Alexandria City Public Schools have added three “grab and go” breakfast and lunch distribution locations for children over the age of two.

Food distribution at all the ACPS locations has also been limited to Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays to encourage social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic that has shuttered the school system for the remainder of the academic year.

“We’re trying to really not have families out every day and staff out every day,” ACPS Superintendent Gregory Hutchings, Jr. told the City Council/School Board Subcommittee in an online meeting on Tuesday. “Last week we had these meals available every day. We are really trying to adhere to the guidelines of social gathering.”

The new locations are:

ACPS is also offering meals at these locations between 8 a.m. and noon:

https://twitter.com/ACPSk12/status/1242855319342067715

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The Foundry (2470 Mandeville Lane) isn’t open yet, but the new luxury complex in Hoffman Town Center has started leasing apartments.

According to a press release, apartments include studios as well as one, two and three-bedrooms. Studios start at around $1,900 per month and go up to three-bedroom units at $4,360. Rent specials are currently being offered, the press release said.

The building will include a heated rooftop pool, a sports bar, a pet spa and more. A new food hall is also planned for the building.

Staff at The Foundry said move-ins are scheduled to start March 1. Tours of the building are available, staff said, but visitors will have to wear a hardhat for now.

The Foundry is part of a wave of new residential development planned as part of a push to turn the Eisenhower corridor into more of a residential and commercial district.

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Morning Notes

Alexandria Dog Featured in Puppy Bowl — “The Puppy Bowl features dogs from shelters and rescue groups like Alexandria-based dog rescue Operation Paws for Homes. The rescue group is holding a watch party Sunday, Feb. 2 from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. at Wag & Brew, 614 S Pickett Street, Alexandria.” [Patch]

Crash Snarls Rush Hour Traffic — Just before 5:30 p.m. last night a crash, reportedly involving a car and a motorcycle, shut down portions of Sanger Avenue and Beauregard Street, snarling rush hour traffic. [Twitter]

Apartment Building Purchase Complete — “The purchase of an Alexandria apartment building that will provide affordable housing units is complete, the Alexandria Housing Development Corporation announced Thursday. Avana Apartments, a 326-unit apartment complex at 3001 Park Center Drive in the West End, will have some units available at lower costs for households that meet income requirements. It will be renamed Parkstone Alexandria.” [Patch]

Waterfront is Highlight for Local Visitors — “Another standout in the data was attraction to the waterfront. In a portion of the survey where respondents were shown photos of scenes around Alexandria – which included shops along King Street, cobblestone roads and historic sites like Mount Vernon – the photos that performed the best were those with water. ‘Our historic character is really important but showing a place that’s on the water is very inspirational to people as a place that they want to visit,’ Vito Fiore, director of marketing and research for Visit Alexandria.” [Alexandria Times]

No Anniversary Beer for Port City — “Each year for our anniversary we craft a unique style of beer. Sadly, after monitoring the brewing process we have decided COLOSSAL IX does not represent our dedication to great quality beer, and we will not be releasing an anniversary beer in 2020.” [Twitter]

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Morning Notes

New Office to Residential Conversion — “A Mark Center office building in Alexandria is now set to be converted into apartments. D.C. real estate investment firm PRP LLC plans to convert 4900 Seminary Road, a 12-story, 209,000 square foot building, into residential… PRP wants to put 213 market-rate units into the building, which also has room for about 4,100 square feet of ground-floor retail.” [Washington Business Journal]

Mayor Reacts to Retrocession Suggestion — “With Democrats now in control of the Virginia Statehouse, Republican Delegate Dave LaRock says he is concerned that liberal values are taking over so he’s calling for Arlington and Alexandria to be split off and given to D.C… Alexandria Mayor Justin Wilson calls LaRock’s statements a ‘comical clown move.'” [Fox 5, Twitter]

Send-off For Historic Fire Apparatus — “The Friendship Fire Company purchased an ornate hose reel carriage in 1858. Now, thanks to the support of the Friendship Veterans Fire Engine Association, community donors, and its win as the No. 1 Virginia Endangered Artifact of 2019, Historic Alexandria is sending the hose carriage off for much-needed conservation.” [Zebra]

Lawmakers Considering Shopping Cart Bill — “Senate Bill 631 would make it so that the cost of removal, including disposal, of an abandoned shopping cart will be charged to the cart’s owner. The ordinance originally applied just to Fairfax County, but Surovell said Arlington and Alexandria asked to be included in the new legislation.” [ARLnow]

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Morning Notes

City Writes Off Thousands in Unpaid Taxes — “In the last decade, Alexandria has written off more than $100,000 in uncollected tax balances. The annual write-off happens every November, just as City Council members are appearing with a giant turkey at City Hall to celebrate Thanksgiving.” [Gazette Packet]

Obit for Alexandria Scientist — “In the course of her lifetime, physician and activist Janette Sherman gave voice to countless — and often voiceless — victims of environmental toxins. She died this year on Nov. 7, in Alexandria, at age 89.” [WAMU]

Local Woman Stuck in Apartment — “An Alexandria woman who uses a wheelchair says she’s been stuck in her apartment this Christmas week because her building’s only elevator is broken down. Ami Francisco contacted 7 On Your Side after she says the Mason at Van Dorn apartment complex didn’t take her concerns seriously enough.” [WJLA]

Electrical Fire Costly for Convergence Church — “On October 31, Lisa and her staff faced one of their biggest challenges when an underground fire caused widespread damage to the facility’s electrical system… Convergence will likely not reopen until February. And until issues between the insurance and utility companies are resolved, Convergence has been saddled with over $40,000 in repairs.” [Zebra]

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(Updated at 11:55 a.m.) A two-alarm apartment fire at 250 S. Van Dorn Street drew a large emergency response Thursday morning.

The fire was reported on the top floor of a four-story apartment building in the Landmark area, across from the Van Dorn Plaza shopping center, around 10:30 a.m. Smoke could be seen coming from the roof area, according to initial reports.

Firefighters from Alexandria, Fairfax County and Arlington responded to the scene. The fire was extinguished shortly before 11 a.m.

Thus far no injuries have been reported, but residents of several apartments are expected to be displaced due to fire, water and smoke damage.

Amid the Van Dorn Street fire response, AFD alo responded to a small fire at a school in Old Town. The two simultaneous structure fire calls required some Arlington fire units to help fill in at Alexandria fire stations.

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(Updated at 3:40 p.m.) An apartment building in the West End filled with smoke Tuesday afternoon as a result of an electrical fire in the basement.

The fire was reported around 2 p.m. at the Foxchase Apartments, on the 100 block of N. Jordan Street, near Duke Street.

Firefighters extinguished the fire, but residents of the 11-unit apartment building will be temporarily displaced as a result of damage to the building’s electrical system. The power to the building has been shut off, a fire department spokeswoman said, and the apartment management company “will work on relocation for the affected occupants.”

A building inspector and the power company have responded to the scene.

Map via Google Maps

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Firefighters from Alexandria, Arlington and surrounding jurisdictions responded Friday night to a two-alarm fire in the Del Ray area.

The fire on the 400 block of E. Bellefonte Avenue was first reported just before 10 p.m. Arriving firefighters encountered heavy fire and sounded a second alarm.

The fire has since been extinguished, though a large emergency response remains on scene.

No injuries were reported. The Alexandria fire union said via Twitter that the fire is believed to have broken out in a dryer.

“Fire began in a dryer and extended through the walls into the cockloft area,” IAFF Local 2141 said via Twitter. “Crews worked quickly to keep the fire from spreading to multiple units.”

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Morning Notes

Apartment Fire on N. Patrick Street — “A six-month-old infant was rescued by firefighters during an apartment fire early Thursday morning in Alexandria, Virginia. The fire also left 19 people displaced, according to the Red Cross. The child was taken to the hospital for observation, according to fire officials.” [WJLA]

Runner Traverses Entire City — “It’s been said that there’s no better way to discover a city than to explore it by foot. Alexandria resident Stephanie Lasure took that piece of advice to heart. Between November 2018 and September 2019, Lasure ran every single street in Alexandria, logging 330 miles total. In November, city council presented Lasure with a proclamation recognizing her efforts.” [Alexandria Times]

A Tale of Two Cities — “Taylor Run is about three miles from Arlandria. But it might as well be on the other side of the planet in terms of median household income. Census records show that the leafy suburban Taylor Run neighborhood, which is just behind the George Washington Masonic Memorial, has the highest median family income in Alexandria, more than $180,000 a year. The low-income neighborhood of Latino residents near the border with Arlington, on the other hand, has the lowest, less than $55,000 a year.” [Gazette Packet]

Local Hero Honored By Embassy — “A 10-year-old Alexandria boy who saved a man from drowning was honored by Ambassador Roya Rahmani at the Afghanistan Embassy in Washington, D.C. Sulaiman Mohammad was first honored by the Alexandria Police department for his lifesaving actions in August.” [WJLA]

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A new mixed-use apartment complex scheduled to open in the West End in early December has debuted three new pieces of public art.

At the front of the $200 million complex, Array at West Alex, artist Harry McDaniel has built a kinetic sculpture garden titled “En Pointe.” The artwork, which took three years to sculpt, involves large, abstract sculptures of people moving slowly in circles.

“As the design took form, I began to see the combined forms (in motion) as dancers,” said McDaniel. “That was not by intention, but the association stuck with me, so I settled on the title ‘En Pointe’ which refers to the dance position and describes the fact that each of the sections of the sculpture is balanced on a point.”

On the complex’s plaza, local artist Alma Selimovic has completed sculptures of bright flowers on a 45-foot wall, titled “Last Summer.” The blue, orange, and yellow flowers add life to an otherwise plain concrete wall.

“I love the area,” said Selimovic. “Last Summer is my first public sculpture, I’ve always wanted to build big pieces and I finally got the chance to do that in Alexandria.”

Along the nearby King Street, sculptor David Smedley has installed a tile wall titled “The Event” — an op-art, geometric abstraction made up of a mosaic of squares and triangles with a variety of colors.

Array at West Alex has 278 apartment units along with a mixed-use ground floor with multiple retailers.

In addition to a 62,000 square-foot Harris Teeter projected to open in early 2021, the complex has a Sports Clips barbershop, a Lifestyle Nail Salon, and a sushi restaurant slated with early 2020 openings.

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