report: Arlington Will Add 24,000 New Homes Through 2040

Crystal City is set to add 5,300 homes over the next 20 years, leading the way among all of Arlington’s Metro corridors, according to county projections.

In all, the county will likely see a total of 24,000 new homes built between 2020 and 2040, according to the “Arlington Profile 2018” released by the county this spring.

County staff believe Crystal City will have a total of 9,500 housing units by 2020, up from 7,924 in 2010, and see that number jump to 14,800 by 2040. Should that happen, Crystal City will be the Arlington community with the most housing available, and that level of growth will far outpace its fellow Metro-accessible neighborhoods of Ballston and Rosslyn.

The county projects that Ballston will have 9,200 homes in total two years from now, placing it just behind Crystal City. But by 2040, Ballston will have 11,600 units in all, or 3,200 fewer homes than Crystal City.

By 2020, researchers expect Rosslyn will have 8,700 homes, but they project the neighborhood will surge into second place by 2040, with 12,700 homes in total.

Pentagon City will add the third-most homes over the next two decades, county staffers estimate, jumping from a projected 6,600 units in 2020 to 8,300 homes in 2040.

Clarendon, the Metro-accessible neighborhood with the smallest amount of housing available, is only set to grow from a projected 3,700 homes in 2020 to 4,600 in 2040. Courthouse is also projected to add 900 homes over the same time period, growing from 8,300 units to 9,200.

The county projects Virginia Square will add the fewest homes of anywhere in Arlington, growing from 4,600 homes to 5,400 by 2040.

With a projected total of 143,000 homes two decades from now, staffers expect that Arlington will add slightly more housing than residents between 2020 and 2040. The county is expecting to have a population of 238,300 by 2020 and jump to 287,600 by 2040, an increase of 22,700.

Researchers project a similarly large jump in jobs in the county — Arlington has 224,000 jobs right now and is projected to have 261,000 jobs by 2040, a jump of 37,000.

File photo

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CAVA to Open With Free Meals in Rosslyn Tomorrow

Fast-casual Mediterranean eatery CAVA will open its doors in Rosslyn tomorrow morning (July 6), and the first 150 guests will receive a free meal.

The 1201 Wilson Blvd location joins two others in Arlington — one in Ballston and one at Reagan National Airport — along with a Cava Mezze sit-down restaurant in Clarendon.

By the end of the year, the D.C.-based chain plans to have over 65 restaurants open across the country.

The Rosslyn storefront will seat 26 people inside and offer outdoor patio seating. The restaurant is scheduled to open at 10:45 a.m. tomorrow and will accept donations to D.C. nonprofit City Blossom as part of the opening.

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Rosslyn’s Art Institute of Washington Set to Close, Stop Accepting New Students

The Rosslyn-based Art Institute of Washington is now set to shut down, and has stopped accepting applications for new students.

A spokeswoman for the college’s owner, Dream Center Education Holdings, confirmed today (Monday) that the Arlington location at 1820 N. Fort Myer Drive is among 30 of the company’s campuses set to close soon. The Raleigh News and Observer reported earlier today on an internal memo showing that the Rosslyn campus would be closing.

Anne Dean, the spokeswoman for DCEH, noted that the closure would impact “new students only” in the near term.

“We will redirect prospective students to our online offerings or one of our other campuses,” Dean wrote in a statement. “Current, active students should continue to attend class as scheduled.”

Dean did not say when, exactly, the campus would close for good. It’s been open in Rosslyn since 2000, and offers programs on everything from fashion to graphic design to culinary arts.

DCEH, a for-profit company, bought the Art Institute brand, as well as South University and Argosy University, late last year for $60 million. Since then, Dean wrote that the company has been “undergoing an ongoing process of evaluating the viability of certain campus-based programs relative to student needs and preferences in order to best support our students, both present and future.”

Though records show the Arlington campus, a branch of the Art Institute of Atlanta, has remained fully accredited, the company has struggled to maintain its credentials at other programs. The News and Observer also reported that DCEH has had trouble winning approval from the U.S. Department of Education to convert the Art Institute colleges into nonprofit entities.

“While we actively work with our accreditors and regulators to assess the viability of our current offerings at these locations, DCEH remains steadfast in our mission to provide students with accessible, affordable, relevant and purposeful education aligned with market demands,” Dean wrote.

The company also operates an Argosy University campus in Arlington, but that location is set to remain open.

H/t Rob Stern. Flickr pool photo by PDerby.

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JUST IN: Park Service Selects Location Near Rosslyn as Preferred Site for Boathouse

A decades-long effort to build a boathouse along the banks of the Potomac River is lurching forward once more.

Officials with the National Park Service have wrapped up an environmental analysis of the project and settled on a preferred alternative near Rosslyn for its construction, in the latest bit of forward momentum for an initiative that has long bedeviled county leaders.

Local high schoolers have been particularly keen on seeing a new boathouse come to the fruition, as the closest access points for rowing teams have long been in Georgetown or Alexandria, but the project’s complexity has repeatedly stalled it.

NPS took control of Arlington’s portion of the Potomac shoreline after the construction of the GW Parkway, and the federal agency has spent years working off-and-on with the county to find a way to give local rowers easier access to the river. Arlington officials helped jump-start the process in 2014 by buying a parcel of land along Lee Highway just south of the Key Bridge, giving the NPS some added flexibility as it evaluated several options where the boathouse could be built.

Now, the agency is recommending a design that would involve building a 300-foot-long floating dock and 14,000 square feet of boat storage along the Potomac’s shoreline near Rosslyn, just across from Theodore Roosevelt Island. The plan also calls for building a support facility on the county-owned Lee Highway site with office space, locker rooms and handicapped parking.

NPS also evaluated plans to build the boathouse on the same site near the island without the support building, as well as an option that would involve building the boathouse on Gravelly Point near Reagan National Airport instead.

Yet the agency settled on its preferred alternative because the additional space off Lee Highway “allows for development of a smaller boat storage structure while providing additional support facilities outside the floodplain, off NPS property, and close to transit,” officials wrote in the environmental analysis.

They also noted that the Potomac is a bit calmer near the Rosslyn location, earning it higher marks than Gravelly Point. The close proximity of the Rosslyn Metro station and several local bus stops, in addition to the Custis bike trail, also won the option some praise.

While the agency found that any construction would have some limited impacts on the area’s wetlands and soil, it broadly didn’t foresee many stumbling blocks for the project to move forward. Nevertheless, any construction will require both federal and state permits to advance, and the county will need to work with federal officials to find funding for the effort.

In the meantime, however, NPS is accepting comments on the environmental analysis through July 30 on its website. The agency also plans to hold a July 12 open house at Washington-Lee High School on the project, starting at 6 p.m.

Hat tip to Chris Slatt

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Morning Notes

Simple Greek Now Open — Fast-casual restaurant chain The Simple Greek has opened its new Rosslyn location in the Colonial Plaza shopping center. A ribbon cutting ceremony yesterday was followed by long lines at lunchtime. [Twitter, Twitter]

WiFi Available in Underground Metro Stations — As of today, free wireless internet service should be available in every underground Metro station. Per yesterday’s announcement from Metro: “Customers can log-in by selecting the ‘Metro-Public’ network in their device’s Wi-Fi settings.” [WMATA]

Signs Up for Sfoglina — “Coming soon” signs are up for the new Rosslyn outpost of the acclaimed Fabio and Maria Trabocchi restaurant Sfoglina Pasta House. The restaurant is located on the street level of the office building at 11oo Wilson Boulevard. [Twitter]

Water Rescue Near Chain Bridge — D.C. police and firefighters rescued two people whose kayak overturned in the Potomac River near Chain Bridge last night. Both were evaluated by medics but “neither have physical injuries,” per DCFEMS. [Twitter, Twitter]

Fox News Coming to Iwo Jima Memorial — On Sunday, Fox News Channel will broadcast a portion of its America’s News Headquarters program (noon-2 p.m.) from the Marine Corps War Memorial near Rosslyn. Elizabeth Prann will co-anchor “ANHQ” from the Memorial, “where the nation will be preparing for the Fourth of July fireworks celebration,” according to a Fox press release.

Arlington Has Millions in Prepaid Taxes — “The Arlington treasurer’s office still has about $8 million sitting untouched in its coffers, waiting to be applied to future tax payments. But that’s less than half the $17.2 million in total prepayments submitted by Arlington taxpayers in the waning days of 2017, hoping to beat changes to federal tax law that made some mortgage-interest payments non-deductible in 2018.” [InsideNova]

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Virginia Wine Festival Coming to Rosslyn This Fall

Arlington wine lovers can sample wineries from across the state without traveling far from home this fall.

From Oct. 13-14, Gateway Park in Rosslyn will host the 43rd annual Virginia Wine Festival. The event promises to offer over 200 wines plus “dozens” of ciders.

Those in attendance can also enjoy food vendors, live music and an oyster pavilion serving oysters from the Chesapeake region, according to the festival’s website.

Two-day general admission passes are available for $55. General admission grants attendees a tasting glass, unlimited wine tasting and access to concessions and music.

The 2017 festival took place in Alexandria’s Oronoco Bay Park, and was met with criticism from Visit Alexandria, the city’s tourism booster, for being “inadequately planned,” leading to “crowding and unacceptably long lines.”

Gateway Park does not lack experience in hosting large events — the sizable Rosslyn Jazz Festival, which drew more than 10,000 attendees last September, has called the venue home for the past 28 years.

Photo via Twitter

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Morning Notes

RCA Building Redevelopment Nixed — Plans to tear down the aging RCA office building at 1901 N. Moore Street in Rosslyn and replace it with a 24-story residential tower have been placed on hold “indefinitely.” Instead, owner Weissberg Investment Corp. is now seeking to lease up vacant spaces in the building. [Washington Business Journal]

New County Board Clerk Announced —  “The Arlington County Board today named Kendra M. Jacobs the Clerk to the County Board. She will join the County Board Office in her new role on Monday, July 9. Jacobs comes to Arlington County Government from the City of Alexandria, where she has managed the Department of Planning and Zoning’s Boards and Commission Unit since 2003.” [Arlington County]

LWV to Host Gerrymandering Forum — The Arlington League of Women Voters is hosting a forum entitled “Gerrymandering in America and the Future of Popular Sovereignty” on Thursday, July 12 at 7:30 p.m. at the Arlington Mill Community Center. [League of Women Voters, InsideNova]

More ART Mechanical Issues — The bus serving the ART 43 route today “died on [Route] 50 right before the Crystal City exit,” a rider reports. Per the transit agency, which has been plagued by problems recently: “Due to mechanical issues ART 43 to Court House Metro from Crystal City Metro at 8:51 AM will not operate. We apologize for your inconvenience.” [Twitter, Twitter]

Flickr pool photo by Eric

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