A new tenant could be taking over a vacant church on Arlington Boulevard in Buckingham.
“Due to uncontrollable circumstances related to parking availability, we made the decision to sell our building and move into a shared property relationship with Arlington Church of the Brethren,” according to the church’s website. The church has only tiny lots for drop-off, and there are few available street parking spots within easy walking distance.
The church building has been on the market since then, according to Saul Corral, of Fairfax Realty of Tysons, who represents the church.
“It’s such a beautiful building, inside and out,” he said, adding that there are impressive old beams that are hard to come by in modern architecture.
Contracts have been drafted with potential buyers three times already, “but unfortunately, they’ve fallen through,” Corral said.
The fourth time could be the charm for the church. A potential buyer is studying whether or not the investment is feasible, and this study period expires at the end of April, he said.
Previous buyers have had their contracts cancelled based on what they intend to do with the building, he said.
“That’s where the contracts fall through,” Corral said. “Buyers that have other intentions put a contract on it and they’re not approved” by the Arlington County Zoning Department.
The church lot is zoned for single- and multi-family dwellings, according to a county zoning map.
Although the church is vacant, the founding location of a full-time preschool, Children’s International School, continues to operate on the site.
The preschool school has been housed in the church since it was founded in 1985, and has since expanded to three more locations in Arlington and Alexandria. It expects to be able to continue operating from the building, managers have told parents.
With the Thanksgiving holiday over, the Christmas season now begins. And for Arlington residents in search of a Christmas tree, there are a number of options around the county for finding the perfect pine.
The Optimist Club of Arlington began its annual sale Friday in Wells Fargo Bank lot along Lee Highway (2213 N. Glebe Road). All workers are volunteers from around Arlington, including members of youth athletic teams, high school honors societies, and Optimist Club members. The lot will be open every day until December 23, with the following hours:
- Monday through Thursday: 2-8 p.m.
- Friday: 12-8 p.m.
- Saturday and Sunday: 9 a.m.-8 p.m.
The Clarendon United Methodist Church, meanwhile, is selling trees and wreaths to support a variety of the church’s mission projects. The volunteer-run lot — at the intersection of 7th Street N. and N. Irving Street — will be open until December 21, or until supplies sell out. The schedule is:
- Sunday: 12-6 p.m.
- Monday through Friday: 6-8 p.m.
- Saturday: 10 a.m.-8 p.m.
The Arlington South Lions Club is hosting its annual Christmas tree sale at the corner of S. Four Mile Run Drive and Columbia Pike. The sale continues until December 22, or until the club run out of trees. The lot is open:
- Weekdays: 12-7 p.m.
- Weekends: 9 a.m.-7 p.m.
The Knights of Columbus kicked off its 25th annual Christmas Tree Sale on Saturday at Our Lady of Lourdes Parish Center near Crystal City, at the corner of 23rd Street S. and S. Hayes Street. The Knights are selling most trees for between $35-90, though some larger and more expensive trees are available. The lot hours are:
- Weekdays: 6-9 p.m.
- Weekends: 9 a.m.-9 p.m.
“As usual, we feature fresh cut Fraser and Douglas Fir trees in varying sizes up to 9 feet,” the Knights said in a press release, noting the sale will end on Dec. 22 or when the supply of trees runs out. “We will also have wreaths in 3 sizes (10″, 16″, and 24″ measured from the inside wire), white pine roping available by the foot, and tree stands. Come early to get the best trees!”
Additional Christmas tree sales to check out include a fundraiser for Mount Olivet United Methodist Church (1500 N. Glebe Road) and its boys and girls scout troops. The sale will be held this weekend, beginning on Friday, December 6 from 4-9 p.m.
At St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church (400 Lorcom Lane), two hundred Christmas trees have been delivered, with sales continuing this weekend. On Saturday, the trees will be available from 9 a.m.-5 p.m., and then on Sunday the lot will be open from 11 a.m.-5 p.m.
Photo courtesy of Peter Golkin
Cost Plus World Market (1301 S. Joyce Street) in Pentagon Row is closing, so if you need imported beer, woven baskets, Italian coffee flavoring or Stranger Things lollipops, get them while they last.
The store is scheduled to close by Sept. 27, according to a store employee, though he noted that if they sell out of most of their inventory before then they’ll likely shutter early.
The manager said the closure came amid lease negotiations for the location, and other nearby World Market locations made the store redundant. Employees were also overheard saying the impending arrival of Amazon likely played a role in driving up rents.
The next closest Cost Plus World Market is in Falls Church (3532 S. Jefferson Street).
Every item in the store is marked with at least a 10 percent discount as the store tries to empty its inventory.
With Thanksgiving coming up next week, holiday season preparations are right around the corner. Arlington residents in search of a Christmas tree can head to these spots to pick out the perfect pine.
The Optimist Club of Arlington will start its annual tree sale next at 2 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 23 in the Wells Fargo Bank lot along Lee Highway (2213 N. Glebe Road). The sales will end around Dec. 21 depending on availability, according to a press release.
Its hours are:
- Monday to Thursday, 2 to 8 p.m.
- Friday, noon to 8 p.m.
- Saturday and Sunday, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.
The lot will also have wreaths, garland and White House Christmas ornaments available for purchase. All of the proceeds go to the club’s youth programs, which provide support and scholarships to local children.
For the first time this year, the Optimist Club will also be selling trees at a second location.
From Dec. 5-7, the club and the Ballston BID will operate a “pop-up lot” in the Ballston Gold’s Gym parking lot on Wilson Blvd. The lot is scheduled to be open from 3-7 p.m. and will offer smaller trees than the main Wells Fargo lot. A food truck is also set to serve food for tree shoppers.
The Arlington South Lions Club will begin its annual Christmas tree sale next Friday, Nov. 23, as well.
The sale will take place at the corner of Columbia Pike and S. Four Mile Run Drive from noon to 8 p.m. on weekdays and from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. on weekends until Dec. 24. Also planned is a Christmas Tree 5K on the W&OD Trail on Saturday, Dec. 1.
“Benefits from the Christmas Tree 5K and Lions Club Christmas Tree Sale will provide resources for sight preservation, disaster relief, Arlington Youth activities, the Arlington Free Clinic and the Arlington Food Assistance Center,” according to the Lions Club. “The Club will be providing Christmas trees to low-income families as well to provide joy during holiday celebrations.”
The Clarendon United Methodist Church (606 N. Irving Street), meanwhile, begins its tree sale on Saturday, Nov. 24 and runs until the lot sold out. Proceeds will go toward Rise Against Hunger, Wings of Caring and Arlington Thrive.
The schedule is:
- Monday to Friday, 6 to 8 p.m.
- Saturday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
- Sunday, noon to 6 p.m.
Other usual Christmas tree sale locations to check out include Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church (830 23rd Street S.) in Aurora Highlands, Whole Foods stores and local farmers markets. Spots outside of Arlington include the Middleburg Christmas Tree Farm and Almost Heavenly Christmas Trees, which has a location in North Ridge and another in Landmark.
Flickr pool photo by John Sonderman
L.A. Bar and Grill Reopening — After closing for renovations (and because it was late in renewing its state alcohol license) Columbia Pike watering hole L.A. Bar and Grill is planning to reopen this weekend, just in time for Cinco de Mayo. [Facebook, Facebook]
The D.C. Case for the Rosslyn Gondola — “The Gondola will provide anyone within the Metro catchment area a faster trip to Georgetown. With the Gondola, the total travel time to Georgetown drops to less than 30 minutes for a much larger part of the region, including areas of the District with the greatest need for employment opportunities, giving them a faster way to connect with jobs in Georgetown.” [D.C. Policy Center]
Petition Against iPads in Middle School Cafeterias — An online petition, signed by nearly 100 people, seeks to have Arlington Public Schools strengthen its rules regarding iPad use in middle schools. Specifically, the signers want iPads to be used in classrooms and not during lunchtime or recess. Such a policy, the petition creators wrote, would “ensure that APS electronic resources enhance, and do not detract from, the learning process of middle school students.” [Change.org]
More ART Arrival Info Issues — Once again, Arlington Transit is having problems with its real-time bus arrival system. Officials told ARLnow.com that a technical issue with the contractor that provides the system was to blame. [Twitter]
Native Plant Sale This Weekend — The Long Branch Nature Center will host a sale of “plants that are accustomed to local climate and wildlife” on Saturday afternoon. [Arlington County]
Scott McGeary Lauded — “Decades ago, Scott McGeary’s parents would take him to occasional celebratory dinners at the Key Bridge Marriott, where they would enjoy both the food and the vistas of the nation’s capital… On May 2, McGeary was again at the hotel, this time in the 14th-floor ballroom as he was inducted into the Arlington Business Hall of Fame.” [InsideNova]
Four Mile Run Dye Testing — Arlington County is conducting dye testing along S. Four Mile Run Drive today. Traces of green and red dye may be seen in Four Mile Run as a result. [Twitter]
Flickr pool photo by Erinn Shirley
The Bethel United Church of Christ’s building in Buckingham is on the market for just over $2.1 million.
Per a real estate listing, the church “is priced at [the] county’s assessed value for a fast sale” and stained glass windows will be removed by the church before the sale. It has been on the market for 18 days as of this article’s publication.
The Bethel UCC congregation is moving to the nearby Arlington Church of the Brethren, in the Boulevard Manor neighborhood, according to a Facebook post from last year.
“After a year of meetings, of wondering, of worrying, and praying, Bethel United Church of Christ yesterday decided that God and Jesus were calling us to change,” the June 26, 2017 post said. “We will leave the building we have occupied for seven decades and begin a covenantal relationship with Arlington Church of the Brethren.”
Messages left for the church and the preschool’s founder were not immediately returned. A preschool employee suggested that it was considering buying the building, but nothing was finalized.
Furniture store Random Harvest has closed its location at 4522 Lee Highway.
The store, in the Lee Heights Shops, carried “an exceptional handpicked selection of furniture and accessories.” It closed just before the new year.
“It has been a pleasure to have been part of the Lee Heights community over the past 10 years,” a sign on the door reads. “But all good things must come to an end and this location of Random Harvest is now closed.”
The sign says the store’s inventory will transferred to the company’s remaining locations, in Bethesda, Georgetown and Alexandria. However, a 50 percent off “pop up sale” is planned at the Lee Highway store Jan 18-21 and 25-28.
The day after Thanksgiving promises to be a busy one for the Fashion Centre at Pentagon City, as it throws open its doors at 7 a.m. for Black Friday.
It marks the start of the Christmas shopping period across the country, and the mall here will be open until 9:30 p.m. for shoppers looking for deals.
Todd Jerscheid, director of marketing and business development, said anticipation is building for customers and mall employees alike.
“It’s like our Super Bowl Day, if you will. It’s a big day for us,” he said. “It’s where retailers really pull out all the stops and put their best foot forward, and not only supply great sales and promotions and that sort of thing, but it’s also offering that customer experience and welcoming shoppers in during the holiday.”
Jerscheid said customers can expect a slightly slower start to the morning — fewer doorbuster shoppers — than in some other places that open early for Black Friday. But then by mid-morning, foot traffic really picks up.
“I’ve been here nine years, and we pretty much have a very good flow of traffic on Black Friday,” he said. “We are not an early-riser mall, like some malls that open really early in the morning. I would say from 11 a.m. on, the traffic becomes very heavy and then it goes on through the remainder of the evening.”
As in previous years, Jerscheid said the mall will offer its “Shopper Survivor Kit” for the first 100 people who visit Guest Services after opening. The kit has bottled water, coupons, samples and snacks, and is intended to encourage people to shop early in the day.
And the other offer, which Jerscheid said is a “pretty big hit,” is “Santa’s Grab Bag Giveaway.” If a shopper spends $150 or more between 7 and 9 a.m., they can reach into the grab bag and have a chance to win gift cards, prizes from retailers or even a free coffee at Starbucks.
That is in addition to the dozens of stores that will have sales and deals throughout Black Friday and the weekend, while the mall will have a special visitor for children of all ages.
“We can’t forget the big man in the red suit,” Jerscheid said. “He is definitely here. He arrived on November 18, and will be here for photos… Kids can also write a little letter electronically to Santa and send it up to the North Pole.”
The annual Crystal Couture fashion show and sale is scheduled to return the first weekend of February for its eighth consecutive event.
This year’s show will be held from Feb. 4-6, taking place from 6-10 p.m. on Thursday and Friday and from 2-10 p.m. on Saturday.
The “360 degree immersive shopping experience” will be held at the Crystal City shops at 1750 Crystal City Drive.
The event is a combined fashion show and fashion pop-up sale, bringing together upwards of 50 boutiques, designers and retailers from throughout the metro area. Shoppers will be able to purchase discounted merchandise from these vendors both off the rack and off the runway.
While admission is free all three days of the show and sale, shoppers can upgrade to the “VIP Experience” for $20 per person. The experience will last from 2-6 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 6 and will include gift bags, access to three hours of VIP shopping, an open bar and $20 of “Couture Cash” to spend at any retailer.
Proactive shoppers can get a head start on next season’s holiday shopping at specialty gift store Two the Moon’s (6501 29th St. N) upcoming Christmas in July sale.
Two the Moon, which opened last year, sells an eclectic selection of primarily local merchandise, ranging from pottery to greeting cards to baby clothes. During the one-day Christmas in July sale, owner Johanna Braden says all holiday items in the store will be 40 percent off, including holiday merchandise for the upcoming seasons of Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas. All other store items will be 10 percent off.
The bulk of Two the Moon’s offerings are made in Arlington or, barring that, somewhere in the USA. The shop currently carries goods from about 25 different Arlington artisans, including headbands and bows, jewelry, handmade cards and canvas tote-bags. Braden also works to hire locally and says she has given both neighborhood mothers and kids jobs at the store.
Braden opened the store on Sept. 2, 2014 after ending her 35-year career in nursing. Owning a local gift shop had long been a dream of hers, and because she knew that nothing like it existed in the Williamsburg neighborhood where she lived, she decided to give it a shot.
Braden says that business has been “phenomenal” ever since she opened up shop last year.
“Just the other day, someone came in and told me that on the last day of school this year, all the kids came in with gifts for their teachers, and they were all Two the Moon bags!,” said Braden. “It’s great — that’s just so great to hear.”
The Christmas in July sale is scheduled for July 18 from 10 a.m.-7 p.m., with a “rain date” of July 19. Regular store hours are Sunday 12 p.m.-5 p.m. and Tuesday-Saturday 10 a.m.-7 p.m.
The Animal Welfare League of Arlington is launching a holiday campaign this Friday to encourage locals to adopt pets and shop for a good cause.
On Black Friday (Nov. 29) only, AWLA is offering half-price adoption fees for all the animals at its shelter at 2650 S. Arlington Mill Drive.
AWLA will also be offering gift-wrapping for those coming from Black Friday sales, from noon to 5:00 p.m. One wrapped gift costs $3 and four gifts will cost $10.
The organization is offering several other promotions and charity drives for the holiday season. From AWLA:
- A Pawsitively, Purrfect Gift Certificate – Surprise a loved one with an AWLA gift certificate redeemable for a pet adoption fee, retail or bakery items or a microchip and rabies vaccination clinic. Gift certificates are available for purchase at the League or over the phone (703) 931-9241.
- Sweet Treats for Fido – Looking for a stocking stuffer for your pooch? A 5 inch tall, custom Rudolph cookie treat by Dogma Bakery & Boutique is on sale exclusively at AWLA for $3 per treat or $5 for three treats. Proceeds from each purchase will benefit AWLA shelter animals.
- Collars for Canines – This holiday season AWLA is holding a “collar drive” for shelter dogs. The League is in need of Quick Release Snap Martingale Collars. Collars can be purchased and shipped directly to the League from an Amazon wish list.
- Purchasing a 2014 AWLA Calendar – Features inspirational stories and photos of League adoptions. Calendars can be purchased for $20 at the League to benefit shelter animals.
- Contributing on “Giving Tuesday” – You know about Black Friday and Cyber Monday, but are you aware of Giving Tuesday? Kick off the holiday season of giving by making a tax deductable donation to the shelter animals at AWLA on Tuesday, December 3. Visit http://givingtuesday.razoo.
com/story/Awla for details and to make a contribution.