District Taco Gets New Neighbor — The new District Taco in Rosslyn will soon have a new neighbor at 1500 Wilson Blvd. A Wells Fargo bank is “coming soon” to a next-door ground floor retail space. There is an existing Wells Fargo branch down the street at 1300 Wilson Blvd. A branch in Courthouse recently closed. A bank spokeswoman did not respond to a request for comment. [Twitter]
Scaled-Down Long Bridge Aquatics Center Proposed — Arlington County Manager Mark Schwartz last night proposed a scaled-down version of the Long Bridge Park aquatics center. The original aquatics center design was shelved before it could be built due to construction estimates and an operating budget that were higher than expected. [InsideNova]
Congressional Delegation Writes to NPS Director — Arlington’s congressional delegation — Sen. Mark Warner, Sen. Tim Kaine and Rep. Don Beyer — has written to National Park Service Director Jonathan Jarvis, urging him to make sure NPS applies for a “FASTLANE” grant for reconstruction of the decaying Memorial Bridge, before the April 14 application deadline. However, the Park Service is said to be likely to miss the deadline. [Scribd, Washington Post]
Maker Economy Event in Crystal City — TechShop in Crystal City will be hosting a discussion of the “the maker economy and local manufacturing in the DMV region” next Wednesday, April 20. Early bird registration ends tomorrow. [LERCPA]
Beginning of the End for Metro’s 1000-Series — Metro retired the first of its aging 1000-series rail cars from service yesterday morning, calling it the “end of an era.” [YouTube]
Flickr pool photo by Erinn Shirley
Rosslyn is getting some new street furniture, featuring a design that evokes the neighborhood’s skyline at night.
The Rosslyn Business Improvement District held a press conference today to herald the arrival of the new sidewalk elements, which were designed by New York-based industrial designer Ignacio Ciocchini.
For now, the new items — benches, trash and recycling cans, bike racks, mobile information kiosks, newspaper box corrals and informational signs — have only been installed around the intersection of Wilson Blvd and N. Oak Street. Officials will gather public feedback on the new streetscape design before starting the process of installing such items throughout the Rosslyn commercial district.
“The purpose behind creating a unique streetscape design is to create a distinct contemporary identity for Rosslyn in addition to encouraging pedestrian activity, connectivity and enjoyment of the neighborhood,” said Lucia de Cordre, Urban Design Director of the Rosslyn BID, in a statement. “The elements were also created to extend the benefits of current redevelopment projects and the long-term vision of the Realize Rosslyn sector plan to the street level. This isn’t design just for aesthetics’ sake, this is a deliberate, functional approach toward supporting retail, walkability and an active public realm.”
County Board member John Vihstadt spoke at the unveiling today and praised the efforts to modernize Rosslyn, noting that the Rosslyn skyline, which inspired the new streetscape design, is often the public face of Arlington.
“Rosslyn is Arlington’s downtown, it’s Arlington’s front door,” he said. “That door needs to be open for businesses, residents and visitors so Arlington can thrive.”
“It was a great place to bring your grandmother,” he quipped.
Vihstadt said there are “unique things going on” in Rosslyn that will help ensure its desirability as an urban place that mixes office and residential uses.
“It’s not exactly Manhattan on the Potomac, but it’s not Mayberry either,” he said.
The full press release from the Rosslyn BID, after the jump.
The Rosslyn sandbox is back open for the season, after it debuted last year.
The children’s sand play area is located in Gateway Park (1300 Lee Highway), in what used to be a fountain. The former fountain is now filled with white sand, painted with colorful designs by local artists and decorated with small stone figures of woodland creatures.
“Staff from Arlington Parks and Recreation recently cleaned and opened the largest sandbox in Arlington County for the spring and summer,” the Rosslyn BID said on its website. “It’s a terrific option for anyone looking for a fun and safe place for kids to play.”
The sandbox has been stocked with plastic pails, shovels and other communal toys. There are also adirondack chairs around the play area for parents and caregivers.
A UPS driver was pelted by BBs apparently fired from a Rosslyn apartment building this afternoon.
The incident happened around 2 p.m. near the corner of N. Oak Street and Key Blvd.
The driver told police that a teenage male — 18 years of age or so — was firing a BB gun at him from the top balcony of the 1800 N. Oak Street apartments. At least one of the BBs struck the man in the torso, but he was not otherwise injured.
The driver yelled at the teen to stop. By the time police showed up, he had apparently gone back inside.
No word yet on whether there are any suspects in the case.
This time, the restaurant at 1650 Wilson Blvd is splitting into two. Somewhat cryptic signs outside are heralding the imminent arrival of what’s being described to us as a sit-down restaurant with Georgian (as in, the country) and Mediterranean influences.
“The Tasty Dugout,” as the new restaurant will apparently be called, is set to open Friday, April 1. It held a small “preview” event this past weekend.
The Tasty Dugout is located next to Ray’s Hell Burger, in what used to be a dining area for the original restaurant. Among the dishes it expects to serve:
- Khachapuri — Georgian pizza, basically
- Kharcho — A traditional Georgian soup
- Shasklik — “A form of Shish kebab popular in Eastern and Central Europe”
- Shakshouka — A Tunisian poached egg and tomato sauce dish
Ray’s honcho Michael Landrum was said to be out of the country and unavailable for comment when ARLnow.com stopped by the restaurant this week.
According to Sherri Ly: “There was no ‘evacuation.’ The train was offloaded due to a brake issue… The train was taken out of service and the customers were able to board the next train.
“There was no electrical issue and the smell is not an electrical smell, it’s the smell of hot brakes – similar to if you are riding your brakes in your car.”
Earlier: A day after the Metrorail system was shut down due to the risk of electrical fires on the tracks, an apparent brake or electrical issue has prompted the evacuation of a train at the Rosslyn Metro station.
Numerous riders, including a reporter who occasionally freelances for ARLnow.com, reported the incident on Twitter.
We’re told that the train’s conductor was initially skeptical when riders began pressing the emergency button, but the train was offloaded shortly thereafter as it filled with smoke.
Metro described the incident as a “train malfunction” and said riders should expect some residual delays. A haze and an electrical smell was reported throughout the station following the malfunction.
#Metro train held in tunnel before Rosslyn and my car got hazy, smelling like brake/electrical burning. Offloaded at Rosslyn
— Katie Pyzyk (@_PyintheSky) March 17, 2016
Just got off the train in Rosslyn because it started filling with smoke. #wmata
— Josh Stafford (@jstaff) March 17, 2016
SL train towards largo started filling with smoke. Offloaded at Rosslyn. I'm afraid to take metro again #wmata
— Joel Smithey (@Joel_Smithey) March 17, 2016
— Nick Hawatmeh (@HawatmehNick) March 17, 2016
Smoke in our metro car #1110.Train taken out service when we reported thru emergency button, after attitude from conductor. @unsuckdcmetro
— Tom Karako (@tomkarako) March 17, 2016
File photo by Chris Rief
Major Rosslyn Development Approved — A sweeping five-phase redevelopment of 7.65 acres of prime Rosslyn real estate was approved unanimously by the Arlington County Board on Saturday. The Board approved the framework for the development, though final approval will be necessary for each phase. Developers Vornado and Gould Property Company expect to complete the project over the course of 25 years. [Arlington County]
Gun Store Saga Continues — Who owns NOVA Armory, the gun store that’s planning to open in Lyon Park despite community opposition? The man who speaks on behalf of the business and holds its federal firearms sales license isn’t saying, exactly. Dennis Pratte declined further questions after describing it as “a female, minority-owned business” and stating “I may or may not be the owner.” Meanwhile, county leaders say there’s nothing they can legally do to prevent the store from opening. NOVA Armory is planning to a grand opening on March 26. [Washington Post, InsideNova]
Teen Tourist Scammed at Pentagon City Mall — A California teenager on a school trip to Washington was reportedly scammed out of $97 by an armed man at the Pentagon City mall. The man compelled the teen to give him $97 in exchange for what turned out to be a counterfeit $100 bill. [NBC Washington]
Arlington Natives Live Blog Day at Ballston Common Mall — Two friends who grew up in Arlington’s Bluemont neighborhood decided to spend all of Saturday at Ballston Common Mall, ahead of its imminent demise, and live-blog their experience. The blog mixes nostalgia for time spent shopping and working at the mall with observations about the current mix of largely chain restaurants and small, quirky stores. [Things Remembered: A Day at Ballston]
Other County Board Action — On Saturday, the Arlington County Board approved a Memorandum of Understanding to partner with Virginia Tech and join the national MetroLab Network, and voted to accept $731,813 in state funding to support the county’s permanent supportive housing program. [Arlington County, Arlington County]
Flickr pool photo by John Sonderman
Pancho Villa Mexican Cuisine has filed a Virginia ABC application for 1850 N. Fort Myer Drive, the former home to the short-lived Secret Chopsticks restaurant. It’s the second ABC license for the space: another was filed last month for a new restaurant called “Anjorie.”
Pancho Villa has existing locations in Stafford, Fredericksburg and Dahlgren, with another set to open in Centreville.
If it opens, the new Pancho Villa restaurant in Rosslyn is expected to seat between 101-150 people, according to the license application.
An accident at the Central Place construction site in Rosslyn shut down N. Lynn Street earlier this morning.
The accident happened around 6:45 a.m. Lynn Street was closed at Wilson Blvd due to the emergency response.
“A construction worker was unloading material from a crane when the material fell on top of him,” said Arlington County Police spokeswoman Ashley Savage. “Other construction workers on scene were able to [free] him.”
A construction crane was used to bring the injured worker down from the fifth level of the under-construction building, said a fire department spokesman.
The worker was transported to a local hospital with non-life threatening injuries.
— Chris Roth (@thechrisroth) March 11, 2016
The Arlington County Board this weekend is scheduled to consider a massive 7.65 acre redevelopment project that would reshape the Rosslyn skyline.
Developers Vornado and Gould Property Company are proposing a five-phase project that would eventually replace seven existing buildings — the Rosslyn Spectrum Theater, the London Apartments, the Normandy Apartments and four office buildings.
In its place would be 2.5 million square feet of space across five buildings, including 1.8 million square feet of office, 550 residential units, 200 hotel rooms and 45,000 square feet of retail space. Also planned area new, nearly one acre Rosslyn Plaza Park, an Esplanade and two new east-west streets breaking up the super block between N. Kent Street and N. Arlington Ridge Road.
County staff is recommending approval of a Phased Development Site Plan and a rezoning for the project. Each of the five phases will still need its own final site plan approved by the Board.
“The applicant’s proposed redevelopment of the Rosslyn Plaza property will permit the redevelopment of a critical site in
Rosslyn and introduce new elements of public infrastructure identified in the Rosslyn Sector Plan,” wrote county staff, “including the construction of improvements to Wilson Boulevard and N. Kent Street along with two new streets to break up the superblock, creation of the Rosslyn Plaza Park and other public open space improvements, a reconfigured N. Arlington Ridge Road, and bicycle trail improvements including portions of the Esplanade.”
The developers are also proposing a public pedestrian and bicycle bridge over I-66 and the GW Parkway, connecting one of the new roads with the Mt. Vernon Trail.
“The Mount Vernon Trail is used by over 3,000 cyclists on an average day, and provides a trail exit and connection to Rosslyn at Lee Highway near North Lynn Street,” county staff wrote. “The PDSP envisions a pedestrian and bicycle connection to the Mount Vernon Trail, via a bridge at the end of 18th or 19th Street over Interstate 66 and the George Washington Memorial Parkway. Its feasibility has not been determined and will be discussed during future final site plan applications.”
Currently, the apartments in the Rosslyn Plaza site supply fewer than 10 students to Arlington Public Schools. County staff estimate that once completed, the new development will generate a total of 42 APS students — attending Key Elementary School or Arlington Science Focus Elementary School, Williamsburg Middle School and Yorktown High School.
The first phase of the project would demolish the London Apartments, the Spectrum Theater and one of the office buildings. County commissions and the Rosslyn Business Improvement District have been supportive of the project, although some local neighborhood groups have expressed concerns about the height of the proposed buildings and the impact on traffic.
The Board is set to consider the development plan at its meeting on Saturday.
Lawmakers Ask Gun Store Landlord to Reconsider — Seven state legislators who represent Arlington have written to the landlord of a planned gun store in Lyon Park, asking her to reconsider the lease. The letter cites Virginia’s 1990s reputation for being the “gun-running capital of the East Coast” and says the new store, which is located near a private preschool and daycare center, “could be the site for potentially nefarious and illegal activities.” [Washington Post]
Three Arlington Bars Make D.C. Dive List — The website UpOut has compiled a list of “10 Ridiculously Cool Dive Bars in Washington D.C.” Among them are three Arlington favorites: Galaxy Hut, Cowboy Cafe and L.A. Bar and Grill. [UpOut]
More Millennials Coming to Arlington? — In Arlington, 35-40 percent of the population is of the Millennial generation. That makes Arlington one of the most Millennial-heavy places in the country. But the county’s demographer doesn’t think the county’s Millennial boom has peaked yet. “Whether Millennials choose to stay or leave Arlington could have a major impact on schools, since the bulk of that population group has not yet embarked on creating families,” notes the Sun Gazette. [InsideNova]
Memorial Bridge May Close in Five Years — After years of deferred maintenance, the 84-year-old Memorial Bridge is in such bad shape that the National Park Service could be forced to close it by 2021 unless it can get funding for a $250 million complete reconstruction. [Associated Press, Twitter]
Where You Might Bump into an Arlington Trump Voter — Chris Slatt has again compiled some interesting Arlington election data into map form. Slatt’s maps show Democratic turnout by precinct, Republican turnout by precinct and the population density of Donald Trump voters — the highest concentration of which are along the Rosslyn-Ballston corridor. Separately, another sage election watcher, Carrie Johnson, estimates that 5,500-6,000 voters who usually vote Democratic in Arlington voted Republican in Tuesday’s presidential primary, thus in part explaining why John Kasich and Marco Rubio outperformed here compared to the rest of the state. [InsideNova]
New Rosslyn-Based Online Publication — Rosslyn continues to cement its reputation as Arlington’s media hub. ABC 7 (WJLA) parent company Sinclair Broadcast Group is launching “D.C. Refined,” a new online-only local culture magazine. The publication will “fall under the umbrella” of Rosslyn-based WJLA. [Washington Business Journal]
(Updated at 4:45 p.m.) Secret Chopsticks in Rosslyn has closed after only three months in business.
The upscale Chinese restaurant opened in
December November, after various issues delayed its opening by a year and a half. The delayed opening wasn’t the restaurant’s only problem — it had an inconspicuous lead-up to its opening, garnered mediocre reviews from diners and its general manager reportedly left in December, shortly after it opened.
Last month, a Virginia ABC permit application was filed for a new restaurant called “Anjorie,” listing Secret Chopsticks’ address and phone number. An employee reached by ARLnow.com last week declined to comment and referred us to a manager, who we were unable to reach despite multiple attempts.
Few details are available about Anjorie, except the name of the company behind it — Vandor Management LLC — and the fact that it plans to serve wine, beer and cocktails, and seat more than 150.
Home Values Jump 14 Percent — Arlington County saw a big bump in the sale price of homes, at least according to one data set from January. Long & Foster says the median price of a home sold in Arlington last month was $590,000, up 14 percent from one year prior. [WTOP]
Caps Hold Fundraiser for Young Cancer Victim — The Washington Capitals held a fundraiser at Don Tito in Clarendon on Friday for the family of a three-year-old girl who just died of an inoperable brain tumor. The family has more than $100,000 in medical bills to pay and hopes to also raise money for the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. [NBC Washington]
Problems Persist at Arlington National Cemetery — More than 5 years after major problems were revealed at Arlington National Cemetery, there’s word of new problems. The cemetery’s burial backlog has increased, it’s taking longer to get headstones approved and previously unenforced rules are now being enforced, frustrating some families, reports a local TV station. [WJLA]
Arlington Students Serving as White House Interns — Three college students who hail from Arlington are on the list of spring 2016 White House interns. The interns are: Jeremy Brown, who attends the University of Michigan; Ryan Cowdin, who attends George Washington University; and Caitlin O’Grady, who attends Pepperdine.
County Board Approves Rosslyn Changes — At a relatively uneventful meeting on Saturday, the Arlington County Board approved a series of land use, transportation and zoning changes as part of the Western Rosslyn Area Plan. The changes will allow a new school and new development. [Arlington County]
Flickr pool photo by Kevin Wolf
Samantha, 22, told police she was intoxicated when she took an Uber to District Taco in Rosslyn Saturday night, intent on grabbing some food. Afterward, she walked down to the Hyatt hotel, on the 1300 block of Wilson Blvd, milled about a bit and then allegedly stole a car from the valet.
Samantha’s next recollection, according to police, is waking up in the back seat of the car around 1 a.m., in an unknown location in Arlington. She then drove home, went to sleep, and called police around 9 a.m. to come clean about what happened, said ACPD spokeswoman Ashley Savage.
Samantha has been charged with grand theft auto and was held on a $2,000 bond, according to a crime report.
RECOVERED STOLEN AUTO, 160214016, 1300 block of N. Wilson Boulevard. At approximately 9:54 p.m. on February 13, an allegedly intoxicated female subject stole a vehicle outside of a HYATT hotel and drove it home. The subject informed police the next morning that she was in possession of a vehicle that was not hers. Samantha [Redacted], 22, of Arlington VA, was arrested and charged with grand theft auto. She was held on a $2000 unsecured bond.
Updated at 4:30 p.m. — Jeff Overand, an attorney for the suspect, says that Samantha was “involuntarily intoxicated and had been the victim of a sexual assault.” Police were called to a local hospital and took a report of a sexual assault Sunday evening, after the suspect was released from jail, ACPD confirmed after an inquiry from ARLnow.com. “That case is ongoing,” said Savage, the police spokeswoman. In light of this information, ARLnow.com has decided to redact the suspect’s last name.
Photo via Google Maps
Wilson Blvd is closed between Rosslyn and Courthouse due to a water main break.
The closure is between N. Quinn and Rhodes streets, in front of the Colonial Village Shopping Center. Traffic is being diverted onto N. Quinn Street.
As of 3:15 p.m., water was still flowing from 2-3 areas where the roadway had buckled and cracked from the pressure of the burst water main.
The closure is expected to remain in effect throughout the evening rush hour, according to Arlington County. Drivers are being encouraged to seek alternate routes.