The Alexandria Police Department is investigating a shots fired incident on the 700 block of N. Fayette Street near the Braddock Road Metro station.
Multiple gunshots were overheard at the intersection of North Fayette Street and Madison Street, according to scanner traffic. The first call came in around 3:26 p.m.
Alexandria Police spokesman Marcel Bassett told ALXnow no injuries have been reported.
The shooting comes on the same block where the city has had multiple shots fired incidents recently.
Notification:: In response to a shots-fired incident, there is a moderate police presence in the 700 block of North Fayette Street. No injuries were reported in connection with this incident. APD is on the scene and investigating. pic.twitter.com/0RMvNnFPMs
— Alexandria Police (@AlexandriaVAPD) May 4, 2023
Image via Google Maps
(Updated 1:50 p.m.) Police are responding to a call for shots fired on the 1200 block of Madison Street, roughly a block away from the Braddock Road Metro station.
Alexandria Police spokesman Marcel Bassett said there are currently no injuries reported. The original call for service came in around 12:52 p.m., Bassett said.
Scanner traffic indicates that multiple gunshots were reported and shell casings were found on site. Witnesses told police that they saw two males trading gunfire.
At 1:40 p.m., police said over the scanner that at least multiple suspects were taken into custody. Police are combing the area near the Metro station for evidence.
“I been here three years next month, and counting today I’ve heard at least 160 gunshots,” one local resident told ALXnow. “It’s a lot, man. Right outside my back door. I have a four year old son and I had to train him to run upstairs and duck. I’m glad he’s in school right now. I feel like we’re sitting ducks. Something’s got to be done. I’m trying to get out of here. Nobody should have to live like this.”
Notification:: In response to a shots fired incident there is a moderate police presence in and around the 1200 block of Madison Street. No injuries were reported in connection with this incident. APD is on scene and investigating. pic.twitter.com/2xKIAl3c8r
— Alexandria Police (@AlexandriaVAPD) April 17, 2023
Vernon Miles and James Cullum contributed to this story
Image via Google Maps
A major affordable housing development in the city’s Braddock area is headed to the Planning Commission tonight.
Tonight’s meeting on the proposed Samuel Madden redevelopment comes after more than a year-and-a-half of back-and-forths between city staff and the Alexandria Redevelopment and Housing Authority.
ARHA wants to demolish the existing 66 units of public housing in 13 two-story apartment buildings at 899 and 999 N. Henry Street and replace them with two new six-story apartment buildings (75 feet maximum height) containing 532 residential units. Of those, 326 units would be affordable and workforce housing for a period of 40 years, in order for ARHA to qualify for federal tax credits.
The current public housing units were built for defense workers during World War II in 1945. The 65 families currently living on the properties will be provided temporary housing, their moving expenses will be paid and they will have the option to move back to the property once construction is finished, according to a city staff report.
If approved, the development would also be home to 13,800 square feet of ground floor retail space, as well as a 13,540 square-foot Hopkins House early childhood center and a 500-square-foot Alive! food hub.
ARHA expects construction to take two years and is also applying for special use permit approvals for a potential restaurant with outdoor dining, an athletic club/fitness studio and a medical care facility.
If approved by the Planning Commission, the matter will be voted on by the Alexandria City Council at its public hearing on Saturday, Feb. 25.
The north building
The north building will be located at the highly visible intersection of N. Patrick and N. Henry Streets, and include 207 apartments. Residents will be able to parking in a single-level 127-space underground parking garage. The Alive! food hub would also be located on the ground floor of the building.
“The north building will include a 500-square-foot Alive Food Hub on the ground floor, which will function like a small market, allowing clients to shop for food, personal items, cleaning, and school supplies, and make connections to useful information/services,” according to a city staff report.
The City also wants ARHA to develop an oral history project for the site, and either contribute public art to the space or donate $54,000 to the city’s public arts efforts.
The south building
While the project is part of a single community, ARHA intends on selling the south building to a private developer.
“(D)ifferent entities will own the two buildings,” City staff noted. “ARHA will be the fee simple owner of the northern block, allowing for certain fee exemptions, while the southern block will be sold to a private developer.”
The south building is proposed to have 13,300 square feet of ground floor retail use, in addition to the 13,300-square-foot Hopkins House daycare, will have up to 150 students and 23 employees, according to the city. Also in the south property, ARHA has applied for SUPs for a restaurant with outdoor dining, a medical care facility and an athletic club/fitness center.
The Samuel Madden redevelopment project at the north end of the Braddock neighborhood is heading back to the community review process after a significant redesign.
The Alexandria Redevelopment and Housing Authority (ARHA) is planning on tearing down a dozen aging townhomes at the north end of the Braddock Neighborhood, where Patrick and Henry streets reform into Route 1. They will be replaced with a new 500-unit multifamily residential development that would act — as it was called in some of the earlier meetings — as a gateway into Old Town.
The project had previously been lambasted by the Board of Architectural Review (BAR) for the neglect of the previous townhouse units, which were allowed to significantly deteriorate, and for seemingly giving little care to the architectural character of the townhomes the new development would be replacing.
The new version of the project doesn’t quite emulate the WWII-era design of the townhomes currently on the site, nor does it retroactively fix the years of neglect for the buildings by ARHA, but it did receive a more positive reception by staff and the BAR with inclusions like a new northern courtyard and more significant setbacks at the southern end of the site where it sits across from much lower-elevation development.
The new community meeting is scheduled for Monday, Oct. 24, at 7 p.m. It will be both in-person and virtual, with the in-person side held at the Charles Houston Recreation Center (901 Wythe Street).
A release from the City of Alexandria said the development team will be available to offer updates on the project and explain some of the new uses coming in, including mixed-income rental housing, community services, and early childhood education programs.
Except for the shots fired in the Braddock neighborhood, it’s been a relatively quiet week in Alexandria.
The water was still settling on Monday after the big drop on Friday: the Potomac Yard Metro station was going to be delayed until sometime in 2023 and the shutdown affecting Alexandria would be continued into November.
Beyond that, the top stories this week were a revisit of some of the old hits: Landmark Mall development, on-street dining, speed cameras and flooding.
- Developer opens up about next steps for Landmark Mall redevelopment
- Alexandria woman caught with gun at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport checkpoint
- No injuries or arrest after shots fired in Braddock area
- Alexandria looking to loosen up a little for on-street dining
- Alexandria’s first speed cameras headed to City Council review this month
- BREAKING: Potomac Yard Metro station opening pushed back to 2023
- New change to Alexandria manholes could help combat some stormwater flooding
- For fifth straight year, Alexandria makes Best Small City list by Condé Nast Traveler
- New e-bikes launch in Alexandria with $5 coupon
- Poll: Were you surprised by the Potomac Yard Metro station delay?
Things are about to slow down in school zones.
The Alexandria School Board on Thursday (October 6) unanimously approved a resolution requesting a reduction from 25 miles per hour to 15 mph in school zones.
“We are really making our students and our community safe,” said Board Member Abdel Elnoubi, who wrote the resolution. “We’re helping save lives here.”
The resolution now goes to City Council for approval.
The following school zones have 25 mph speed limits:
- N. Beauregard Street — Outside the John Adams Elementary School, William Ramsay Elementary School and Ferdinand T. Day Elementary School zones
- Braddock Road from N. Beauregard Street to Quaker Lane — Outside Alexandria City High School’s Minnie Howard Campus school zone
- Seminary Road (Kenmore Avenue to N. Pickett Street) — In the Francis C. Hammond Middle School zone
- King Street — Alexandria City High School’s school zone
City Council will also review a plan to install Alexandria’s first speed cameras in school zones later this month.
The conversation over a speed limit reduction and cameras installation began after a nine-year-old girl was hit by a car and seriously injured just outside Jefferson-Houston Elementary School in March.
It’s been a rough week for Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA), and to top things off: someone hit a Metro work vehicle in the Braddock neighborhood this afternoon.
The crash occurred around 2:30 p.m. on Oronoco Street near the intersection with N Henry Street.
There were no injuries in the crash and Oronoco Street was not closed, though the lane closure did cause a significant backup — though at least this time WMATA isn’t to blame for the delay.
James Cullum contributed to this story
Alexandria Police are investigating a report of shots fired last Thursday night in the 700 block of N. West Street in the Braddock area.
No arrests have been made, and police said that evidence was found that multiple shots were fired at around 8:30 p.m. There were no injuries and a suspect description is not available.
The incident occurred near Alexandria Redevelopment and Housing Authority properties.
Anyone with information on this incident can contact the Alexandria Police Department’s non-emergency number at 703-746-4444. Callers can remain anonymous.
Notification:: There is a heavy police presence in the 700 block of North West Street. This is in response to a shots fired call for service. There are no injuries reported in connection to this incident. APD is on scene and investigating. pic.twitter.com/fkF2C5Vp4X
— Alexandria Police (@AlexandriaVAPD) September 30, 2022
After relocating from the Braddock neighborhood, Alexandria Lighting + Design is hosting a grand opening in the West End today.
The opening is the debut of the shop’s new showroom and coffee shop at 444 S. Picket Street.
The store had been located at 701 N. Henry Street for around 60 years before being displaced by a new development.
The ribbon cutting for the new showroom is scheduled to start at 1 p.m.
“Having served customers and design professionals for over 60 years, Alexandria Lighting + Design is excited to introduce ourselves to the next generation of Virginians and to usher in a new era for our existing clientele,” the shop owners said in a release. “The expanded fixture showroom will have display ceiling fans, chandeliers, wall lights and multi-systems, exterior and landscape lighting, table and floor laps, furniture and home accents.”
The release said the showroom fill feature displays from various styles, from contemporary/modern to nautical and rustic.
The new location will also have its own cafe with macarons and caviar on the menu.
“The new showroom will also be home to Electric Cafe,” the release said. “A cafe inside Alexandria Lighting serves as the perfect meeting place for architects, interior designers, builders, contractors and their clients to meet while having a European-style cafe experience, complete with Compass coffee & espresso, baguette sandwiches, macarons, beer, wine champagne and caviar.”
In 2015, former Virginia state Del. Rob Krupicka left state politics to focus on running a donut shop in Alexandria. Seven years later, a combination of economic factors is forcing Krupicka to give up the dream and leave a donut hole in the Braddock neighborhood.
Krupicka announced on Twitter that Elizabeth’s Counter (formerly Sugar Shack), will close on Sunday, August 28. Krupicka is planning on shutting down the store and reopening with a new restaurant called Railbird Kitchen later this year.
Railbird Kitchen will focus on comfort food and cocktails, Krupicka said, while continuing Elizabeth’s Counter’s emphasis on offering good vegan options. Gone, however, are the handmade donuts that made Sugar Shack a local icon.
After 7.5 years, I’m ending my dance with the donut business this Sunday. Elizabeth’s Counter will have its last day on Sunday and a new concept, @RailbirdKitchen will launch late fall/winter. Donuts have been fun, but it’s time for a change. More here: https://t.co/9cX198ulPl
— RobKrupicka (@RobKrupicka) August 24, 2022
“We will have a number of vegan options to build on the customer base,” Krupicka said. “We’ll have more vegan options than a normal restaurant has, but more traditional options as well… Vegan options aren’t going away, but vegans have non-vegan friends, so we want something for them, too.”
The comfort food selection will include fried chicken, chicken sandwiches, and the sides that go with it.
Krupicka launched the Northern Virginia branch of Richmond-based Sugar Shack in 2015 to great local acclaim. The little Braddock shop’s hand-made donuts with a wild array of flavors were popular enough that Krupicka was able to expand into Arlington and D.C.
As the franchise further south started to get embroiled in infighting, Krupicka relaunched the Northern Virginia franchise as an independent chain called Elizabeth’s Counter. Elizabeth’s Counter continued producing handmade donuts but added more traditional restaurant fare with an emphasis on vegan options.
Around the same time, Krupicka launched Captain Gregory’s, a speakeasy adjacent to the main restaurant.
But that relaunch hit in March 2020, right as the COVID-19 pandemic started shutting down restaurants — many of which would never reopen. Elizabeth’s Counter remained open in Braddock, but the other locations closed within a year. Two years later, Krupicka said rising costs coupled with an office market that never fully returned has made handmade donuts unfeasible.
“The restaurant industry has changed a lot since the pandemic,” Krupicka said. “We have rising labor and ingredient costs. It got to a point where the labor and ingredient costs didn’t make sense for a handmade donut. We never used machinery in our kitchen, we made everything by hand, but it contributed to a higher-cost product.”
Krupicka said one of the big markets for donuts were local offices, but offices haven’t filled up the way they did pre-pandemic.
“People haven’t been going back to the office, and we’ve lost our going to the office donut business and it hasn’t come back,” Krupicka said. “I love donuts. My kids love donuts. This is entirely a business decision. I don’t have any regrets. I’ve loved the last seven and a half years doing donuts [and] we’re excited about the new business that’s coming.”
Krupicka said throughout September and October, he’ll be testing Railbird Kitchen menu items at Captain Gregory’s. Meanwhile, Elizabeth’s Counter will close for a couple months for cosmetic interior changes. Krupicka says he hopes to reopen in late fall or early winter.