Metro plans to reopen the Clarendon and Virginia Square Metro stations in Arlington, starting Sunday.
The stations — along with 15 others throughout the Metrorail system — closed in late March as the pandemic caused ridership to plummet and Metro started rationing cleaning supplies. Most are set to reopen this weekend.
“Metro today announced that 15 rail stations that had been closed as part of the transit agency’s Covid-19 response will reopen on Sunday, June 28,” the transit agency said in a press release. “In addition, beginning Monday, June 28, buses will be added to the system’s 14 busiest bus lines to provide more capacity and more frequent service as the region reopens.”
“After Sunday, Arlington Cemetery will be the only Metrorail station without regular service, as Arlington National Cemetery is closed to the general public,” the press release notes.
Arlington’s East Falls Church Metro station, meanwhile, will remain closed to rail service and parking due to ongoing platform reconstruction work. Shuttle buses, however, will resume serving the East Falls Church, McLean and Greensboro stations on Sunday.
If you were hoping for Next Day Blinds, you’ll now have to wait two extra days.
The regional window covering chain, which has a showroom in the Virginia Square area, has reportedly gone out of business. Instead, visitors to its now-defunct website are being redirected to a California company called 3 Day Blinds.
“Next Day Blinds has ceased operations and permanently closed its doors,” the website says. “3 Day Blinds, with over 40 years experience in the window coverings business, has hired a number of former Next Day Blinds Sales Staff, Design Consultants, Installation Experts and Administrative personnel. We will strive to continue the tradition of providing exceptional products and services to the Greater Baltimore / Washington DC area.”
Next Day Blinds had at least nine locations in the D.C. area. The company was founded in 1993, was a prolific local television advertiser, and billed itself as one of America’s largest regional manufacturers for custom window coverings.
While no reason for the closure was given, the last post on the company’s Facebook page from early April said it was temporarily closed during the pandemic.
Police are looking for a man who allegedly exposed himself to a woman he asked for directions.
The incident happened this past Friday night in the Douglas Park neighborhood. Arlington County police say the man pulled over to ask for directions, then exposed himself to the victim after the walked over to help.
He was driving a gray, two-door sports car at the time. Police were not able to determine the make and model of the vehicle based on the victim’s description.
More from an ACPD crime report:
INDECENT EXPOSURE, 2020-06120210, 1400 block of S. George Mason Drive. At approximately 9:30 p.m. on June 12, an officer was approached by the victim in need of assistance. It was determined that the victim was walking in the area when the male suspect pulled up next to her in his vehicle and asked for directions. When the victim approached the vehicle to assist the driver, she observed the male suspect lean towards her and expose himself. The suspect then fled in his vehicle. The suspect is described as a white male, with short blonde hair, approximately 6’1″-6’3″, 190-220 lbs., wearing a blue polo shirt and khaki pants. The vehicle is described as a gray, two-door, sports car. The investigation is ongoing.
Also on Friday, a separate indecent exposure incident was reported in the Virginia Square area, near W-L High School and Quincy Park.
INDECENT EXPOSURE, 2020-06120104, Washington Boulevard at N. Quincy Street. At approximately 10:42 a.m. on June 12, police were dispatched to the report of an indecent exposure. Upon arrival, it was determined that the victim was inside his residence when he looked out the window and observed the male suspect coming in and out of the bushes multiple times, while touching himself inappropriately. He attempted to confront the suspect, who fled on foot prior to police arrival. The suspect is described as a black male in his late 40’s or early 50’s, approximately 5’8″, with a white beard, wearing a long sleeve khaki shirt with a blue t-shirt underneath, khaki pants, and a gray hat. The investigation is ongoing.
At Hayes Park, the front gates were secured, keeping visitors away from the three-acre park north of Virginia Square.
— Rizz (@Metsrizz) May 24, 2020
— Ben D'Avanzo (@BenDAvanzo) May 23, 2020
Arlington County Parks & Recreation said on Twitter that the park remained closed because the playground on the site could not be secured. Playgrounds across the region remain closed, with leaders in neighboring Alexandria suggesting they could remain closed until September.
Hayes Park was still locked up last night (Wednesday) but Susan Kalish, spokeswoman for the parks department, said the padlock has been removed and the park reopened this morning (Thursday).
“In our efforts to reopen park spaces for May 23, we had some bumps,” said Kalish. “The park spaces at Hayes Park are open for people to enjoy if they social distance. The playground and tennis courts, like all in Arlington, are off-limits.”
With parks back open for passive recreation and Arlington about to enter “Phase 1” of a regional reopening, county officials are hoping that locals abide by the remaining restrictions.
“Our park spaces are open and people should be able to access them now,” Kalish added. “We should have caution tape around the playgrounds and specific signage that the playground, shelter, field, court and other amenities are closed. If people are confused, they can connect with us on Twitter or Facebook or at [email protected] or 703-228-4747.”
Arlington County Police are looking for a teenager accused of trying to rob a scooter rider in Virginia Square.
Police were dispatched to N. Lincoln Street, in the area of Arlington Science Focus School and Hayes Park, Monday afternoon for a reported robbery by force.
“Upon arrival, it was determined that at approximately 1:45 p.m., the victim was riding her scooter in the area when the suspect approached her and attempted to grab her backpack unsuccessfully,” ACPD said in a crime report. “The victim turned around and was struck by the suspect, but was able to run away and seek assistance. The victim sustained minor injuries.”
“The suspect is described as a skinny white male, approximately 15 years old, 5’3″, with curly brown hair, wearing a white t-shirt and blue jeans,” police said. “The investigation is ongoing.”
Also on Monday, a scuffle in Virginia Hospital Center left an officer with minor injuries and a 22-year-old man behind bars. More from a crime report:
ASSAULT & BATTERY ON POLICE, 2020-05110041, 1600 block of N. George Mason Drive. At approximately 10:37 a.m. on May 11, officers on scene at the hospital were attempting to restrain a subject who began acting disorderly. A brief struggle ensued, during which the suspect struck an officer with a closed fist. The officer sustained minor injuries. Daunte Butler, 22, of No Fixed Address, was arrested and charged with Assault and Battery on Law Enforcement. He was held on no bond.
Map via Google Maps
Construction is starting this week on the mixed-use replacement to American Legion Post 139 in Virginia Square.
The project, which was approved in 2019, will build 160-units of affordable housing on the current American Legion site at 3445 Washington Blvd, as well as a new, modern space for Post 139. Half of the apartments will be earmarked for vets.
“Veterans will be given priority placement in half of the building’s 160 apartment homes – making it Virginia’s largest affordable housing project for veterans,” a spokeswoman noted.
The $80 million redevelopment has received $33.8 million in tax credits from the state, a $11.5 million loan from Arlington’s affordable housing fund, and several large donations — including $1.5 million from real estate titan Ron Terwilliger, for whose parents the building will now be named, and $1 million from Amazon.
A groundbreaking ceremony has been postponed due to the pandemic, but the financing has been finalized and construction is slated to start this week. Work is expected to wrap up in 2022.
In preparation for demolition, the flag outside the American Legion post — flown there since the 1950s was recently retired. A video documented the ceremony.
A press release about the groundbreaking is below.
According to the latest Virginia Dept. of Health data, there are now 722 known cases of COVID-19 in Arlington, 120 hospitalizations, 24 deaths and 2,784 test results received. That’s up from 686 cases yesterday (Thursday) and 485 cases a week ago.
Statewide, the Commonwealth has 11,594 reported cases, 1,837 hospitalizations, 410 deaths and 69,015 people tested.
The number of reported outbreaks in Arlington has remained steady at 10, with half of those at long-term care facilities. Nursing homes, retirement communities and similar settings have been a major source of infections and fatalities nationwide, though states and localities have been reluctant to reveal which facilities have outbreaks.
ARLnow previously reported cases in at least 2-3 local assisted living facilities and has continued to receive tips about outbreaks, but has not been able to receive confirmation from local authorities.
An Arlington Dept. of Human Services declined another request rom ARLnow this week for more granular data, but did provide some additional information about the county health department’s response.
“A core team of Aging and Disability Services and Public Health administrative and clinical staff work collaboratively to provide routine COVID outreach to each of the Arlington long term care communities,” said DHS spokesman Kurt Larrick. “These communities include 4 nursing homes and 6 Assisted Living and 5 Independent Living Senior Residences.”
“A Public Health Nurse checks in each day (or more as needed) with the high risk COVID communities to provide guidance, education, and resource linkages,” Larrick continued. “We have developed electronic tools to closely track, monitor symptoms, and follow up accordingly across all the communities. The two DHS divisions work closely together to push out vital COVID information and resources weekly. There is also a daily PPE tracking tool to monitor the PPE needs across the communities. We have been successful in proactively supporting each community through this collaborative effort.”
Among the local assisted living facilities with confirmed outbreaks is Brookdale Arlington, in the Virginia Square neighborhood. A tipster described to ARLnow a significant outbreak in the high-rise facility that has resulted in multiple deaths.
A spokeswoman for the publicly-traded company previously confirmed multiple COVID-19 cases in the facility, but did not provide confirmation of the latest figures as of publication time.
“Brookdale’s top priority is the health and safety of our residents and associates,” the spokeswoman said previously. “We are diligently monitoring our residents and associates for signs and symptoms, and we continue to work directly with local health officials to help ensure our residents and associates have the appropriate and necessary medical support. We will continue to follow the guidance of the Arlington County Public Health Division throughout this situation.”
On Thursday, signs posted on the front door of the facility said no visitors were allowed, people in the lobby could be seen wearing personal protective equipment, and note from family members to a resident was taped to a window.
Jay Westcott contributed to this report
Some changes might be made to a planned redevelopment project in the Virginia Square area.
The Arlington County Board is set to consider a request to add 15 apartment units to the 7-story building approved by the Board last June. The project, which has yet to start major construction, will replace a State Farm insurance office and other small commercial buildings near the corner of Washington Blvd and N. Kirkwood Road.
The developer says it can squeeze in the additional apartments by reconfiguring the courtyard and parking garage, and making some minor changes to the building facade and rooftop area.
“While the height, building footprint and massing remain unchanged, approximately 8,649 square feet of gross floor area (GFA) will be added as a result of a minor reduction of the internal courtyard and more efficient use of space previously allocated to parking and mechanical uses,” a county staff report says.
In exchange for adding the new apartments, the developer has agreed to designate four additional units as committed affordable housing. The plan has critics, however, notably residents of the townhouses across the street.
“Issues raised by members of the community, including the Bromptons at Clarendon Homeowners Association (HOA), include concerns around additional density, increased parking demand on local streets, reduction of on-site greenspace and the design of the corner façade,” said the staff report.
County staffers are recommending approval of the site plan amendment. The Board is expected to take up the request at its upcoming Saturday meeting.
More from the staff report, below.
The applicant is requesting a site plan amendment to make interior and exterior modifications to accommodate an additional 15 dwelling units, a revised parking garage layout, minor changes to the building façade and changes to the rooftop area. While the height, building footprint and massing remain unchanged, approximately 8,649 square feet of GFA will be added as a result of a minor reduction of the internal courtyard (from approximately 8,000 square feet to approximately 7,380 square feet) and more efficient use of space previously allocated to parking and mechanical uses (Figure 4). To further accommodate the additional 15 units, the average unit size based on total GFA will decrease from 1,021 square feet to 994 square feet. The number of one-bedroom, two-bedroom and three-bedroom units will all increase, with the number of studios remaining the same.
The applicant is proposing a revised parking garage layout with changes to both below-grade parking levels and ramps. The parking garage entrance will remain in the same location but will be reoriented with a maximum slope of 20%. While the total number of parking spaces (including tandem spaces) for the site is reduced from 198 spaces to 194 spaces, all 20 tandem spaces will be converted to non-tandem spaces. The number of parking spaces increases from 63 to 99 spaces on garage Level 02 and decreases from 135 to 95 on garage Level 01. Overall, the parking ratio increases from 0.64 spaces to 0.67 spaces per unit, not including visitor spaces. The visitor parking ratio remains at 0.05 spaces per unit. The site will also accommodate 114 bicycle spaces at the same bicycle parking ratio as previously approved.
To accommodate the new units on the ground floor along the north and west alleys, there will be changes to the façade including replacing the louvers and mechanical vents that previously served the parking garage ramp with new windows (Figures 5, 6, 7, 8). The applicant is also proposing minor modifications to the layout of the rooftop amenity space and decreasing the size from approximately 920 square feet to approximately 850 square feet.
Social distancing is keeping lots of people at home, but that hasn’t necessarily resulted in a drop in notable police incidents in Arlington.
In just the past 72 hours, there have been multiple police chases, incidents involving guns and thefts.
Around 12:30 p.m. today, police swarmed the Lyon Village Shopping Center after a report of a fight in progress. It turned out to be a robbery in which the victim was assaulted and ultimately transported to the hospital.
“At approximately 12:39 p.m., police were dispatched to the report of a fight in the 3100 block of Lee Highway,” Arlington County Police spokeswoman Ashley Savage tells ARLnow. “Upon arrival, it was determined the suspect approached the victim and stole his cell phone. When the victim confronted the suspect, the suspect assaulted him. The suspect was taken into custody by arriving officers. Charges are pending.”
On Sunday evening, a Virginia State Police pursuit of a vehicle that originated in the Alexandria area ended in Arlington’s Long Branch Creek neighborhood. The Fairfax County Police helicopter hovered overhead while police searched for suspects that bailed out near the intersection of Army Navy Drive and 28th Street S.
“At 4:56 p.m. Sunday, Virginia State Police attempted to initiate a traffic stop on a stolen vehicle traveling north on Route 1 near Ft. Hunt Road in Alexandria. The vehicle refused to stop and a pursuit was initiated,” VSP spokeswoman Corinne Geller told ARLnow today. “The pursuit ended in Arlington County at 28th Street and Army Navy Drive and three male subjects ran from the stolen vehicle on foot. All three were apprehended a short time later with the assistance of Arlington County Police. Two of the three were male juveniles and one adult male was transported to Arlington County Adult Detention Center.”
FYI: ACPD is assisting @VSPPIO with a subject search in the area of the 28th/Army Navy Dr. A helicopter is also being utilized. VSP is the primary investigating agency and ACPD has no further details to provide on the original incident.
— ArlingtonCountyPD (@ArlingtonVaPD) April 12, 2020
Early Sunday morning, Arlington County Police were involved in another foot chase just a couple of blocks away in the Long Branch Creek neighborhood. A trio of suspected of breaking into and stealing cars allegedly rammed a police cruiser and tried to flee the scene.
More from an ACPD crime report:
GRAND LARCENY (significant), 2020-04120036, 1500 block of 28th Street S. At approximately 5:05 a.m. on April 12, police were dispatched to the report of multiple suspects tampering with vehicles in the area. Arriving officers located numerous suspects inside a vehicle, which was later determined to have been previously stolen. The driver allegedly put the vehicle in reverse, causing it to strike a police vehicle and all suspects attempted to flee on foot. Officers in the area located and detained three juvenile male suspects. During the course of the investigation, officers located two additional stolen vehicles, another vehicle which had been damaged, and multiple vehicles which had been tampered with and items of value stolen. Petitions for Suspect One were obtained for Grand Larceny – Motor Vehicle Theft, Hit and Run – Attended Property, Obstruction of Justice and Conspiracy to Commit a Felony. Petitions for Suspect Two were obtained for Grand Larceny – Motor Vehicle Theft (x2), Unauthorized Possession of 2+ Credit Card Numbers and Conspiracy to Commit a Felony. Petitions for Suspect Three were obtained for Grand Larceny – Motor Vehicle Theft (x2) and Conspiracy to Commit a Felony. The investigation is ongoing.
On Friday and Saturday, police responded to two incidents — one in Long Branch Creek, the other in Virginia Square — involving suspects that brandished firearms.
BRANDISHING, 2020-04110090, 1700 block of 26th Street S. At approximately 2:48 p.m. on April 11, police were dispatched to the report of a person with a gun. Upon arrival, it was determined that the victims were inside their apartment when they heard the unknown suspect allegedly kicking at their door and observed him displaying a firearm. Arriving officers developed a possible suspect description and canvased the building. The suspect then exited his apartment and was taken into custody without incident. Cedric Dickson, 40, of Arlington, Va., was arrested and charged with Brandishing, Possession of a Firearm While In Possession of Drugs, Possession of Marijuana, and Possession of Schedule I/II Controlled Substance. He was held on no bond
BRANDISHING, 2020-04100066, 3500 block of Wilson Boulevard. At approximately 12:38 p.m. on April 10, police were dispatched to the report of a brandishing. Upon arrival, it was determined that the victim, an employee, and the suspect were engaged in a dispute inside a business. The victim asked the suspect to leave, which he initially complied with, but then re-entered the business attempting to take a photograph of the victim. The suspect then entered his vehicle, and, as the victim attempted to photograph his license plate, he displayed a firearm and threatened the victim. The suspect is described as a black male. The vehicle is described as a black Dodge pick-up truck. The investigation is ongoing.
A man previously convicted of indecent exposure and other crimes in Arlington is now facing more charges.
Police say 36-year-old Donte Smith of D.C. sat down next to a woman at an outdoor table in the Virginia Square area Monday afternoon and “allegedly began touching himself inappropriately.” The victim backed away from the suspect, who “then exposed his genitals and continued touching himself inappropriately,” Arlington County Police said in a crime report.
Police were called and officers took Smith into custody without incident.
Smith has faced at least 30 different charges in Arlington over the past five years, including indecent exposure and simulated masturbation, according to Arlington General District Court records.
More from the ACPD crime report:
INDECENT EXPOSURE, 2020-04060086, Wilson Boulevard at N. Oakland Street. At approximately 2:30 p.m. on April 6, police were dispatched to the report of an indecent exposure in progress. Upon arrival, it was determined that the victim was seated at an outdoor table when the male suspect approached, sat down near her and allegedly began touching himself inappropriately. The victim moved away from the suspect, who then exposed his genitals and continued touching himself inappropriately. Arriving officers located the suspect and took him into custody without incident. Donte Smith, 36, of Washington, D.C. was arrested and charged with Indecent Exposure: 3+ Offense in 10 Years and Public Masturbation.
Have some unopened boxes of surgical gowns or masks lying around? If so, Arlington is hoping you’ll donate them.
The county is setting up a one-day only drive-through donation drive this coming Friday. It will be open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Arlington Central Library parking lot along 10th Street near N. Quincy Street.
The county is seeking unused boxes of nitrile or vinyl examination gloves , N95 or KN95 masks , surgical masks, protective surgical gowns , homemade masks, cleaning products and supplies , and non-perishable food items.
More from a press release:
Arlington County is seeking donations of unused, unopened containers of essential Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), cleaning supplies, and certain food to assist essential employees, nonprofits and community organizations with coronavirus (COVID-19) response operations.
A drive-thru donation station will be available on Friday, April 3, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Central Library parking lot on 10th Street North. This activity conforms to the requirements of Governor Northam’s Stay-At-Home order, but if you are ill, please do not come or donate supplies.
Requested items include:
- Nitrile or vinyl examination gloves
- N95 or KN95 masks
- Surgical masks
- Protective surgical gowns
- Homemade masks
- Cleaning products and supplies
- Non-perishable food items, especially heart-healthy items low in sodium or sugar
No other donations will be accepted at this event.
Upon arrival, donors must stay in their cars until they reach the unloading area. There, donors will place their donation onto a cart and return to their vehicles to ensure proper social distancing. A separate line will be available for donors who arrive on foot or by bike.
All donors are expected to observe the proper physical distance of six feet in accordance with Governor Northam’s Stay-At-Home Order.
If you are unable to drop off donations, many other essential requests from Arlington nonprofits are posted on the Volunteer Arlington webpage. Most nonprofits’ primary need is funding.
People who donate are helping ensure essential supplies get to Arlington health care workers, first responders, and County and community workers whose essential jobs put them at risk of coronavirus exposure. Together, we will protect the health and safety of all Arlingtonians.