Newsletter

A 23-year-old Fairfax County man wounded after a shooting in a West End apartment complex is being held without bond in the Alexandria jail for being a violent felon in possession of a firearm.

Antwain Lee Williams was arrested on Tuesday, September 21, after being driven to Inova Alexandria Hospital by a neighbor. He was alert with police and claimed that he was shot in the head.

It is still not clear exactly how Williams was injured, police said. No one else has been arrested in connection to this incident.

“This remains an active investigation,” APD Senior Public Information Officer Amanda Paga told ALXnow.

The incident occurred at around 1 p.m., just in time for police to arrive and hear two men arguing before there were gunshots inside the apartment complex, according to a search warrant. Inside a first floor apartment where Williams was staying, police found blood, a black firearm, three bullet casings and a broken window.

Police suspect that Williams, who goes to court on October 25, fired a weapon.

When asked at the hospital who shot him, Williams told police that an unknown male walked up to him and shot him point blank in the head.

The incident occurred five years to the day that Williams was arrested for shooting a man in Pittsylvania County.

Anyone with information on the incident can call the police non-emergency line at 703-746-4444. Callers can remain anonymous.

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Morning Notes

On Wednesday (September 29), 757 Alexandria City High School seniors in government classes participated in a mock election, and voted for governor, lieutenant governor, the House of Delegates seat in the 46th District, Commonwealth’s attorney and Sheriff. The results were not made public, as the unofficial voting was just an exercise. (Via Claire Going/ACPS)

Aslin Beer Co. opens new scratch kitchen in Alexandria — “For the past two years, Chef Taylor Gates has been learning about pizza and dough — and now the taproom at Aslin Beer Co. in Alexandria’s West End is ready to serve it up. Aslin is opening a new scratch kitchen concept this week called Knead.” [Alexandria Living]

City Council approves additional eviction prevention resources — “City Council’s decision funds $457,000 for two service navigator and two housing relocator positions; storage assistance for household belongings; and additional legal services provided by the Legal Aid Justice Center to assist people at risk for eviction due to the COVID-19 pandemic.” [City of Alexandria]

Inova Alexandria Hospital brings peer recovery to the emergency room — “Patients visiting the E.R. for a substance-related crisis can speak with a specialist once they are medically stable. The idea is to help them take that first step toward recovery.” [Zebra]

Today’s weather — “Plentiful sunshine. High 74F. Winds NNW at 5 to 10 mph… A mostly clear sky (in the evening). Low 51F. Winds light and variable.” [Weather.com]

New job: Employee Rotation Program with the Office of Historic Alexandria — “Work involves writing, editing and planning layout of brochures and flyers, newspaper articles, press releases, and/or planning and implementing publicity and fundraising campaigns. Work requires the exercise of creativity, independent judgment, and a familiarity with Alexandria’s African American history. The work is performed under general supervision of the Director of the Alexandria Black History Museum in consultation with the Director of OHA.” [Governmentjobs.com]

Via Claire Going/ACPS

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The Oakville Triangle redevelopment is progressing steadily, as developer Stonebridge has reportedly secured the $300 million in financing necessary for its construction, according to the Washington Business Journal.

Stonebridge principal Doug Firstenberg did not discuss the terms of the financing on the 13-acre property from Los Angeles-based investment company PCCP, although it means that the timeline for the project is on track to be unveiled in the fall of 2023.

The massive Oakville Triangle project is located at the corner of Fannon Street and Richmond Highway — just down Richmond Highway from National Landing and the Virginia Tech’s Innovation Campus, and includes more than 1 million square feet of residential space dedicated to apartments, the 93,000-square-foot Inova HealthPlex and 55,000 square feet of retail.

The project goes before the Planning Commission and City Council this November.

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Morning Notes

School year starts at Samuel W. Tucker Elementary School — “With a little uncertainty and a lot of hope, Alexandria enters a new chapter for its students.” [Zebra]

Brokerage firm KLMB chosen to find tenants for Landmark Mall — “The first phase of the 4.2 million-square-foot mixed-use redevelopment, to be anchored by a 1 million-square-foot Inova Health System hospital, isn’t slated to deliver until mid-2025. But KLNB and the development team, including Foulger-Pratt, Howard Hughes Corp. (NYSE: HHC), and Seritage Growth Properties (NYSE: SRG), have started working on a retail master plan to identify potential anchor tenants — which they hope will then help draw smaller shops and restaurants to the development.” [Washington Business Journal]

The Fund for Alexandria’s virtual gala is this Thursday — “All funds raised will directly benefit children in foster care or at risk for abuse and neglect, helping to ensure that each child has their basic needs met and providing life-enhancing and enriching opportunities that many of these children miss out on, like dance, art or karate lessons, summer camping, school field trips, scouting and team sports.” [City of Alexandria]

Today’s weather — “Mostly sunny skies during the morning hours. Scattered showers and thunderstorms developing in the afternoon. High 94F. Winds SSW at 10 to 15 mph. Chance of rain 40%… Isolated thunderstorms during the evening, then skies turning partly cloudy overnight. Low near 75F. Winds SSW at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of rain 40%.” [Weather.com]

New job: Real estate agent (training included) — “Have you reached your potential in your career? Are you making the money you deserve? Do you have the tools, leadership, and supportive environment to help you succeed in this lucrative and exciting industry? If you answered ‘No’ to any of these questions, Keller Williams Realty is your answer.” [Indeed]

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Morning Notes

Inova Alexandria Hospital rezoned to allow Landmark project to move forward — “Inova’s Alexandria hospital campus is now zoned to allow for future residential development, after city council voted 7-0 to allow the rezoning to make it easier for Inova to sell the Seminary Hill hospital land to a developer.” [Alexandria Living]

New Harris Teeter grand opening set in Alexandria — “A new Harris Teeter grocery store in Alexandria is holding a grand opening on Wednesday, June 23 beginning at 8 a.m. at 4550 King St., in the West Alex development at the corner of King and Beauregard streets.” [Alexandria Living]

Little Theatre of Alexandria presents ‘Will Rogers’ USA’ at Fort Ward Park on July 3 — “Covid-19 is not keeping the Little Theatre of Alexandria down! LTA is coming back in 2021 even stronger than ever, and to prove it, they are presenting a delightful (and free!) evening of Will Rogers’ USA, in the Fort Ward Park Amphitheater off West Braddock Road, Alexandria, 7 pm, July 3.” [Zebra]

Today’s weather — “Mainly sunny (during the day). High 77F. Winds NE at 5 to 10 mph… Clear skies (in the evening). Low 57F. Winds light and variable.” [Weather.com]

New job: Server at Cafe 44 — “Café 44 is a stylish American eatery situated along the Waterfront in Old Town Alexandria. We cater to a local crowd, attracting those who appreciate a spectacular view, quality food, great wine and craft cocktails. Whether you are a regular or a first-time guest, you are received with warmth and enthusiasm. Known as a hidden gem, we’re the ideal place to gather with family and friends.” [Indeed]

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Morning Notes

The Twig donates $150K to Inova Alexandria Hospital — “During their annual luncheon Tuesday morning, The Twig (Together We Ignite Giving), the junior auxiliary unit for Inova Alexandria Hospital, presented a $150,000 check to the institution as part of its $1 million pledge to renovate the Cardiovascular Intensive Care Unit.” [Zebra]

Amazon and Metro announce $125M plan to make 1,000 affordable housing units near Metro stations — “This represents another return on the region’s extraordinary investment in mass transit, as the partnership with Amazon will accelerate transit-oriented development, grow ridership, and keep our region competitive with other global economic centers,” said Metro Board Chair Paul Smedberg. “Amazon is stepping up to the plate with an unprecedented commitment to affordable housing in the National Capital Region.” [WMATA]

Sheriff’s deputies and police officers graduate from Northern Virginia Criminal Justice Training Academy — “The new law enforcement officers successfully completed 20 weeks of training, including emergency vehicle operations, firearms training, defensive and control tactics, crash investigation, basic legal training, and other important areas. Some Alexandria members of this class distinguished themselves, with Officer Stephen Weidman earning top honors in the Emergency Vehicle Operations Course and Officer Yadiel Nuñez having the second highest score in Firearms.” [Zebra]

Today’s weather — “Sunny skies. High near 80F. Winds NNW at 5 to 10 mph… Some clouds early will give way to generally clear conditions overnight. Low 58F. Winds light and variable.” [Weather.com]

New job: Bartender/Server/Runner — “The Old Dominion Boat Club is looking to hire servers, bartenders, and food runners. We have competitive pay and participate in a very healthy and robust tip share.” [Indeed]

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Morning Notes

Alexandria Hospital President Dr. Rina Bansal asks residents to get vaccinated — “A healthy person can get COVID and survive, and if you have already had it, you may still have the antibodies to keep you safe for a period of time. But what about your community? It may not be readily apparent that a family member, friend or neighbor has an underlying health condition that puts them at higher risk for hospitalization or even death from COVID-19. Your choice to not be vaccinated isn’t just putting you at risk, it can impact so many others around you.” [ALXnow]

Historic Building that inspired ‘Mercy Street’ to be private residence, museum offices — “The building was converted into the Mansion House Hotel and served as a Union Hospital during the Civil War. Green and the hospital were depicted in the TV drama series “Mercy Street,” which aired on PBS from 2016-2017. NOVA Parks has owned the property since 1970, using it as office space and leasing the rest of the space to other companies. In 2019, NOVA Parks announced that it was marketing the sale or lease of the building.” [Alexandria Living]

Barkhaus expands outdoor play area for pets — “The new off-leash dog park attached to Barkhaus, at 529 E. Howell Ave., is more than twice as large as the old park and is furnished with umbrellas, lounge chairs, ice baths, mist and is partially turfed. This meant moving the parking to 516 E. Bellefonte Ave., behind the restaurant.” [Alexandria Living]

Today’s weather — “Some clouds in the morning will give way to mainly sunny skies for the afternoon. High 79F. Winds NW at 10 to 15 mph… Partly cloudy (in the evening). Low 57F. Winds NNW at 5 to 10 mph.” [Weather.com]

New job: Full-time assistant store manager at Aldi— “When you join our team as an Assistant Store Manager, you’ll take on key store management responsibilities including assisting with supervising day-to-day store activities, ensuring overall store performance, managing schedules, and developing operational action plans while identifying training opportunities to develop and grow the team.” [Indeed]

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The controversy over the Seminary Road Diet has been front and center this election season, with a majority of City Council candidates saying they will vote to reverse it if elected.

Council candidates have been peppered with questions on the road diet, in addition to their general philosophies on roadway development and community engagement.

Even Mayor Justin Wilson seems open to tweaking the plan, while his opponent, former Mayor Allison Silberberg is for fully returning the four travel lanes on the one mile of roadway next to Inova Alexandria Hospital.

Currently, the City has no plans to widen Seminary Road nor any estimates on how to do so, according to an email from the Alexandria Department of Transportation and Environmental Services. The stretch between N. Quaker Lane and Howard Street was reduced from four to two lanes, and a center turn lane, bike lanes, crosswalks and medians were added. Sidewalks were also installed on both sides of the street.

The City received thousands of emails and messages against the plan. Shortly after its approval in 2019, City Councilwoman Amy Jackson even tried to get it reversed, although her motion failed for lack of a gaining a second.

City staff estimated after the road diet’s implementation that fully reverting it back to its former self would cost up to $700,000, according to a Feb. 2020 presentation to Council. Replacing the two standard islands with mountable islands would cost $40,000, and it would also cost $300,000 to erase the roadway markings and re-patch the areas with asphalt. Additionally, it is estimated that micro-surfacing the roadway would also cost $500,000.

Shortly before the road diet’s 4-3 Council passage, however, city staff also presented a $150,000 alternative.

“Staff provided this estimate before a conceptual alternative was adopted and before the City’s interdisciplinary team developed detailed design plans,” City staff told ALXnow. “The $300,000 to $700,000 range of estimates were developed post-construction with current (at that time) costs and design plans that were implemented to reflect what would need to be demolished and removed to revert to a four-lane cross section. Further estimating and actual quotes will need to be developed based off the specific Council direction.”

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While much attention is being paid to Inova Health System’s plans for Landmark Mall, the hospital is also slowly moving forward with plans to convert the existing hospital space to houses.

At the June 1 Planning Commission meeting, Inova is seeking to have the land use designation for the hospital at 4320 Seminary Road changed from industrial to medium residential — in keeping with the housing type throughout much of the surrounding Seminary Hill neighborhood.

“The proposed ‘Residential Medium’ land use designation is in character with the predominant residential land uses in the Seminary Hill/Strawberry Hill Small Area Plan,” staff said in a report. “As the hospital is planning to relocate to Landmark Mall, changing the land use designation from ‘Institutional’ to ‘Residential Medium’ will benefit the surrounding properties by reducing the impacts of the existing hospital use.”

The report also said that changing the use will reduce the overall impact of the site on local traffic and on the sanitary sewer capacity.

“Future redevelopment consistent with the RB zoning will be designed to meet current stormwater management requirements, which are much more stringent than when the hospital and subsequent additions were built,” the report said. “New streets, parking, and fire access will be provided with any future redevelopment plan and will be designed to meet all applicable City standards.”

The report noted, however, that any development at the site is still at least seven years off.

“The hospital will remain on the Property until approximately 2028 when the new hospital at Landmark Mall is completed,” the report said. “As such, any additional student generation would not be realized until the construction of the new residential development is complete (approximately two years after 2028) and can be accommodated at that time through renovated and planned school facilities in the West End.”

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Morning Notes

T.C. Williams completes comeback to win school’s first volleyball state championship — “For a moment, T.C. Williams sophomore Milan Rex was scared. The Titans were trailing Kellam two sets to one in the Virginia Class 6 championship Friday in Alexandria, and the chance at a perfect season seemed to be fading. Coach A.J. DeSain reminded the Titans they belonged in this moment, enabling Rex to lock in. She then powered T.C. Williams to a 23-25, 25-19, 18-25, 25-19, 17-15 victory — the program’s first state title. [Washington Post]

Mayor Wilson defends donation from Planning Commission Chair — “Planning Commission Chair Nathan Macek gave Wilson a donation the day after Wilson voted with the majority of council to reappoint Macek to his post. Macek’s employer, the engineering firm WSP, has played a leading role in numerous large projects in Alexandria, including the under-construction Potomac Yard Metro.” [Alex Times]

ACPS shifting to three-foot distancing in classrooms — “With our work to reconfigure our classrooms to three feet of physical distance between students, we will have all classrooms reconfigured and our strategy to accommodate lunch by April 26 which will allow us to transition more students after April 27. Read more about the planning and implementation process below.” [ACPS]

Alexandria Police hang out with ARHA residents — “We had a great time spending time with the Princess Square community this morning. Our officers had fun on the playground with the kids. Thank you ARHA for inviting us to stop by.” [Twitter]

Inova Landmark named ‘Deal of 2020’ by Washington Business Journal — “I constantly hear ‘I’ll believe it when I see it.’ … But the hard part is done. It was about assembling the right players and having the will to get it done.” [Washington Business Journal]

Wilson, Chapman, Aguirre, McPike and Gaskins gets rush of endorsements — “The decisions to be made are tough and require bold, consensus-building leadership. We are encouraged by the number of candidates stepping forward to run for City Council and Mayor this year. We think there are some in particular that stand out as ready to lead us through the recovery.” [Alexandria Forward]

Handgun and animal bones found in Potomac River cleanup — “There was an interesting discovery during an Earth Day river clean-up along the Alexandria waterfront today. A handgun and what were determined to be animal bones were found. The weapon was determined to be many years old. Thank you for calling APD!” [Facebook]

Today’s weather — “Sunny skies (during the day). High 67F. Winds NW at 10 to 15 mph… Clear to partly cloudy (in the evening). Low 47F. Winds SSE at 5 to 10 mph.”  [Weather.com]

New job: Worship producer — “The Worship Producer supports the communications ministry at Aldersgate United Methodist Church (AUMC). As part of the staff team, the Producer will design and create video and media content for in-person and online worship (which may also be used for marketing and promotional purposes) and will be responsible for online streaming of Sunday morning worship. The Producer, assisted by other church leaders, will build a video ministry volunteer team to assist them in designing, creating, and sharing content video content for the church.” [Indeed]

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