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Alexandria Police do no suspect foul play behind a sudden death last week in the city’s Arlandria neighborhood.

On April 27 (Wednesday), a 55-year-old man was found dead in the doorway of a building in the 3900 block of Mount Vernon Avenue at around 6:45 a.m. The area from Executive Avenue to Russell Road was temporarily shut down while police investigated.

The man was identified as Julio Rivera, and police said that there was no trauma on his body indicating foul play.

Via Google Maps

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An Alexandria man was robbed of his wallet by a gang of four males on the evening of Sunday, April 24.

At around 10 p.m., the victim was confronted by four males outside in the 3800 block of Florence Drive in the Arlandria neighborhood of Alexandria. The victim fell to the ground during the ordeal, but was not injured, according to police.

No weapons were used during the incident, and the victim’s wallet and an undisclosed sum of cash were stolen.

No arrests have been made in connection to this incident.

Anyone with information on this incident is urged to call the Alexandria Police Department at 703-746-4444. Callers can remain anonymous.

Via Google Maps

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West Glebe Road Bridge (photo via Arlington Dept. of Environmental Services)

Like a parachute, a bridge is one of those things you want to be able to rely on, but some of the crossings between Alexandria and Arlington have gotten to such a rough shape that one is now closed to vehicles for at least a year.

The poor state of the West Glebe Road bridge is so well known that federal and state officials from different political parties came together to tour the scene and marvel at the disrepair.

The West Glebe Road bridge isn’t alone, either. Portions of the Four Mile Run Bridge has also had closures, notably closing the sidewalk entirely, with the reconstruction of the bridge not scheduled to start until after work is done on the West Glebe Road bridge.

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(Updated at 10:45 a.m.) Alexandria Police reported a sudden death Wednesday morning in the City’s Arlandria neighborhood.

The death was reported in the 3900 block of Mount Vernon Avenue at around 6:45 a.m., and the area from Executive Avenue to Russell Road was temporarily shut down, but the street was reopened as of 10 a.m.

The 55-year-old male victim was found in the doorway of a building, according to Alexandria Police.

No arrests have been made in connection to the incident.

No information on the victim was released, and the cause of death will be determined by a medical examiner, police said on social media.

Via Google Maps

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West Glebe Road Bridge (photo via Arlington Dept. of Environmental Services)

The West Glebe Road bridge over Four Mile Run will be closing completely in two weeks, and will remain closed to vehicles for nearly a year.

The circa-1956 bridge connects Arlington and Alexandria near the I-395/S. Glebe Road interchange. It has been deemed “structurally deficient” since 2018. A $10 million project to replace its deck and beams was approved by the Arlington County Board last April as part of a joint project with Alexandria. The project was slated to start this year, but in the meantime engineers have found “continued degradation of the bridge beams.”

As a result, the bridge is closing to all traffic on Monday, May 9, the county announced today. That’s after southbound bridge traffic was detoured for the same reason in March.

New detours will be put into place that will divert vehicular traffic either over the Mount Vernon Avenue bridge to the east or Shirlington Circle to the west. Both of those bridges, coincidentally, are also aging and set for repairs over the next couple of years; the former received funding from the recent federal infrastructure bill.

Arlington County expects two vehicle lanes on the West Glebe Road bridge to reopen in early 2023, while it’s still under construction. Work is expected to start shortly after the May closure and last until the summer of 2023.

Pedestrians and cyclists who formerly used the bridge will also be detoured, though a temporary pedestrian path across Four Mile Run is expected to open in July. Four Mile Run Trail users, meanwhile, will re-routed to a parallel path, as the portion of trail under the bridge will be closed.

More from a county press release, below.

Because of continued degradation of the bridge beams, engineers will close the West Glebe Road Bridge to all motor vehicle traffic beginning on Monday, May 9, 2022, for construction of a planned replacement superstructure (road deck and beams). Two motor vehicle lanes on the renovated bridge are expected to reopen in early 2023 along with one of two widened sidewalks.

The current structure connecting Arlington and Alexandria over Four Mile Run was built in 1956. Elements have experienced noted deterioration in recent years.

In 2018, a 5-ton weight restriction was placed on all user vehicles. In March 2022, all southbound traffic was detoured away from the bridge amid signs of continued structural beam degradation.

Allowing continued motor vehicle traffic with the additional stress of construction has now been ruled out. Pedestrians and bicyclists will be able to use the bridge through June, after which they will be directed to a temporary crossing, independent of the superstructure, to be built along the bridge, expected to open in July.

The Mount Vernon Avenue Bridge further east over Four Mile Run will continue to handle vehicular traffic detouring from the West Glebe bridge.

The bridge’s original piers are stable and will be used to support the new superstructure, reducing project costs, construction time, and impact on the watershed.

The project is set for completion by summer 2023.

Arlington County and the City of Alexandria continue continue to coordinate closely on the bridge replacement project. Crews will mobilize for the job later this month.

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A 28-year-old Alexandria man is being held without bond for allegedly using a butcher knife to rob a man in the city’s Arlandria neighborhood.

Terrance Farrington was arrested and charged with using force during a robbery not long after the incident occurred in the 600 block of Notabene Drive on (Tuesday) April 12. The victim told police the robbery occurred as he walked outside his apartment building to throw something away in a dumpster. The suspect allegedly walked up and grabbed gold necklaces from his neck and took his glasses.

“(The victim) fought Mr. Farrington to get their property back when Mr. Farrington displayed a knife, described as a butcher knife with a black handle,” police said in the search warrant. “Fearful, (the victim) ran back to his apartment and locked himself inside of his bathroom.”

The warrant said Farrington allegedly chased after the victim and broke into the apartment.

“Mr. Farrington attempted to break into the bathroom and banged on the bathroom door with the handle of the knife, forceful enough the door was damaged,” the warrant said.

A neighbor then fought with Farrington in an effort to get him out of the apartment, and both men then fell down a flight of stairs. The neighbor got slashed by the knife, the warrant said, and suffered a non-life threatening injury.

After falling down the stairs, Farrington allegedly fled to his girlfriend’s apartment, which is in the same complex.

“Once the (suspect’s girlfriend’s) apartment was secured to preserve the integrity of the crime scene for a search warrant, Mr. Farrington’s knife was observed in plain view in the sink in the kitchen,” the warrant said.

Farrington was convicted for numerous violent offenses since 2017, including robbery and assault and battery. He goes to court on May 18, and faces a minimum of five years in prison.

Via Google Maps

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Along the waterfront near Jones Point (staff photo by Jay Westcott)

The week was filled with trees blooming across the city during the peak for cherry blossoms.

Aside from picturesque scenes throughout Alexandria, there were some local stories that interested you all — from new pizza places to court updates in crime cases. And at the City Council’s meeting, Dominion Energy said it will invest millions of dollars in Alexandria to prevent future outages like the one at Art on the Avenue last year.

For anyone looking for something to do this evening or who wants to find a way to help Ukraine, locals organized a fundraiser to help refugees. The event is tonight (Friday) from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. on the rooftop of 277 South Washington Street.

And, here are the top stories from the week:

  1. Three men indicted after bystander shot in neck at West End 7-Eleven parking lot
  2. Two juveniles arrested after shots fired in Arlandria
  3. Alexandria man indicted on first-degree murder charge in BJ’s killing
  4. Inova campus concept plans at former Landmark site filed with city
  5. Frank Pepe’s Pizzeria Napoletana coming to Alexandria Commons Shopping Center
  6. Alexandria officials push back against ACPS ‘cover up’ story
  7. Suspect breaks into Lyles-Crouch Traditional Academy through roof
  8. Alexandria police officer arrested, charged with domestic assault and battery
  9. West End murder suspect’s case to go before grand jury next month
  10. Alexandria hotel tailors stay to dogs as industry leans into pet-friendly accommodations

Have a great weekend Alexandria!

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Two Alexandria juveniles were arrested earlier this month for shooting a gun in Arlandria.

The incident occurred at around 11 p.m. in the 3800 block of Executive Avenue. Police were alerted by a witness that two juveniles shot a handgun in an alleyway and fled on foot. The witness saw the 15 and 17-year-old suspects then run into a nearby apartment building and the lights turn on in an apartment, according to a search warrant.

“The weapon used in this incident was recovered by officers,” Alexandria Police public information officer Marcel Bassett told ALXnow.

The 15 and 17-year-olds were charged with illegal discharge of a firearm and illegal possession of a firearm by persons under 18 and transported to the Northern Virginia Juvenile Detention Center.

The two adults in the apartment told police that the teenagers moved in with them two months ago and pay $350 in monthly rent, according to the affidavit.

Via Google Maps

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Elbert Avenue Apartments, image via Google Maps

Alexandria non-profit Community Lodging has announced plans to significantly expand affordable housing in Arlandria-Chirilagua with the redevelopment of a 1940s apartment complex.

Elbert Avenue Apartments, a set of three three-story buildings constructed in the 1940s, currently has 28 units affordable for renters making 60% of the Area Median Income (AMI) — the standard applied for evaluating affordable housing. But these buildings are in rough shape after what Community Lodging called years of “Band-Aid fixes”.

In a release, Community Lodging said the plan is to redevelop the site with 96 units available at various levels of affordability.

“The new property, currently proposed to include 96 apartments, would substantially expand Community Lodging’s impact,” the non-profit said. “The project provides a unique opportunity as Arlandria-Chirilagua faces challenges of rent increases and gentrification due to its location near Amazon HQ2 in Arlington and the upcoming Potomac Yard Metro.”

Community Lodging said affordable housing investments are particularly important for Arlandria-Chirilagua’s majority Latinx community where median household incomes are below 50% of AMI and are a “historically underserved and underinvested community.”

Financing for the project is being sought through a housing tax credit program. Households will be accessible for those at or below 60% of AMI. Of the new units, 20% will be dedicated to households at or below 50% of AMI.

Image via Google Maps

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A 14-story Arlandria apartment complex has been acquired by the Alexandria Housing Development Corporation, the latest move in an effort to preserve affordable housing in an area facing significant development pressure.

AHDC recently announced that it bought the Park Vue of Alexandria apartments from Florida-based ZRS Management with support of $51.4 million from the $2 billion Amazon Housing Equity Fund, and conditionally will reman affordable for at least 99 years.

The announcement of the sale comes as developments progress on Amazon’s HQ2, Virginia Tech’s Innovation Campus and the Potomac Yard Metro station — all projects that have raised concerns of gentrification.

“AHDC’s goal is to ensure that those who are currently living in this community have the chance to stay, and that households of all incomes will be able to enjoy the benefits of this vibrant neighborhood well into the future,” AHDC CEO Jon Frederick said in a statement. “As a non-profit that is dedicated to community development in Alexandria, the acquisition of Park Vue of Alexandria helps us achieve our mission of creating and preserving housing affordability here in our own backyard and allows us to create meaningful connections in the Arlandria-Chirilagua neighborhood.”

Earlier this month, City Council also approved a $10.5 million loan to the nonprofit to begin development on more than 500 affordable housing units in Arlandria at the intersection of Glebe Road and Mount Vernon Avenue.

“The culture and diversity of neighborhoods like Arlandria-Chirilagua are what makes Northern Virginia such a wonderful place to live, work, and thrive,” said Catherine Buell, director of the Amazon Housing
Equity Fund. “But unique communities like this, with all its valuable contributions, could be otherwise lost to commercial development that does not factor in the affordability needs of the community. By teaming up with organizations such as Alexandria Housing Development Corporation, we are able to help preserve and grow the housing stock for moderate- to low-income households to help build more diverse and inclusive communities.”

No residents at the Park Vue building will be displaced by the sale, and the conversion to affordable units will take place over the next several years, according to AHDC. The purchase maintains “accessible” rents for households making up to 60% of the area median income.

“As a partner with the Amazon Housing Equity Fund, Park Vue of Alexandria will maintain a 99-year affordability covenant,” AHDC said in the release. “AHDC will work with Amazon and other lending partners to refinance the property in the coming months to help support the long-term affordability of Park Vue of Alexandria.”

Alexandria lost 90% of its affordable housing stock between 2000 and 2017, and the city has pledged to produce or develop thousands of units to meet 2030 regional housing goal set by the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments

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