Alexandria, VA

Alexandria City Public Schools has delayed its partial reopening for the week of Feb. 1.

Superintendent Gregory Hutchings, Jr. made the announcement today, and cited rising COVID-19 numbers and strained staffing resources as the reasons for the continued closure.

“Due to our current community transmission levels and school impact level, we have made the decision to delay the reentry of students who were set to return to schools the week of Feb. 1,” Hutchings announced. “As you may be aware, the number of positive cases and transmission rates in Alexandria have continued to remain at high levels.”

Students with disabilities from kindergarten to fifth grade, early childhood special education students and English learners in kindergarten to fifth grade were supposed to go back to school on Jan. 19, but the opening was delayed a week, and then pushed again to Feb. 1.

The remainder of the student groups are still listed to go back to school on February 9 and February 16.

ACPS listed the following data in the announcement:

  • Percentage of RT-PCR tests that are positive during the last 14 days: 10.1% – Highest Risk
  • Total number of new cases per 100,000 persons within the last 14 days: 599.9 – Highest Risk
  • ACPS staffing and capacity level: strained (50-75%)

Below is the new tentative timeline for the partial reopening of public school in Alexandria:

Photo via T.C. Williams Minnie Howard Campus/Facebook

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Alexandria’s COVID-19 deaths are now at 101, and the number of cases has reached 9,121.

That’s five more deaths and 311 cases since this time last week, according to the Virginia Department of Health. The fatal victims were in their 60s, 70s and 80s.

“This grim milestone is an important reminder that COVID-19 is still active in Alexandria and that every resident has a role in stopping the spread, particularly to safeguard those at highest risk of severe illness and death,” according to the Alexandria Health Department. “While the arrival of vaccines offers hope that a return to normalcy is within reach, it may still be many months until the majority of Alexandrians are fully protected.”

Across Virginia, there have been 6,081 deaths and there are or have been 478,619 cases of the virus. There have also been 5.1 million PCR (polymerase chain reaction) tests and the state’s seven-day positivity rate is 12.6%.

According to Mayor Justin Wilson, the numbers are similar to what the city was experiencing over the summer.

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Alexandria Police reported another shots fired call for service over the weekend in the West End, and there was also a serious crash with four cars in Old Town that sent two men to the hospital.

The shooting is the third in Alexandria this month, and occurred at around 5 a.m. on Sunday morning in the 200 block of Century Place in the West End near Holmes Run. Multiple shell casings were found at the scene, but no one was reported injured.

The recent string of shots fired calls remain under investigation, with police increasing patrols in an effort at curbing the 2020 uptick. Anyone with information about the incidents is asked to contact Sgt. Taylor at 703-746-6271.

There was also a four-car accident at the intersection of Duke and S. Patrick Streets in Old Town. The accident occurred at around 9 p.m. on Saturday night, and while police initially reported that there were life-threatening injuries, an update later proved that two men involved in the crash were injured but that their lives were not in danger.

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Morning Notes

Beyer Says Republican leader McCarthy Should Resign Over Capitol Siege Comments — “The reason McCarthy is trying to take back what he said about Trump’s obvious guilt — and now, absurdly, blaming ‘everybody’ — is McCarthy himself spread conspiracy theories and lies about the election, then led his caucus into an attack on our democracy. McCarthy should resign.” [Twitter]

Antonio Damiani of Tony’s Auto Service Passes Away — “Tony passed away peacefully surrounded by his family at Winchester Medical Center on Thursday evening, January 14, 2021 from complications of cancer he had battled for two years.” [Zebra]

Adult Mentors Needed — “Mentor one child, change two lives! The Alexandria Mentoring Partnership seeks adult mentors for children in need. Mentoring decreases risk factors associated with emotional well-being and success in school and life.” [Twitter]

City Seeks Public Comment on Wilkes Street Park Redesign — “The City of Alexandria Department of Recreation, Parks and Cultural Activities (RPCA) is seeking public comment for the proposed design of Wilkes Street Park. The proposed redesign of the 0.7-acre park was presented at the Park and Recreation Commission on Thursday, January 21, 2021. The community is encouraged to review the proposed park design and provide input via email until Wednesday, February 17, 2021.” [City of Alexandria]

Filipino Fast-Food Chain Jollibee to Open in Landmark-Area Shopping Center — “Wildly popular Filipino fast-food chain Jollibee has inked a deal to take over a shuttered Boston Market space at Plaza at Landmark, its second restaurant slated for the region that we know of.” [Washington Business Journal]

Today’s Weather — “Cloudy with rain developing later in the day. High 42F. Winds ENE at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of rain 90%. Rain. Low around 35F. Winds ENE at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of rain 90%. Rainfall near a half an inch.” [Weather.com]

New Job: LARGE FORMAT SIGNS – Digital Print Operator — “We are actively seeking experienced Print Operator for our large format digital print department. Ideal candidate to possess solid background in digital print production and signage along with a positive attitude, great organizational skills and strong hands on skill set.” [Indeed]

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It was a short, but news-filled week in Alexandria.

With Monday off in observance of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, we started the week running with a COVID-19 update. Cases of COVID-19 in the city now stand at 8,975 and fatalities are at 99. That’s an increase of three deaths and 165 cases since Tuesday, according to the Virginia Department of Health.

Our top story this week was a story that was published before election day in November, when residents with Joe Biden for president signs in their yards received anonymous letters stating that Biden is a pedophile.

Our second most-read story was the widely reported plans to close Atlantis Pizzeria and Family Restaurant.

Wednesday, Jan. 20, brought worldwide attention to Alexandria’s neighboring jurisdiction of Washington D.C. for Biden’s inauguration, and while there were calls from members of the community for a 6 p.m. curfew, there were no reported incidents from protestors in Alexandria.

In fact, Alexandria Sheriff’s deputies and police officers helped during the inauguration by working with regional partners to shut down the 14th Street Bridge to traffic.

In case you missed them, here are a few important posts:

Here are our top stories of the week:

  1. Alexandrians with Joe Biden Yard Signs Get Anonymous Letters Saying Biden is a Pedophile
  2. Atlantis Pizzeria and Family Restaurant Closing on Jan. 24
  3. New Boarding House Planned Over Old Town Barber Shop
  4. Man Charged With DWI After Horrific Crash in West End Parking Lot
  5. Contested Parker-Gray Townhouse Returns to City Tomorrow
  6. Police Chief: Many Recent Shootings in Alexandria Are Related
  7. Curfew Not Likely for Alexandria on Inauguration Day, No Known Threats Detected
  8. BREAKING: Woman Gets Arm Amputated, Police Investigate if She Was Thrown From Car in West End
  9. Vice Mayor Bennett-Parker Asks Alexandria Hotels to Cancel ‘Proud Boy’ Reservations
  10. Local Business in Hot Water with City Architects After Unauthorized Paint Job
  11. COVID-19 Vaccine Eligibility Expanded, City Says Aggressive Calls to COVID-19 Hotline Not Tolerated

Have a safe weekend!

Photo via Atlantis Restaurant/Facebook

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For some, buying an existing business can be easier than starting from scratch.

The latest listings on BizBuySell show businesses for sale in and around Alexandria. Many are restaurants, which have been heavily impacted by the pandemic.

The website aggregates numerous business sale listings. The names and locations are generally left out, but there are exceptions.

Reasons for selling, when provided, typically do not mention economic hardship, but more often involve the owner retiring or not having time to actively run the business.

Here are some that are currently listed:

  1. Beautiful Modern Laundromat for Sale — “Beautiful modern laundromat in a great location! 21st century laundromat with card system, customized folding tables, modern design, with high-powered energy efficient machines. Location is about 4000 SF located near many current and upcoming apartment complexes. Long-term 10 tear lease with 5 year option. This place is fully card operated and can be easily managed from home with one visit a week.”
  2. 30-Year-Old Deli — “Clean and well run Deli in office park with schools and healthcare facilities as neighbors. The business has been operated absentee for several years and has produced a profit of $45,000+ for the owners. A owner operator can expect to earn $90,000+. Running absentee requires excess help to ensure the Deli is no short handed. Online rating are all above 4 stars. Well known for delicious sandwiches and subs.”
  3. Alexandria’s Premier Salon and Spa — “Hair salon and spa, established in 2011, with huge clientele and fantastic reviews. State of the art equipment. Bright, inviting atmosphere, with contemporary decor. Surrounded by highly-frequented restaurants and shops in a well populated residential neighborhood. High-street visibility, easy access, high pedestrian and vehicle traffic, with ample parking.”
  4. Absentee-Owner Gourmet Pizza & Italian With Loyal Following — “This high-visibility restaurant has long been a destination and neighborhood favorite with locals – it continues to enjoy a following as a gourmet take-out option for pizza and all Italian cuisine favorites. Purchased in 2019 as a decades-old chef-owned establishment, the new owner invested in a complete turn around, nearly doubling sales and converting the business model to absentee ownership. Owner has refrained from applying for PPP or other SBA loans so that new owner might be able to take advantage of those opportunities.”
  5. Beautiful Hair & Nail Spa for Sale/ Price reduced — “Great opportunity!!! Serious Inquiries only. Beautiful and well established Hair & Nail Spa for Sale in a very busy shopping center. Seller is retiring after many successful years in the business. Beautiful & Very efficiently designed. 6 years old Spa. Established, loyal customers. Reasonable rent & excellent location. 10 Hair stations, 5 Dryers, 3 Shampoo stations, 8 Manicure Tables, 8 Pedicure chairs, 3 Waxing rooms, 2 Facial Rooms, 1 Body scrub. There is plenty of room to expand. Room to grow by improving social media and other marketing and adding massage service.”
  6. Established Asian Fusion Restaurant in Old Town — “Super Busy main street at Old Town Alexandria. Has been in operation for 18 years, established royal customers. Has huge potential to increase the volume if adding catering business. Business gross sales didn’t get impact by Covid.”
  7. NOVA Kitchen/Bath Remodel Contractor — “RVA Business Brokers is pleased to offer this Northern Virginia Kitchen & Bathroom Remodel Super Store to the Market.”
  8. Coin Laundry/Laundromats — “No Exception, Non-Disclosure must be signed in person meeting, No emailing signing. We can meet at anywhere in Fairfax county to sign NDA with appointment.”
  9. Pet Grooming Business — “Well-established pet grooming business for sale!”
  10. Auto Garage in Landmark Area — “OWNER FINANCING!! Auto repair sales only. 3 technicians. VA Safety/Emissions Inspection. Located in the I-395/Landmark Corridor. Business value at $325K and Real Estate value at $1,850,000.00.”
  11. Well Known Deli in Alexandria Part of Fairfax County — “This money making Deli been there 23 years and very well known in town. most busy deli shop around Fairfax Country, Alexandria VA Great location deli and sandwich shop. after 23 years, seller wants to retire. Don’t miss out on this Deli shop.”
  12. Mexican Restaurant & Bar Can Convert MRB VA 876 — “This Profitable Mexican Restaurant for Sale has been open and operating profitably for eight years. The location is on a high traffic road and surrounded by residential. This is a turnkey situation on a restaurant that has been grossing in excess of $840,000 annually with profits to an absentee owner of $80,000 annually. Nice full service bar. Outdoor Seating!! Great opportunity for a new on hand owner/operator to take this business to the next level. MUST SEE.”
  13. Taco Place For Sale — “Great location in Alexandria, very favorite Mexican restaurant, nice location, open kitchen with low rent 4800 nnn, 6 days operation.”
  14. 5 Days Deli in Alexandria Asking $175,000 — “WELL ESTABLISHED 5 DAY DELI SANDWICH SHOP FOR SALE IN ALEXANDRIA VA. RENT $4,500 ( INCLUDE UTILITY, TAX ). FULLY EQUIPPED KITCHEN. GREATER CASH FLOW BUSINESS;
    ADD YOUR OWN CONCEPT. ADD DELIVERY, ONLINE ORDERING.”
  15. Restaurant Bar — “Exceptional opportunity to purchase this turn key restaurant in popular Mt Vernon area of Alexandria. Continue to operate as is or easily change to any concept. 80 seats in plus 25 out. Absentee owner looking for offers; long term lease – 19 years. $11,000 monthly. $1,100,000 yearly sales – asking $225,000.”
  16. Asian Restaurant and Sushi Bar for Sale — ”
    Established Business for Sale. Owner is looking to retire from business. All equipment is owned and in good condition, except the dishwasher is leased. Asking price is negotiable, send your offers!”
  17. Specialty Gift & Souvenir Boutique in the Heart of Old Town Alexandria — “Unique opportunity to own a specialty gift and souvenir shop in the heart of the Old Town Alexandria. The boutique is located in a high traffic part of Old Town and has been a destination shopping destination to both locals and tourists for decades.”
  18. Optometry Practices — “Two established Optical/Optometry stores for sale. Both locations have street frontage visibility, are located in upscale parts of town, and have high sales and cash flow.”
  19. Longstanding Italian Restaurant for Sale — “Purchase this Long-Standing Italian Restaurant for Sale in Alexandria and be ready to go from day one! Tons of loyal customers already in place at this turn-key opportunity. Lending available and you can be approved in just two business days on this his beautifully built-out location with sales of $404,000 and Beer/Wine license in place.”

See more Alexandria listings here.

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Alexandria Police are investigating a series of hit-and-runs that damaged cars in the West End last month.

On Dec. 13 at around 11:15 p.m., Alexandria police responded to the area of N. Van Dorn Street and Sanger Avenue in the West End in reference to a motor vehicle crash.

Police found a blue Subaru Impreza “sitting across the sidewalk and in the grass of the north side of Sanger Avenue,” according to a search warrant affidavit. “Upon further examination, (the officer) observed damage to not only the blue Subaru Impreza, but also the red Hyundai Elantra parked behind it, and a red Honda Civic parked behind that.”

The 911 caller told police that she saw a silver or gold SUV drive past her on the wrong side of the road at a high rate of speed, and then reported that it crashed into parked cars. The witness told police that a man exited the car, approached her car and pulled on the door handle.

Another witness was on his balcony and saw a silver or gold sedan crash into parked vehicles. He then said that the driver got out of the car briefly, got back into it and then drove away from the scene. He also said that the car was smoking when he left, and that the suspect was a Hispanic male about 5-foot-9 with black hair, a black T-shirt and blue jeans.

At around the same time, Alexandria Police responded to another hit and run by a gold Acura in the 1400 block of N. Beauregard Street. The car was later found less than a half mile away in the 5400 block of Sheffield Court, according to the search warrant.

Police spoke with the registered owner of the car three days later, and he told police that he let another man use the car from Dec. 11 to Dec. 14. Police contacted that man, who had a key to the Acura, but said that it must have been stolen.

No one has been arrested in connection with these incidents.

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Morning Notes

Beyer Says Congress Needs to Pass COVID-19 Relief Bill — “Last week was the 44th week in a row in which more Americans filed new unemployment claims than in any week on record prior to 2020. Damage from delaying relief still hitting American families, which shows how important it is for Congress to move quickly on the next relief bill.” [Twitter]

Mayor Says Alexandria Needs More COVID-19 Vaccines — “My friend @JeffreyCMcKay is absolutely right. NoVa jurisdictions have been planning for administration of vaccinations for months. We have the staffing, volunteers, processes and community partnerships in place to vaccinate our population. We just need more vaccine doses.” [Twitter]

Alexandria Fire Department Protected Potomac During Inauguration — “#DCsBravest also played a key role in helping to protect the waterways during the inauguration. Our Fireboats worked in conjunction with @DCPoliceDept Harbor Division, @USCG @AlexandriaVAFD and other maritime assets.” [Twitter]

Democrat Kirk McPike Announces Run for City Council — “As our city recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic, we will need leaders who are ready for the challenges and opportunities that lay ahead. My experience on commissions that deal with housing affordability and the city budget, along with my work in legislative offices, have prepared me to serve on the City Council in these trying times.” [kirkmcpike.com]

ALX-OPOLY Game Available for Pre-Order — “You can now order ALX-OPOLY in any quantity! Explore one of our nation’s most fascinating cities from the comfort of your living room. No matter which space you land on, you’ll see how this city has charmed residents and visitors from around the world.” [ChamberALX]

Today’s Weather — “Sunny along with a few clouds (during the day). High 51F. Winds WNW at 10 to 20 mph. A few clouds from time to time (in the evening). Low 27F. Winds NW at 10 to 15 mph.” [Weather.com]

New Job: Dog Daycare Pack Leader — “We are looking for responsible individuals that love dogs but are also capable of working with a group of dogs in a dog daycare setting. YOU MUST HAVE EXPERIENCE EITHER IN A DOG DAYCARE OR VET. OWNING A DOG IS NOT THAT KIND OF EXPERIENCE. We are looking for an individual that is committed to dogs and their care. You need to be attentive – be able to follow a set of daily activities with the dogs, and be able to be on your feet for the majority of your work day.” [Indeed]

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Just after midnight on Dec. 21, Alexandria Police received a 911 call from a city resident saying that she could hear a woman screaming for help in the 2200 block of N. Van Dorn Street in the West End.

The woman in distress allegedly pulled out a knife when approached by police, and was then commanded to drop it. An officer used a TASER on the woman and she was placed in handcuffs, according to a search warrant affidavit.

A witness told police that “he saw the female either fall or get thrown out of a vehicle,” according to the affidavit. “(The woman) was admitted to the hospital and was diagnosed with multiple injuries, to include a severe dislocation of her elbow. This injury was so severe that (her) arm was subsequently amputated at Alexandria Hospital.”

Police soon found inconsistencies in an interview with a man who later identified himself as the woman’s boyfriend. Shortly after the incident occurred, the man arrived at the hospital to check on the victim and said that he did so at the behest of her worried mother.

The man later told police that he had a romantic relationship with the woman, that she’d been in the United States for only a year and had no family in the city. He said that before her encounter with police she was out with a male friend he only knew as “G-Man”, and that he only found out about her injuries after receiving a worried call from her mother. He then said that he decided to check into area hospitals in the off chance that she had been admitted.

The man’s story fell apart — namely that he hadn’t seen the woman since her supposed dinner with G-Man — when he revealed to police that he was in possession of the woman’s cell phone. Police then seized the woman’s phone.

The man, who has not been charged with any crime in relation to this incident, then “admitted that he was lying about what happened,” according to police.

The man then told police that the woman showed up at his business, and started acting erratically and screaming. He then said that he was able to get her into his car and that she continued acting erratically and pulled over three-and-a-half miles later. He said that she then got out of the car and ran toward the Exxon station at Kenmore Avenue, which is near to where she was found by police.

The man then told police that he parked his car in a nearby shopping center and went looking for the woman. When he got back to his car he found it was being towed and showed police a tow receipt that had the time of 12:34 a.m. stamped on it.

“I found this significant because the initial 911 call came in at 12:04 a.m.,” police noted in the affidavit. “Therefore, if (the man) was indeed out looking for (the woman) and returned to his car to find it being towed, there was no way he wouldn’t have seen the massive police response to the area of (2200) North Van Dorn Street. It should be noted that approximately 12 Alexandria Police Units responded to the 911 call.”

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Alexandria Mayor Justin Wilson announced his bid for reelection to a second term this morning. He currently stands unopposed in the Mayor’s race, according to the city’s office of Voter Registration and Elections.

Wilson, who defeated then-Mayor Allison Silberberg in the democratic primary in June 2018, has presided over an unprecedented period in Alexandria’s history that has been marked by social strife and a pandemic.

“I am proud of how we have weathered this storm, but we must now lead the recovery,” Wilson wrote in a campaign email. “With that optimism for the City’s future, I am excited to seek your support to serve a second term as your Mayor.”

Wilson cited numerous challenges that have marked his tenure, in addition to new opportunities with the redevelopment of Landmark Mall into a hospital, funding for five new public schools, launching the construction of the Potomac Yard Metro station and investments in sewers.

“We are in a unique and challenging moment for our City,” Wilson said in his message, and also appealed for donations to his campaign. “Our success has never been assured. It has been created through generations of leaders who have placed the City’s future first.”

Wilson, who is married with two children, was elected in a special election to Council in 2007 after the resignation of then-Vice Mayor Andrew Macdonald. He lost reelection in 2009, was elected in 2012 and was elected as Vice Mayor in 2015. For his day job, he is a senior manager for Amtrak.

Two members of City Council — Vice Mayor Elizabeth Bennett-Parker and Councilwoman Del Pepper —  are not running for reelection. Three members of the Alexandria Democratic Committee have filed paperwork to run for Council.

The democratic primary for the mayoral and city council races is Tuesday, June 8, and election day is Tuesday, Nov. 2.

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