Homelessness Still Falling in Arlington — The annual count of homeless individuals in the region found that the homeless population in Arlington is continuing to fall. According to numbers from the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments, there were 221 people experiencing homelessness in Arlington during the count this year. That’s down from 232 last year and 479 in 2013, but up from 174 in 2016. [MWCOG]
ACPD Using Robocalls to Catch Serial Flasher — Arlington County Police are using automated phone calls to ask residents for tips about the man wanted for repeated indecent exposure incidents in the Rosslyn, Courthouse and Ft. Myer Heights areas. [WJLA]
At least two Arlington farmers markets — in Crystal City and Ballston — are kicking off for the season this week.
In Crystal City, the farmers market at 1900 Crystal Drive will kick off tomorrow (April 3). The market, open from 3-7 p.m. every Tuesday, will have over 20 regional farmers, producers, and vendors.
Shoppers can also pick up “conventional and certified organic fruits and vegetables, grass-fed meats and pastured poultry and eggs, sweet and savory baked goods, handmade pastas, honey, jams, and jellies, hot sauces and pickles, and delicious prepared foods,” according to FRESHFARM, the nonprofit market organizer behind both Crystal City and Ballston markets.
The farmers market at Ballston’s Welburn Square is set to open on Thursday (April 5). Among other goods, shoppers can find “ice cream, sweet and savory baked goods, Virginia-made wines, cold-pressed juices, handmade soaps and lotions, wood-fired pizza, [and] hot pressed sandwiches” between 3-7 p.m. every Thursday.
On the first Thursday of each month, the Ballston market will host a beer and wine garden, music, and giveaways.
Both the Crystal City and Ballston farmers markets accept SNAP and WIC program benefits and offer matching dollars for what is spent through those programs.
The farmers market outside Clarendon’s Metro station is opening April 11, with listed hours of 3-7 p.m., according to Clarendon Alliance director Matt Hussman.
Other farmers markets in the county, with listed hours, include:
- Fairlington Farmers Market (Sundays from 9 a.m.-1 p.m., starting May 6)
- Marymount University’s farmers market (Saturdays from 9 a.m.-1 p.m., starting May 26)
- Westover Farmers Market (Sundays from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. in winter, 8 a.m.-noon from May to November)
- Community Foodworks farmers market in Courthouse (Saturdays year-round, current hours: 8 a.m.-noon)
- Columbia Pike farmers market (Sundays from 9 a.m.-1 p.m.)
- Arlington Mill farmers market (Saturdays from 9 a.m.-1 p.m., starting May 5)
In addition, a new farmers market has been proposed for Barrett Elementary School.
Photos via Arlington County
After year-and-a-half of dramatic improvements, the 56-year-old Barcroft Plaza Shopping Center is ready for its close-up.
Federal Realty, which has owned the 115,000-square-foot center since 2007, invested several million dollars and considerable expertise to bring the centrally located plaza at 6345 Columbia Pike in Falls Church up-to-date, with modern design detailing and an improved tenant mix that includes a new Glory Days Grill.
“Federal Realty is proud to own and invest in our local community,” said Kari Glinksi, director of asset management for Federal Realty. “The scope of the improvements go beyond the superficial. Not only have we elevated the standard of design for the center but we’ve also enriched the customer experience.”
Among the changes: Old canopies, signs and storefronts have been replaced with new facades boasting modern architectural details; improved lighting for safety and appeal; new signage above and below the canopy; and fresh landscaping that adds new energy to the plaza.
There’s now an outdoor patio at the Starbucks, new pavement on the parking lot (plus 19 additional parking places) and new attention to detail at the nearby 7-11, which Federal Realty purchased in 2016 in an effort to maintain a standard for the entire plaza.
But all of this is likely to be overshadowed, at least for now, by the grand opening of the Glory Days Grill on January 17. There are innumerable reasons why the Fairfax-based local chain of family sports grills has won state and local Restaurant Neighbor Awards from the National Restaurant Association 13 times since 2003, in addition to dozens of other awards (see them listed here). Newcomers to the full-service restaurant will quickly become fans.
The 20 shops, restaurants and services of Barcroft Plaza, including the Harris Teeter supermarket and a Bank of America branch, have a new look, new energy and a new tenant that will continue to add excitement to the community for years to come.
Barcroft Plaza Shopping Center is at 6345 Columbia Pike in Falls Church. There are leasing opportunities of 1,500-to-3,900 square feet for interested tenants. The website is here. This article was written by ARLnow.com and sponsored by Federal Realty Investment Trust.
Three kiosks were tampered with and two had cash and merchandise stolen.
Police are now investigating the thefts, which happened during the key holiday shopping season.
More from an Arlington County Police Department crime report:
LARCENY (Series), 2017-12110069, 1100 block of S. Hayes Street. Between 11:00 p.m. on December 9 and 9:00 a.m. on December 11, an unknown suspect(s) tampered with three kiosks. Cash and merchandise were reported missing from two of the businesses. There is no suspect description. The investigation is ongoing.
The Holiday Season. It’s the most wonderful time of the year — until it isn’t, because of crowds, long checkout lines, surly service and competitive parking games.
Avoid all that and come to Lee Heights Shops to actually enjoy your holiday shopping.
Our shops, restaurants and cafes specialize in individual attention and personal service — with sales staffs that truly know their merchandise and customer base — and want to help you find the right thing.
7 Easy Ways to Put the HO HO HO in your Holiday Shopping at Lee Heights Shops
- What’s the “it” gift for kids is this year? Believe it or not, it’s Slime. Barstons Child’s Play has a full section of ready-made slime and slime making kits (yes, that is actually a thing). Fortunately the slime is conveniently located right next to one of this season’s other hot gift themes — unicorns. From Legos to board games and everything in between, the Barstons’ elves will help you find the right gift for children of all ages.
- Holiday baking — who has time? And who wants to clean up? Pick up some freshly baked cookies, and we won’t tell if you pass them off as homemade — and don’t forget your holiday pies, cakes and other delectable edibles. One of Pastries by Randolph’s Yule Logs makes a tasty centerpiece and a delicious dessert.
- Speaking of pies, everyone likes pecan, pumpkin and apple — but don’t forget the artisanal pizza pies at Upper Crust Pizzeria. Stop in to fortify yourself with a slice — or take a whole pizza home — bam! Dinner is done! Leave a roasted red pepper, bacon and blue cheese beauty by the fire and see if Santa doesn’t up his game this year.
- Feeling bewildered about selecting a gift for the women in your life? This is where small shops with personal service really trump the big malls. Turn to the experts at Lemoncello Boutique, Facets Jewelry, Random Harvest Home Furnishings and Waste Knot Needlepoint for help in selecting the perfect gift — from va-va-va-voom to blissfully comfy-cozy; from sparkling earrings to lovely necklaces; and tasteful clever ornaments for the home. The needlework experts at Waste Knot Needle point will help you select the perfect canvas and threads for the stitcher in your life. (Gift cards available, too.)
- Your celebration won’t be complete without Arrowine’s bubbly champagne, the perfect wine pairing for your feast and craft beers. And don’t forget to linger at their charcuterie and cheese counters to round out your party platters.
- Take a break with a relaxing lunch at Cassatt’s Cafe (take-out available) and everyone can agree on the Peruvian chicken at Crisp & Juicy or tasty tacos and burritos from Chipotle. Grab a cup of coffee for fuel to keep going from Starbucks.
- What takes the J out of Joy more than spending eons trying to find a parking spot? Any sugarplums dancing in your head will likely be replaced with a black cloud and simmering discontent before you even begin the task of holiday shopping. Lee Heights Shops has ample parking in front and behind. Easy, free parking — what a luxury.
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.”
Just in time for the holidays, a pop-up store celebrating local businesses and artisans opened today (Wednesday) in Courthouse.
The “Made in Arlington” pop-up shop is on the ground floor of county government headquarters at 2100 Clarendon Blvd, in the Plaza Library.
It will be open on weekdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. between now and December 22. And on Thursdays from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., special exhibits will take place in the lobby from local artists.
The shop, which features vendors selling food and gifts, “will help Arlingtonians find that one-of-a-kind gift during the holiday season, while also supporting local businesses and artists,” according to a press release.
The new products are just inside the library entrance, next to the shop’s usual array of Arlington-branded t-shirts, water bottles, chocolate and other items.
From an Arlington Economic Development press release, the vendors include:
- Kingsbury Chocolates sweet confections
- Mira Jean Designs home décor textiles
- Can You Solve Me brain teaser puzzles
- Arlington Weaves hand woven yoga mat straps
- Commonwealth Joe locally roasted coffee
- Dennison Lane hand stamped table linens
- Gary Trusty hand lathed wood topped wine stops
- Ham Smith artist designed t-shirts
And on Thursdays, representatives from the following businesses will be on hand:
Police have arrested a man suspected of stealing from a woman on S. Glebe Road this afternoon.
The suspect reportedly stole an “unattended bag” from a woman who was shopping in the Unit block of S. Glebe Road. Although police do not release the names of businesses where crimes occur, that block is home to a Goodwill store, among others.
The suspect fled the scene and police took him into custody nearby, on the 100 block of S. Glebe Road. An ARLnow tipster who lives near the arrest scene said numerous police vehicles responded and officers urged neighbors to lock their cars and doors.
ACPD says the investigation is ongoing but there is “no threat to the public.”
Update at 10:50 a.m. — From an ACPD crime report:
GRAND LARCENY (Significant), 2017-10040137, Unit block of S. Glebe Road. At approximately 11:26 a.m. on October 4, police responded to the report of a larceny that had just occurred. Upon arrival, it was determined that a female victim was shopping when her purse was stolen from inside a shopping cart. When witnesses attempted to stop the suspect, he fled the area on foot into the National Foreign Affairs Training Center where he was detained until Arlington County Police arrived on scene. James Mitchell, 53, of No Fixed Address was arrested and charged with Grand Larceny. He was held on no bond.
Photo courtesy Amy Collins
A Pentagon City resident has launched a social media campaign against abandoned Costco shopping carts, which she says are a persistent “eyesore” for the neighborhood.
Sarah Wohl started posting from the @CartsOfPCArl Twitter account on September 20, after walking around the neighborhood with her husband and finding it “comical” to see so many. She has tweeted about two dozen photos of abandoned carts in the week since the account launched — showing carts near apartment buildings, next to parking meters and outside restaurants.
“I’ve lived in Pentagon City for a couple of years, and since I’ve moved there, there’s always been Costco shopping carts everywhere, and it is an eyesore as you walk around,” Wohl said. “They’ll be by cars, by apartment buildings and blocks away from Costco. They’re kind of everywhere.”
— Pentagon City Girl (@CartsOfPCArl) September 20, 2017
NBC Washington reported earlier this year on residents’ renewed efforts to improve matters, including writing to Costco and documenting the abandoned carts.
And past online petitions have urged Costco to “take responsibility” for the carts left behind by their shoppers.
“These abandoned shopping carts create safety hazards and bring the overall image of our community down,” reads one petition from four years ago. “Please assist me in making our community a better place that doesn’t have shopping carts littering parking lots, store fronts, streets and our local park.”
Wohl said things haven’t improved, and that the responsibility must be shared between Costco and those who shop there.
“I think it’s because people live around there and don’t want to drive to Costco, but you can’t really carry bags of stuff from Costco home, so it’s easier to just take a cart and bring it home and then it’s a pain to bring it back,” she said. “Or people that drive from elsewhere may just take the cart to their car, which they don’t park in the Costco parking lot because that’s always a headache and they leave it by wherever they park their car.”
So Wohl decided to shine a light on the problem in her own way, using humor to highlight the neighborhood issue.
“It started as a silly thing, just putting it on Twitter, but it’s part of a larger problem,” she said.
For residents, visitors and businesses alike, Wohl said the sight of so many abandoned carts damages the neighborhood’s character.
“I think it detracts from the community and detracts from Pentagon City and Crystal City, because it looks like an eyesore and it looks a little trashy having these carts everywhere,” Wohl said.
A Costco spokeswoman declined to comment.
Photos via Sarah Wohl (@CartsOfPCArl)
The hustle and bustle of the holidays are rapidly approaching the D.C., Maryland and Virginia area. The days are shorter, the leaves are beginning to change color and local businesses are pushing their holiday marketing efforts.
When we discussed how to increase your revenue without relying on discounts and sales, we mentioned the need for creating personalized and memorable customer experiences. Holidays present a great opportunity for marketing to your customers around a topic that is relevant, that they’re fully aware of and that they’re interested in.
Here are a few simple ways to get creative with your local holiday marketing that works in conjunction with your digital signage and will keep your clients interested in following your brand.
Oktoberfest: Whether you choose to don Lederhosen or not, it’s hard to ignore that Oktoberfest events have continued to gain popularity in the local area, especially amongst millennials. Take advantage of this celebration by promoting happy hour specials or outdoor Biergarten parties.
Lighting of the National Christmas Tree: This time-honored tradition has been a staple of Washington Christmas celebrations for more than 90 years. Create templates that show off your holiday and American spirit for this historic event by displaying a slideshow of previous Christmas Tree lighting ceremonies alongside your regularly scheduled content. You could even host your very own holiday lighting ceremony for customers or guests!
New Year’s Eve in the City: As we close out the year and welcome a new one, all of our local communities showcase an impressive display of colorful fireworks at midnight. How can your business ring in the new year?
Engage your clients with crowdsourced social media. Ask your customers to submit their photos and New Year’s Resolutions with a custom hashtag and then display the content in-store. They will be thrilled to see their posts on your screen as they countdown to midnight! It’s a cheap and fun method to build customer engagement.
White House Easter Egg Roll: Since the 1800s, local children and their families have been invited to the White House Lawn for the Easter Egg Roll. Decorate your templates like you would do with an Easter egg, or hide rabbits and eggs in your designs for kids to discover. Additionally, you could run kid-friendly events for your business that the whole family can enjoy.
Cherry Blossom Festival: When winter begins to thaw, the cherry blossom trees quickly steal the spotlight in D.C. Rows of beautiful pink blooms give way to some brilliant marketing ideas. Decorate your display templates with cherry blossom frames and springtime coloring.
Fourth of July: There’s something special about celebrating Independence Day on the lawn of the National Mall. Make a bang with your red, white and blue themed designs and include motion graphic fireworks to woo customers.
Local businesses that can creatively adjust their marketing strategies during the holiday season will drive sales and maintain high levels of customer engagement. A digital signage strategy that takes advantage of theses occasions is sure to bring attention to any store or business.
Jacqueline Hoffmann is a Solutions Consultant at Mvix, a leading provider of content-rich digital signage solutions. She leads the Washington, D.C. team, working with designers and engineers to build digital signage networks that connect brands with people. To learn more about Mvix, please visit www.mvixdigitalsignage.com or call 703.584.4304.
‘Meeting Bowls’ Coming to Courthouse — A new, temporary public art installation is coming to Courthouse. Workers will be building 5-foot high “meeting bowls,” designed by the Spanish art collective “mmmm….,” and featuring an 8-foot long circular bench inside. The bowls, which are meant to be used by passersby, are expected to be completed by Monday, July 17 and will remain in place until November. [Washingtonian]
Pentagon City Residents Peeved by Shopping Carts — Legions of stray shopping carts are getting on the nerves of Pentagon City residents, NBC 4’s Julie Carey reported during a news broadcast last night. [NBC Washington, Twitter]
Scholarships Awarded to Wakefield Students — “The Wakefield High School Education Foundation recently awarded 27 scholarships totaling $201,000, bringing the total number of scholarships presented over the history of the foundation to 400 and the total dollar amount of scholarships and teacher grants to more than $2.25 million.” [InsideNova]
Local Author Pens New Thriller — Arlington resident Bill Schweigart, author of the Beast of Barcroft, a supernatural thriller set in Arlington, has penned another book of local interest: The Devil’s Colony, which features a fictional Arlington resident as its main character. [Penguin Random House]
Nearby: Montgomery Co. Consider Plane Noise Suit — Montgomery County, Maryland has hired a law firm to explore legal action against the Federal Aviation Administration in response to new flight paths that have produced a dramatic increase in aircraft noise complaints. The flight paths were implemented in 2015 as part of the FAA’s NextGen system and have prompted some complaints in Arlington and D.C. as well. [Bethesda Beat]
Flickr pool photo by Erinn Shirley
The tax holiday — which runs from early Friday morning to 11:59 p.m. Sunday — is aimed at helping families doing back to school shopping along with encouraging Virginians to prepare for the hurricane season.
Online purchases of qualifying items are also tax-exempt as long as orders are placed and paid for during the tax holiday and the items are available for immediate shipment.
“This sales tax holiday will make items that help families prepare for the school year or for a potential emergency more affordable,” said Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe, in a statement. “It is my hope that shoppers will use this time to get their children the items they need to succeed in school, as well as stock up on the essentials that may come in handy during a hurricane or other emergency where electricity or clean water may be unavailable for an extended period of time.”
Tax exempt items include:
- Most school and office supplies, such as pens, loose-leaf paper, scissors, binders, backpacks, and construction paper, priced at $20 or less.
- Clothing and footwear, priced at $100 or less per item or pair.
- Batteries, flashlights, bottled water, tarps, duct tape, fire extinguishers, cell-phone chargers, smoke detectors, buckets, rope, and first aid kits, priced at $60 or less.
- Gas-powered chainsaws, priced at $350 or less, and chainsaw accessories, priced at $60 or less.
- Portable generators, priced at $1,000 or less.
- Energy Star-labeled dishwashers, washing machines, air conditioners, ceiling fans, light bulbs, dehumidifiers, and refrigerators, priced at $2,500 or less.
- WaterSense-labeled sink faucets, faucet accessories, aerators, shower heads, toilets, urinals, and landscape irrigation controllers, priced at $2,500 or less.
Power Restored at Market Common — Power is back on at the Market Common Clarendon shopping center, following last Tuesday’s transformer explosion and fire. The electricity is being supplied by mobile generators over the next two weeks, before the shopping center can be reconnected to Dominion’s power grid. [Facebook]
Fire at River Place — A fire broke out in the kitchen of one of the units at the River Place residential complex in Rosslyn Saturday afternoon. The fire charred the walls of the kitchen. Smoke spread to several floors of the building. [Twitter]
Some Inconvenienced By Latest Metro Surge — The second phase of Metro’s maintenance surge is entering its second full week and riders have mostly adjusted to the latest round of station closures and service changes — but some are feeling the effects more than others. The current phase of “SafeTrack” work will run through July 3. [WJLA]
AFAC Seeks Fresh Food Donations — The Arlington Food Assistance Center is asking gardeners to donate fresh produce to help feed families in need in Arlington County. [InsideNova]
(Updated at 6:20 p.m.) The effects of Tuesday’s major electrical fire at Market Common Clarendon (2800 Clarendon Blvd) are still being felt.
Large, noisy mobile generators are now providing power to the shopping center and its attached apartment complex, Avalon Clarendon. Nonetheless, some stores remain closed and the apartment building was still without air conditioning, hot water and elevator service.
Building management sent the following email to residents Wednesday evening.
We would like to provide the latest update on the power situation. We regret to inform that A/C, hot water and elevator service will not be restored today. Our team is making every effort for these services to be available tomorrow.
Comcast has notified us that phone, cable and internet has been restored in all three buildings. Verizon has yet to confirm a timeframe for their services.
The Whole Foods Market across the street also lost power after the transformer explosion and fire. Although the store reportedly brought in a freezer truck Wednesday, large quantities of meat, milk, cheese, juice and other perishables had to be thrown away.
Store employees were busy restocking throughout the day on Thursday.
— J. F. (@vtmathteacher) June 22, 2016
Due to Clarendon Power Outage, our store will remain closed on Thursday. Watch this space for updates.
— Clarendon B&N (@BNClarendon) June 22, 2016
Update at 5:15 p.m. — Residents of the Avalon Clarendon apartments at Market Common Clarendon are being told they should consider booking a hotel room, as power for two of the three buildings is not expected to be restored until Wednesday. Management sent the following email to residents Tuesday evening.
While we are still awaiting additional details from Dominion Virginia Power on the full repairs, please know that we are actively working on a temporary solution. Our third party contractor is currently making every effort to get temporary power to the East and West buildings. They are working to get generators here tonight; however the connection process will take into tomorrow to complete. Please note that temporary power does not include elevators, hot water or A/C.
We recommend each resident to make the best decision for their own comfortability as far as staying in your home or searching for a hotel. While many hotels are booked, we have found 3 that may still have availability.
Hilton Arlington 703-538-6000
Hilton Garden Inn DC 202-783-7800
Hilton Garden Inn Shirlington 703-820-0440
We will have associates monitoring the stairwells and doors throughout the evening, available to escort residents up the stairs to their apartments, as well as our Concierge on duty at the Front Desk.
We will send additional updates as we receive them. Thank you for your patience and understanding while we work through this.
Avalon Clarendon Team
2800 ClarendonBlvd. | Arlington, VA 22201
Update at 10:50 a.m. — The fire is contained, ACFD says. A number of road closures remain in the Clarendon area due to the emergency response and power outage.
Update at 10:20 a.m. — The fire is out and was contained to an electrical vault, according to Arlington County Fire Dept. spokesman Capt. Gregg Karl. No injuries have been reported. Power is being restored to parts of Clarendon (it was just restored to Le Pain Quotidien, pictured above, two blocks away) but the shopping center is expected to remain without power for an extended period of time.
Update at 10 a.m. — The smoke has largely dissipated as foam continues to be used to extinguish the flames. Another tanker unit is en route from Dulles International Airport, according to scanner traffic. According to Dominion, 933 customers in the area are currently without power.
Update at 9:40 a.m. — A foam tanker truck from the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority fire department is attempting to extinguish the flames. Power is out to much of the Clarendon area.
Firefighters are battling a large fire at the Market Common Clarendon shopping center at 2800 Clarendon Blvd.
A “large electrical transformer has exploded and is on fire in the basement,” according to the Arlington firefighters union Twitter account. A second alarm has been sounded as the fire has grown.
A large, multi-jurisdiction fire response is on scene. Thick black smoke can be seen rising from the shopping center from miles around.
Stores at the shopping center include Crate and Barrel, Barnes and Noble and an Apple Store that’s currently closed for renovations.
And more foam pic.twitter.com/8z9hVz0ai2
— Arlington Fire (@ACFDPIO) June 21, 2016
Airport's crash truck putting purple K on the fire. pic.twitter.com/nVzPjaRSPe
— Arlington Fire (@ACFDPIO) June 21, 2016
Video of what units are dealing with on scene of the transformer fire. pic.twitter.com/qXI3YozGfg
— Arlington Fire (@ACFDPIO) June 21, 2016
— Arlington Fire (@ACFDPIO) June 21, 2016