Arlington, VA

The Williamsburg Shopping Center is looking for a new bank to take up tenancy where United Bank once had a branch.

Leasing agent Nora Eways said the bank location at 6500 Williamsburg Blvd shuttered on Jan. 15 but did not give a reason for the closure. The shopping center’s owner is hoping to find another bank to fill the space, perhaps in part due to the large metal bank vault that appears in interior photos.

“The landlord’s main preference is for another bank,” Eways said.

While the search continues for another bank, she said other potential tenants, including medical groups, have expressed interest in the spot.

“This space is in a very affluent area in Arlington,” she said, of the shopping center’s proximity to North Arlington neighborhoods like Williamsburg and East Falls Church. “It’s a great neighborhood center where we’ve had very few vacancies in general.”

Eways said pre-pandemic, the shopping center was fully leased “for a while.” United Bank’s departure was one of two COVID-19-era vacancies, she said, referencing the closure of the Zinga! frozen yogurt spot in October.

“Banks and frozen yogurt shops are two businesses that are decreasing in size throughout the nation,” she said, adding that mobile banking has led some banks to consolidate their physical locations.

Photo (1) via Google Maps, (2-3) via Renaud Consulting

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A 26-year-old man from Manassas is in custody in connection to a vehicle tampering incident in the Williamsburg neighborhood.

The arrest was made early Wednesday morning, after a resident reported to police that a man broke into his car and stole cash, and also tried to break into other vehicles.

After the suspect was arrested, police say he struggled with officers and at one point kicked a sheriff’s deputy.

This is the latest such car break-in, amid a two-year increase in vehicle-related property crime.

More from an Arlington County Police Department crime report, below.

ASSAULT ON LAW ENFORCEMENT, 2021-01060034, 6000 block of Williamsburg Boulevard. At approximately 2:43 a.m. on January 6, police were dispatched to the report of vehicle tampering. Upon arrival, it was determined that the victim observed the suspect allegedly inside his vehicle and previously observed him pulling on the door handles to approximately four other vehicles in an attempt to gain entry unsuccessfully. The victim reported that an undisclosed amount of cash had been stolen from the vehicle. A lookout was broadcast and an officer canvasing the area located an individual matching the suspect description and attempted to detain him, however he actively resisted and a brief struggle ensued. With the assistance of additional arriving officers, the suspect was taken into custody. While in booking, the suspect continued to act disorderly and kicked a deputy in the leg. Robert Kimmer, 26, of Manassas, Va. was arrested and charged with Assault & Battery on Law Enforcement, Vehicle Tampering, Obstruction of Justice, Possession of a Schedule I Controlled Substance, and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia.

An especially bold deer with unique markings was seen going for a morning run in Arlington’s Williamsburg neighborhood today.

A reader sent the above video, taken at the intersection of Williamsburg Blvd and N. Ohio Street, wondering what the heck is going on with the “cow deer” that was galavanting around the neighborhood.

We steered that question to Alonso Abugattas, Arlington’s Natural Resources Manager — the expert in all things wildlife in the county.

“This is a piebald buck,” Abugattas explained. “As it’s the rut season, this buck is looking for does in estrus, and so is taking a lot of chances he would not normally do, often resulting in this being when the most road kills happen and car accidents involving deer happen.”

In other words, the deer has a recessive genetic trait that causes the cow-like spots, and was literally going buck wild looking for a mate.

That may answer the videographer’s question, but the takeaway for drivers is to remain alert on the roads this time of year, even in Arlington. You never know when a hyped-up deer will cross your path.

Video courtesy Joe Blackburn

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Zinga! Frozen Yogurt has closed in Arlington’s Williamsburg Shopping Center, though it’s not immediately clear if the closure is permanent.

The froyo shop closed last week, and a “for lease” sign was placed in the window. As of Friday, the leasing sign was down, but the store remained closed and many of the furnishings appear to have been cleared out.

No information about the closure was posted on the Zinga Facebook page, which less than two weeks ago was happily posting about new fall flavors and job openings.

Zinga first opened in the shopping center, at 2914 N. Sycamore Street, in 2013. Another nearby location of the small froyo chain, in Falls Church, closed in 2018.

Hat tip to Buzz McClain

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(Updated at 4 p.m.) A man was carjacked by a group of suspects in the Green Valley neighborhood over the weekend

The incident happened early Saturday morning on the 2200 block of S. Shirlington Road. The victim was thrown to the ground as 3-4 men stole his personal belongings and car, police said.

More from an Arlington County Police Department crime report:

CARJACKING, 2020-07250042, 2200 block of Shirlington Road. At approximately 2:06 a.m. on July 25, police were dispatched to the report of a grand larceny auto. Upon arrival, it was determined that the victim exited his vehicle and was approached by 3-4 male suspects who exited a vehicle and approached him. The suspects threatened him, threw him to the ground and stole his personal belongings, then stole his vehicle. The vehicle is described as a 2018 Silver Kia Forte with Maryland license plate 350920T. The suspects are described as Black males, one wearing a white shirt, one with dreadlocks, and one wearing gold sneakers. The investigation is ongoing.

This is at least the fifth reported carjacking in Arlington since June 22.

Today’s crime report also details a pair of other recent, car-related crimes in Arlington.

A D.C. man was arrested following a foot chase, after police allegedly saw him trying to open car doors on the 2000 block of N. Culpeper Street, in the High View Park neighborhood. And police are looking for the suspects who stole two cars and items from other vehicles on the 6000 block of 28th Street N., in the Williamsburg neighborhood.

From ACPD:

LARCENY FROM AUTO (significant), 2020-07260033, 2000 block of N. Culpeper Street. At approximately 2:31 a.m. on July 26, police were dispatched to the report of a subject pulling on door handles. Arriving officers observed the male suspect inside of a vehicle and made contact with him. As they attempted to detain him in handcuffs, the suspect fled on foot. Following a brief foot pursuit, he was taken into custody without incident. The investigation determined that the suspect allegedly entered the unlocked vehicle and stole items of value. Isaiah Wynn, 27, of Washington, D.C., was arrested and charged with Entering or Setting in Motion Vehicle, Obstruction of Justice and Petit Larceny and held on a secure bond.

GRAND LARCENY/LARCENY FROM AUTO (series), 2020-07240065, 6000 block of 28th Street N. At approximately 8:28 a.m. on July 24, police were dispatched to the late report of a grand larceny auto. Upon arrival, it was determined that between 8:30 p.m. on July 23 and 8:15 a.m. on July 24, unknown suspects stole the victim’s vehicle. During the course of the investigation, it was determined that an additional vehicle in the same block was stolen and multiple unlocked vehicles were entered, contents tampered with and items of value stolen. The investigation is ongoing.

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(Updated at 12:10 p.m.) With In Style Pet Salon and Commonwealth Restorations coming to Williamsburg Shopping Center (2902 N. Sycamore Street) the retail block is now 100% full.

“It feels great,” said Nick Kalis, who runs the shopping center as part of the Kalis Development Corporation. “In years past, it was very normal, but retail leasing today is more of a challenge.”

Kalis said the In Style Pet Salon, a pet grooming location, should open sometime in the next 30-60 days. Commonwealth Restorations — a home design, renovation and construction firm — should open in 60-90 days, he said.

Kalis also emphasized that Commonwealth Restorations isn’t closing their office at 2430 S. Kenmore Street, but this second location will operate as more of a showroom and opportunity to interface with the public.

Kalis said challenges in the retail industry have led to more emphasis on service-oriented tenants for shopping centers.

“The bigger story here is that shopping centers face two challenges,” Kalis said. “A lot of people build these big warehouse parks with phony retail because they’re not properly zoned for a lot of uses but compete with us for tenants. The second challenge is every retailer in Arlington moving more to finding service-oriented tenants… So more and more, you’re finding service [and restaurants] in these shopping centers.”

Other tenants at the shopping center include Smoking Kow BBQ, Jin’s Dry Cleaner, Williamsburg Deli, 7-Eleven, Deli Italiano, Two The Moon, Peking Pavilion, Zinga Frozen Yogurt, Tenley Nails, United Bank and the Williamsburg Barber Shop.

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Morning Notes

Developer Pitches New Clarendon Apartment Building — “Orr Partners is pitching a new mixed-use building in Clarendon, seeking to redevelop a small property behind the neighborhood’s popular Silver Diner… the project will not include the redevelopment of the nearby The Lot beer garden or the Silver Diner, though rumors have long persisted that those have been targeted for changes.” [Washington Business Journal]

Most County Offices, Facilities Closed Today — “Arlington County Government offices, courts, libraries & facilities will be closed Tues. Dec. 24 – Weds., Dec. 25, 2019, for Christmas, as well as New Year’s Day on Jan. 1, 2020… Metered [parking] areas not enforced.” [Arlington County]

Story of a Neighborhood Christmas Tree — This year, the Williamsburg Traffic Circle Christmas tree is back, thanks to contributions from local merchants. [Washington Post]

What Local Papers Were Reporting on in 1957 — “The Arlington Council of Churches was deploring grocery stores open on Sundays. A teen advice column titled ‘Help Unpopular Girls When They Cling’ was published alongside a puzzling comic strip called ‘Scorchy Smith.’ Ads touted ‘Exciting new rambler and split-level’ homes for $14,250 and 1957 Ford sedans for $239.50.” [Falls Church News-Press]

Media Spotlight on Arlington Buttigieg Supporter — “In a recent email exchange with a wealthy prospective donor, a top fundraiser for Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg made an offer that was unusually blunt — even by modern pay-to-play standards. ‘If you want to get on the campaign’s radar now before he is flooded with donations after winning Iowa and New Hampshire, you can use the link below for donations,’ the fundraiser” wrote. [Axios]

UPS Driver Saves Christmas — “Darryl found my son’s phone and saved Xmas! He reminded my son to have faith in the many good people in the world.” [Twitter]

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A 55-year-old Arlington woman has died after being struck by a driver in the Williamsburg neighborhood last week.

The woman succumbed to her injuries yesterday, police said. The investigation into the pedestrian crash near Nottingham Elementary School is continuing but so far the driver of the striking vehicle has not been charged.

More from Arlington County Police:

The Arlington County Police Department’s Critical Accident Team (CAT) continues to investigate a now fatal pedestrian crash that occurred on Wednesday, September 4, at the intersection of Little Falls Road and North Ohio Street.

At approximately 8:17 p.m., police responded to the area for the report of crash with injury involving a pedestrian. Officers and medics arrived on scene and located the female victim suffering from serious injuries and immediately began to render aid.

The pedestrian, a 55 year old female of Arlington, Va., was transported to an area hospital in critical condition. She later succumbed to her injuries and was pronounced deceased on September 10.

The preliminary investigation indicates that the victim was crossing Little Falls Road in the crosswalk, when she was hit by the oncoming vehicle, which was travelling westbound on Little Falls Road. The driver of the striking vehicle remained on scene. The investigation into this crash remains ongoing and no charges have been sought at this time.

Anyone who may have witnessed this crash or has additional information regarding this investigation is asked to contact Detective B. Ames at [email protected] or 703-228-7303. Information may also be reported anonymously to Arlington County Crime Solvers at 1-866-411-TIPS.

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Update on 9/11/19 — The victim has succumbed to her injuries, police say.

Earlier: A woman suffered critical injuries after being struck by a vehicle in Arlington’s Williamsburg neighborhood last night, police say.

The pedestrian crash happened around 8:15 p.m. Wednesday at the intersection of Little Falls Road and N. Ohio Street, near Nottingham Elementary School.

“Police were dispatched to the report of a pedestrian-involved crash,” said Arlington County Police spokeswoman Kirby Clark. “The pedestrian, an adult female, was transported to an area hospital with critical injuries.”

Clark said the driver of the striking vehicle remained on scene. ACPD’s Critical Accident Team is investigating the crash.

The victim, whose name and age were not released, remains in critical condition in a local hospital as of noon Thursday, according to Clark. The woman was walking three dogs at the time of the crash, one of which died at a local animal hospital and another of which was injured, she said.

On a neighborhood listserv, a local resident noted that the scene was just steps from where a local mother was struck and killed by a passing truck in 2014.

“It’s been ANOTHER accident waiting to happen!” the resident wrote of the intersection, which is only a 2-way stop . “The children on my block, including my own, saw this poor woman bleeding in the road. I don’t want them or any of us to have to see this again.”

Map via Google Maps

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Morning Notes

Arlington County Suing Opioid Makers — “The Arlington County Board has emulated nearly two dozen other Virginia localities in taking to court a large number of opioid manufacturers, distributors and retailers, including some of the biggest names in the health-care industry.” [InsideNova]

HQ2 Affordable Housing Funds Going to Loudoun? — “When Virginia officials promised $75 million over five years for affordable housing in the wake of Amazon.com Inc.’s second headquarters announcement, Arlington officials assumed that those dollars would be split between the county and neighboring Alexandria. They were not thrilled to find out other localities might get a piece.” [Washington Business Journal]

Pedestrian Struck in CVS Parking Lot — “Police and medics are on scene of an elderly pedestrian struck by a car in the CVS parking lot on the 6400 block of Williamsburg Blvd. The victim reportedly suffered a broken bone and is being transported to the hospital.” [Twitter]

Early Video of Nauck House Fire — Video posted to Facebook shows the scene as firefighters start to arrive at yesterday’s house fire in the Nauck neighborhood, near the W&OD Trail. [Statter 911]

Discussing Nightlife Safety — “‘A Conversation about Nightlife Safety’ will take place on Wednesday, May 1, 2019 from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m… The event will feature panelists from various Arlington County departments speaking about how they collaborated to build trusting relationships with restaurant staff and improve safety.” [Arlington County]

What’s in a Name? — At the Pentagon City mall, Panda Tea House is now bustling where Kokee Tea struggled last year. Was it the name change, or the addition of Thai rolled ice cream to the menu? [Twitter]

Photo courtesy @eugeneksoh

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Williamsburg is losing one barbecue restaurant, but gaining another in short order.

Smoking Kow BBQ now plans to take over the space once occupied by Backyard BBQ and Catering Company, located at 2910 N. Sycamore Street.

Paul Tecchio, the new restaurant’s general manager, told ARLnow just signed a lease to move in a few days ago, and hopes to have it open for business by “the first or second week of April.”

Backyard BBQ announced plans to close the location after more than 10 years in the space in mid-February, serving up its last meals on Feb. 22.

The new BBQ restaurant moving in got its start as a food truck serving up smoked meats across the Northern Virginia area and D.C., Tecchio said. It’s backed by Dylan Kough (pronounced “cow”), a former financial consultant who decided to try and bring Kansas City-style BBQ to the D.C. area.

Kough opened his first brick-and-mortar location of Smoking Kow in Alexandria last year, and still operates two food trucks as well. He also worked with Tecchio, himself a “classically trained chef who has worked in kitchens around the DMV for almost 7 years,” to open the Alexandria location and will partner with him once more on this new restaurant.

“Dylan and I have poured a lot of heart and hard work into getting the first location to where it is today and we are very excited to be bringing our ‘que to Arlington,” Tecchio wrote in an email.

Smoking Kow’s menu includes a variety of BBQ staples like brisket, pulled pork and chicken and ribs, with a whole host of platters, sandwiches and even tacos on offer.

Photo 1 via @BackyardBBQ_Co

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