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New Vietnamese Restaurant in Rosslyn Opens Its Doors

A new Vietnamese restaurant is now open in Rosslyn.

Saigon Noodles and Grill, located at 1800 Wilson Blvd, has posted banners proclaiming the eatery’s “grand opening.”

The restaurant first put up signs at the space last month. The eatery replaces Bistro 360, a wine shop and eatery that closed last May after about four years in Business.

According to its website, Saigon Noodles and Grill will be open all seven days a week, from 10 a.m.-10 p.m.

Its menu includes pho, banh mi and a whole host of other Vietnamese dishes.

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Crime Report: Abduction Attempt on Wilson Blvd

A masked man tried to abduct a woman outside of her residence along Wilson Blvd this past weekend, according to Arlington County Police.

The abduction attempt happened early Saturday morning on Wilson near the intersection with Patrick Henry Drive. The man tried to drag the woman away but she fought back and the attacker eventually fled.

More from this week’s Arlington County Police Department crime report:

ABDUCTION, 2019-01120041, 6100 block of Wilson Boulevard. At approximately 3:00 a.m. on January 12, police were dispatched to the report of a suspicious person. Upon arrival, it was determined that the female victim was walking in the area when she noticed an unknown male subject following her. As she approached the entrance to her residence, the male suspect pulled the victim’s hair from behind and wrapped his arms around her, preventing her from leaving. The suspect attempted to pull the victim away from her residence, however she resisted and the suspect eventually fled on foot when a vehicle drove by the area. The suspect is described as a Hispanic male, with light-olive toned skin, possibly in his late 20’s or early 30’s, approximately 5’8″-5’11”, 150-180 lbs., wearing black pants, a black jacket, black shoes and a winter mask. The investigation is ongoing.

Also last week, police were dispatched to a store in Pentagon City for a man who exposed himself to a group of children inside a fitting room.

The incident happened Friday night, on the 1100 block of S. Hayes Street — which is address of both the Fashion Centre at Pentagon City mall and the Pentagon Centre shopping center.

INDECENT EXPOSURE, 2019-01110259, 1100 block of S. Hayes Street. At approximately 7:11 p.m. on January 11, police were dispatched to the report of an indecent exposure. Upon arrival, it was determined that the juvenile victims were in the area of the fitting rooms inside of a business when they observed a male expose himself and touch himself inappropriately. The suspect is described as a Middle Eastern male, 25-35 years old, taller than 6’1″, approximately 190 lbs., with short black hair, brown eyes, scruff on his face, wearing a dark gray shirt, black jacket and black jeans. The investigation is ongoing.

Below are the rest of the highlights from this week’s crime report, including some we’ve already reported.

BURGLARY, 2019-01110053, 3200 block of N. Tacoma Street. At approximately 3:37 a.m. on January 11, police were dispatched to the report of an attempted burglary just occurred. Upon arrival, it was determined that the victim was inside his residence when he was alerted to the sound of an exterior door opening. The victim approached the door, heard it slam shut, and subsequently observed two suspects flee from the porch and leave the scene in a dark colored minivan. The suspects are described as two black males wearing large winter coats. The investigation is ongoing.

PEEPING, 2019-01100275, 600 block of N. Nelson Street. At approximately 9:37 p.m. on January 10, police were dispatched to the report of a peeping. Upon arrival, it was determined that the victims were inside their residence when they observed an unknown male suspect inside their backyard looking into the residence through a door. The victims screamed and the suspect fled prior to police arrival. The suspect is described as a white male, approximately 5’10”-6’0″, 180-210 lbs., wearing a black hoodie and black pants. The investigation is ongoing.

RECOVERED STOLEN VEHICLE, 2019-01090226, 800 block of Army Navy Drive. At approximately 6:30 p.m. on January 9, police were alerted to a License Plate Reader hit on a vehicle previously reported stolen by the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority. The vehicle was located in a parking garage and officers later made contact with two suspects as they returned to the vehicle. During the course of the investigation, the passenger was determined to be wanted out of Fairfax County for separate charges and taken into custody. The second suspect, the driver of the vehicle, Dae Shawn Jamison, 26, of Washington, D.C., was arrested and charged with Unauthorized Use of a Vehicle.

RECOVERED STOLEN VEHICLE, 2019-01090231, 800 block of Army Navy Drive. At approximately 6:47 p.m. on January 9, while investigating a separate case, police were alerted to a License Plate Reader Hit on a vehicle previously reported stolen out of Alexandria, Va. The parked vehicle was located in a garage and recovered. There are no suspect(s) descriptions. The investigation is ongoing.

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New Round of ‘Clarendon Circle’ Construction Prompts Additional Traffic Changes Starting Today

A new round of construction is kicking off at one of Clarendon’s trickiest intersections, and that means more lane closures and traffic changes.

Starting today (Wednesday), workers plan to start major sidewalk expansions at the “Clarendon Circle” intersection, or the area where Clarendon, Washington and Wilson boulevards meet.

The county expects the widening work to last through April, with the ultimate goal of having the new sidewalks ready “in time to allow businesses to have outdoor seating during the spring and summer months.” Much of the construction centers on the intersection of Washington Blvd and N. Irving Street, the home of both O’Sullivan’s Irish Pub and The Liberty Tavern.

County officials signed off on the $2.5 million Clarendon Circle overhaul this summer, in a bid to make the intersection a bit easier to navigate for pedestrians and cyclists, in particular. In addition to the sidewalk expansions, the project will include the installation of new bike lanes, the widening of Washington Boulevard to four lanes — while nixing the current reversible lanes — and the addition of upgraded traffic signals.

The construction first started prompting major traffic changes in the area early this month, and now the county is warning of additional changes. Those include a prohibition on left turns in the following areas:

  • Northbound Wilson Boulevard to N. Irving Street
  • Northbound Wilson Boulevard to westbound Washington Boulevard
  • Southbound Wilson Boulevard to eastbound Washington Boulevard
  • Westbound Washington Boulevard to southbound Wilson Boulevard

Some portions of the sidewalk will also be closed on both the Washington Blvd and Wilson Blvd sides of N. Irving Street. The left turn from eastbound Washington Boulevard to Clarendon Boulevard also remains off-limits, and will likely be shut down through this summer.

The county is hoping to have all of the work wrapped up by sometime in 2020, weather permitting.

The project is designed to move in conjunction with the county’s plans to do away with the reversible lanes on Washington Boulevard and create a “T” intersection with 13th Street N. That construction is projected to kick off sometime this winter, after the county cleared the way for the redevelopment of the nearby Red Top Cab properties.

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Wilson Blvd Upgrades in Virginia Square Poised for Spring Construction

The county could soon get started on some eagerly awaited improvements to Wilson Blvd in Virginia Square this spring.

Between 2009 and 2012, Arlington County completed two previous phases of road construction from N. Quincy Street to N. Lincoln Street, adding new sidewalks, streetlights, trees, bus shelters and a traffic signal at Oakland Street.

The second phase was divided into two different areas, with the first one finished in 2010 and the second one in 2012.

Now, last part of the project has been split into “east” and “west” phases along N. Kenmore Street.

The County Board is now set to award Sagres Construction Corp. a contract and $1,084,766 for the work needed for the “west” portion between N. Monroe Street and N. Kenmore Street. Construction could then begin next spring and then wrap the following summer.

For the final section, which spans from N. Kenmore Street to 10th Street N., construction is expected to start in spring of 2020 and then finish in spring of 2021.

Project elements for both “east” and “west” include new curbs and gutters, ADA-compliant sidewalks, traffic signal improvements, Carlyle-style streetlights and trees along the street. Upgrades to the storm sewers and new asphalt paving, signing and markings will also happen, according to the county.

“During the conceptual design process, residents especially noted concern for providing a safe pedestrian crossing at the N. Kenmore Street intersection,” according to county documents.

The Board is set to approve the contract at its meeting Saturday (Dec. 15) as part of its consent agenda, which is generally reserved for noncontroversial items.

Map via Arlington County

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Construction on Ballston Quarter Pedestrian Bridge Ramps Up Ahead of Spring 2019 Opening

The construction of a new pedestrian bridge linking Ballston Quarter to the area’s Metro station is picking up steam.

Workers recently began installing supports for the bridge near the development’s entrances along Wilson Blvd, as well as near the “Ballston Exchange” development at 4201 Wilson Blvd, where the walkway will ultimately connect.

The frame for a new bridge is also taking shape in nearby Mosaic Park, where Ballston Quarter developer Forest City secured permission to start assembling the structure through a deal with county officials.

After tearing down the old bridge over Wilson Blvd last May, Forest City originally planned to have the new walkway ready by the time shops first started opening in the newly renovated Ballston Common mall.

But they reported to the county this summer that construction delays were hampering the process, targeting sometime in 2019 instead. As the new year approaches, a spokeswoman for Forest City says that the bridge is “still slated to deliver in the spring of 2019.”

Forest City has until the end of the month to wrap up work in Mosaic Park under the terms of its current deal with the county. However, the company does have the chance to secure a two-month extension for additional work through the end of February, though that’s contingent on the construction not disrupting the long-awaited overhaul of the park set to start this coming spring.

When the bridge is finished, it’s designed to connect the Ballston Metro station seamlessly to the Ballston Quarter development, helping pedestrians avoid crossing a bevy of busy streets.

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Construction Starts on ‘Clarendon Circle’ Intersection, Prompting Traffic Changes and Detours

Crews have broken ground on the first phase of the “Clarendon Circle” project, bringing improvements to one of the county’s trickiest intersections for pedestrians and cyclists but creating some temporary traffic changes.

The County Board approved in June the contract for the overhaul of the “Clarendon Circle” — the area where Clarendon, Washington and Wilson boulevards all meet, just past the Metro station.

The first phase of the project involves concrete work along eastbound Washington Blvd — west of Wilson Blvd and Fairfax Drive — along with removal of the existing curb and gutter in the area.

Ardent Construction Company began in September Clarendon Circle’s reconstruction, which is anticipated to last one year, according to the county.

Signs will provide detour directions. Drivers and pedestrians have the following options to Clarendon Blvd from Washington Blvd:

  • Turn right on southbound N. Kirkwood Road, which turns into 10th Street N. Then turn left on Wilson Blvd and continue straight.
  • Stay on Washington Blvd, crossing Wilson and Clarendon boulevards, and then turn left on N. Highland Street. Then turn right.

Additionally, left turns will be restricted on eastbound Washington Blvd along with the left turn from eastbound Washington Blvd to Clarendon Blvd through next summer.

Traffic disruptions with lane and sidewalk closures during the 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. work hours on Mondays through Fridays are expected, the county said, adding that no weekend work is scheduled.

The planned improvements address planners’ desired changes to the intersection, like shortening the distances pedestrians have to walk across roads. The work will also include long-anticipated installation of additional bike lanes, the widening of Washington Blvd and the addition of upgraded traffic signals.

The project will also add a “green streets” element to N. Irving Street, next to the Silver Diner, which planners have said will help better manage stormwater.

Additional plans for the project include installing new Carlyle streetlights, adding curb extensions at the Liberty Tavern corner and planting more trees.

Maps via Arlington County

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Subway on Wilson Blvd Near Courthouse Shuts Down

The Subway restaurant on Wilson Blvd near Courthouse has closed.

The space the fast food eatery once occupied at 2424 Wilson Blvd, under the Arlington Rooftop Bar & Grill, now sits empty. Signs currently list the space for lease.

A tipster first notified ARLnow about the Subway’s closure last week, noting that a sign was posted at the shop thanking patrons for stopping by the business for the last 15 years.

As of Monday, however, that sign was gone, and all of the restaurant’s furniture and equipment had been removed from the site.

Anyone craving a sub won’t have to go far to find other options, though — Subway’s website shows seven other restaurants along the Rosslyn-Ballston corridor alone.

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Lane of Wilson Blvd Blocked for Sinkhole Repair

The left-hand lane of westbound Wilson Blvd is blocked at N. Nelson Street in Virginia Square due to a sinkhole in the roadway.

The sinkhole is relatively shallow, but large enough to cause concern of it deepening. Crews were on scene as of 10:30 a.m., investigating the cause of the roadway indentation.

Arlington’s Dept. of Environmental Services encourages residents to report potholes and other road issues on its website.

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Paving Kicks Off on Clarendon Blvd, As Courthouse Intersection Work Wraps Up

Work is wrapping up on improvements to one of Courthouse’s trickiest intersections, with some night paving set to close a few streets this week.

The county is putting the finishing touches on some changes to sidewalks and bus stops around the intersection of Wilson and Clarendon Boulevards, near the Courthouse Metro station. Starting last night (Tuesday), workers began paving the area and the county expects the work to last through Friday (Sept. 7).

Arlington officials are advising drivers to avoid the area where Clarendon Blvd meets N. Veitch Street and 15th Street N. during the paving, set to run from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. through the rest of the week.

Workers permanently closed the lane turning from Clarendon Blvd. to 15th Street N. in March, and have spent the ensuing months widening the sidewalks in the area and adding a new bus stop to accommodate additional Arlington Transit service in the area. The county hopes the project “will improve pedestrian safety, circulation and access in and around Courthouse Plaza,” per its website.

Construction was originally set to wrap up sometime this winter, but the county says it’s now “nearing completion, ahead of schedule.”

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New Gym Hoping to Move into American Tap Room Space in Clarendon

A boutique fitness studio could soon move into the space once occupied by the American Tap Room in Clarendon.

A gym branded as “FootFire” is applying for a use permit to open in a 49,200-square-foot space adjacent to an office building at 3101 Wilson Blvd, according to documents filed with the county on July 17.

Located just across from the Clarendon Metro station, the space has sat empty since the American Tap Room closed its doors in 2016. The restaurant had struggled for years with noise complaints from neighbors and the area’s high rent prices.

Lawyers for Christopher Hoffman, the gym’s owner, wrote in a permit application that the new fitness studio “will be a member-based running, training, recovery and education center focusing on the complete training experience for runners and other endurance athletes of all fitness levels.”

The attorneys added that the gym will offer both indoor and outdoor running classes, including “treadmill-based courses, group outdoor running exercises, indoor weight training, yoga and stretching courses.” Plans sketched out for the facility also call for a juice bar and daycare area.

The County Board is set to consider the permit request at its first meeting of the fall on Sept. 22.

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New Protected Bike Lane Opens Connecting Rosslyn and Courthouse

Arlington’s opened up another protected bike lane, this time connecting Rosslyn and Courthouse.

This newest lane runs along Wilson Blvd, between N. Quinn Street and N. Courthouse Road near the post office in the area. The county previously built a protected lane between N. Oak and N. Quinn Streets back in 2016.

In the early going, at least, the new lane seems to be a hit for cyclists and scooter fans alike.

The county’s added several new protected bike lanes this summer, including one along N. Veitch Street near this latest addition, as part of summer paving work around Arlington.

Photo via @juddlumberjack

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Permits Issued But No Construction Yet at Former Clarendon Walgreens

It has stood empty and unused for a year and a half, but there are signs that interior construction could be starting soon at the former Walgreens in Clarendon.

The final plan for the historically-designated building to be converted into a JPMorgan Chase Bank was approved by Arlington inspectors last week, according to county permitting records.

The branch is one of four planned for the D.C. area as part of an expansion of the financial giant’s consumer banking arm. The company purchased the property at 2825 Wilson Blvd for $25 million, according to the Washington Business Journal.

Asked for additional details, including an expected opening date, a JPMorgan Chase spokesman said the company has “no further information to provide at this time.”

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Coworking Space to Become First Office Tenant at Former NSF Headquarters in Ballston

A Brooklyn-based coworking space will become the first office tenant in the former home of the National Science Foundation’s headquarters, now known as the Ballston Exchange.

Industrious will open its third location in the D.C. area on the third floor of 4201 Wilson Blvd, according to a news release from the building’s owner, Jamestown LLP. The coworking space signed a 10-year lease at the location in a 24,795-square-foot suite.

Jamestown bought the building, as well as the adjacent 4121 Wilson Blvd, for a combined $300 million in 2015. But the NSF decided to relocate its headquarters to Alexandria last fall, spurring the property owner to kick off $140 million in renovation work at the buildings and go on the hunt for new tenants.

“The addition of Industrious shows our commitment to providing Ballston residents, workers and commuters alike with premier business and lifestyle opportunities,” Jamestown President Michael Phillips wrote in a statement.

Jamestown has already lured several restaurants to the development, with Shake Shack, We The Pizza, Philz Coffee and Cava setting up shop in recent months.

Those stores and others will line a shared courtyard between the two buildings, set to open in full by the end of the year. A pedestrian bridge will eventually connect 4201 Wilson to the newly revamped Ballston Quarter mall, but that project has encountered some delays recently.

As for Industrious, the company hopes to open its Ballston location by early 2019. It operates more than 40 coworking spaces across the country, including locations in downtown Bethesda and in D.C. near Logan Circle.

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New Ballston Quarter Pedestrian Bridge Delayed Until 2019

The developer behind the renovated Ballston Quarter mall is pushing back its plans to open a new pedestrian bridge over Wilson Blvd, as part of a host of proposed changes to the project.

Forest City had originally hoped to open the overhauled bridge connecting the mall to 4201 Wilson Blvd and the Metro station in time for stores to begin opening this fall. Yet work on the bridge is “currently behind schedule and is now expected to be completed in the winter or early spring of 2019,” according to a report prepared for the County Board.

Accordingly, Forest City is asking the Board to tweak some of the planning documents governing the project to account for the delay, which county staff believe will allow for “additional time for public engagement” around changes to the bridge’s renovation. Staff are recommending that the Board push off any consideration of that request until next month, though Board members won’t get a chance to vote on that recommendation until Saturday (June 16).

County staff also suggest that the Board wait until its July 14 meeting to consider a request from Forest City to add “large media screens” to the development. The big TV screens would face Wilson Blvd as part of Ballston Quarter’s west plaza. A spokeswoman for Forest City said “nothing is yet confirmed” when it comes to the purpose of the screens.

The Board could take some action related to the development on Saturday, however. Forest City is hoping to open six “outdoor cafes” as the mall welcomes back patrons in September, though construction plans originally called for some additional landscaping and construction work to be completed before those restaurants could open.

Staff noted that Forest City’s plans are “not ideal,” but they also didn’t see any “public safety risk” in letting the cafes open first. They’re recommending that the Board approve the request, then consider individual permits for each restaurant over the course of the next month.

The developer has already unveiled a variety of restaurants and retailers that will open at the mall, with plans to release more information in the coming months.

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Overhaul of Tricky ‘Clarendon Circle’ Intersection Could Start This Fall

Arlington could soon kick off work on improvements at one of the county’s trickiest intersections for pedestrians and cyclists.

The County Board is set to approve a $2.5 million contract for the overhaul of the “Clarendon Circle” — the area where Clarendon, Washington and Wilson Boulevards all meet, just past the Metro station.

Planners have hoped for years now to add improvements to the intersection, like shortening the distances pedestrians have to walk across roads. The work will also include the installation of additional bike lanes, the widening of Washington Boulevard to four lanes — while nixing the current reversible lanes — and the addition of upgraded traffic signals.

Plans also call for adding a “green streets” element to better manage stormwater on N. Irving Street, next to the Silver Diner.

The Board is scheduled to vote on the construction contract at its Saturday, June 16 meeting as part of its consent agenda, which is typically reserved for non-controversial items. Should Board members approve the deal, the county estimates that work could begin this fall and wrap up in the winter of 2020.

The Clarendon Circle project is designed to move in conjunction with the county’s plans to do away with the reversible lanes on Washington Boulevard and create a “T” intersection with 13th Street N. That construction is projected to kick off in the winter of 2019, after the Board voted on May 22 to let the redevelopment of the nearby Red Top Cab properties move ahead.

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