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Updated at 4 p.m. A 29-year-old man was seriously injured after being shot in the Braddock area on Thursday night.

Police responded to the incident in the 700 block of North Fayette Street at 12:36 a.m., and it was reported by Alexandria Police via Twitter at 1:23 a.m.

The victim was shot outdoors, according to police.

A resident who lives in the area said that she heard five gunshots.

“I ran to my child’s room to get her onto the floor and off her bed that is directly next to a window,” the resident said. “Today we will be rearranging her bedroom.”

Police tweeted that there was a heavy police presence due to the incident, which occurred near Alexandria Redevelopment and Housing Authority property.

No arrests have been made in connection with the incident, which remains under investigation, police said.

Via Google Maps

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A 37-year-old Maryland man is being held without bond after allegedly sexually assaulting a girl younger than 13 years old in the Braddock area.

The incident occurred at around 9 p.m. on May 9 near Alexandria Redevelopment and Housing Authority properties in the 1300 block of Madison Street, which is close to the Braddock Road Metro station.

Police found the suspect, Damien Curtis Talbert, of Prince George’s County, unconscious but breathing as he was pinned to the ground by multiple witnesses.

The witnesses told police they stopped him from allegedly sexually assaulting the juvenile girl, and that a gun fell out of Talbert’s clothing during the incident, according to a search warrant affidavit. A Taurus G3C 9mm pistol was found on the ground about five feet from the suspect.

The juvenile victim did not seek medical attention, police said.

About 20 minutes before the incident, police were alerted of a fight between two men a short distance away at 1000 Colonial Avenue. Before the fight, one of the men involved admitted to handing his gun to Talbert.

Talbert was charged with possession of a weapon by a convicted felon, sexual battery of a victim under the age of 13 and assault and battery. He goes to court for the offenses on June 1.

The Alexandria Sexual Assault Center and Domestic Violence Program is available 24/7 to listen and help at 703-746-4911.

“If you are a neighbor and know that an abusive incident is occurring, call the police immediately,” the city said. “Calling the police is simply the most effective way to protect the victim and children from immediate harm.”

Via Google Maps

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Rendering of new proposed Samuel Madden development (image courtesy ARHA)

A new redevelopment project that could bring hundreds of new affordable housing units to the Braddock neighborhood is headed to city and public review throughout this month.

The mixed-use redevelopment of Samuel Madden Homes in Braddock is scheduled for a pair of community meetings next week followed by a review at the Board of Architectural Review in two weeks.

Today, Samuel Madden Homes is a collection of 66 affordable housing units operated by Alexandria Redevelopment and Housing Authority (ARHA), but the project is slated to be redeveloped with mixed-income housing along with retail, community services and an early childhood education center. A new public park, playground and an art project are also planned for the site.  The project is also currently planned to feature amenities like a pool and exercise rooms.

The project is slated to create 529 new residential units, half of which will be set aside as affordable at either 60 to 80 percent of Area Median Income (AMI).

According to a release from the City of Alexandria, there are three meetings on the new development scheduled for May:

  • Tuesday, May 10: A public community meeting will take place on Tuesday, May 10th at 6:00pm, at Charles Houston Recreation Center (901 Wythe St). The purpose of this meeting is to introduce the development team, discuss the current development project concept, project timeline, and solicit public comment.
  • Wednesday, May 11: The first Section 106 Consulting Party meeting will take place on Wednesday, May 11 at 6:00pm, at Charles Houston Recreation Center (901 Wythe St). The purpose of this meeting is to introduce the project purpose and background, present the draft Area of Potential Effects and preliminary identification of historic properties, present the current development project concept, and solicit public comment.
  • Wednesday, May 18: The applicant has submitted a request for complete demolition of the current Samuel Madden Homes site. This application will be discussed during a Board of Architectural Review Hearing on Wednesday, May 18 at 7:00pm at City Hall Council Chambers (301 King Street).
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An Alexandria juvenile was apprehended and transported to the Northern Virginia Juvenile Detention Center after allegedly robbing another juvenile of $8 with a fake handgun.

The incident, which occurred at around 7:15 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 12., was reported to police by the victim’s parent. The parent reported that one juvenile held a gun on the victim while the other took $8 and “attempted to take the victim’s shoes and coat,” police said in a search warrant affidavit.

“It was investigated and discovered that all parties involved in this incident were juveniles who’ve interacted with each other in the past,” Alexandria Police spokesman Marcel Bassett told ALXnow

The victim was not injured.

Police found the suspect at home, and after being given Miranda warnings admitted to stealing the $8 with a replica handgun described as a Glock; with a blue slide,” police said in the warrant.

Via Google Maps

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A suspected gas leak early this morning at the Braddock post office (1100 Wythe Street) has turned into an investigation of a possible burglary and more — with no clear explanation.

Alexandria Fire Department (AFD) Senior Public Information Officer Raytevia Evans said the fire department was dispatched early this morning for a possible gas leak.

“Around 4:30 a.m. on February 23, AFD units were dispatched to 1100 Wythe Street for a possible gas leak,” Evans said. “A fire marshal was also dispatched to the incident. Upon his arrival, the fire marshal requested response from the Hazmat Team due to a smell of fuel and/or oil.”

Evans said hazmat testing was positive for hydrocarbons but that there was no evidence of any burned products in he post office.

“The scene was then released to the Postal Inspector for further investigation,” Evans said.

The Alexandria Police Department (APD) said there was broken glass on the premises, but there’s no substantial reason to say arson was involved.

“APD received a call for service at approximately 4:33 a.m. this morning for a possible commercial burglary,” Alexandria Police spokesman Marcel Bassett said. “APD can confirm a glass window was broken on the premises. APD cannot substantiate any reason to say there was arson.”

Hat tip to Peter Prahar, Kerrin Nishimura and Alan Henney

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Del Ray Business Association Board Members and past Heart of Del Ray award winners present the 2022 Heart of Del Ray to Lena’s Wood-Fired Pizza & Tap. Joey Civali of the Yates family represented Lena’s in accepting the award. (Via Bill Blackburn)

The thoughtful dining experiences have paid off. Lena’s Wood-Fired Pizza & Tap was awarded the Heart of Del Ray award on Friday (Feb. 11), beating out four other local businesses.

More than 1,000 voters cast ballots for the spot that captured the heart of the community. The Del Ray Business Association presented the restaurant with a large heart-shaped award on Friday morning — just in time for Valentine’s Day on Monday, Feb. 14.

“It’s a great anchor for Del Ray and reinforces what we’re all about — the small, locally owned family business,” said DRBA board member Gayle Reuter. “They know their customers, and we know them. It’s what we look for in a community — a place where we all know and care about each other.”

Lena’s has been widely recognized for transforming the restaurant into creative and Covid-conscious dining spaces with Haiku fans to kill airborne pathogens. The second floor was converted into The Loft at Lena’s, a seasonal pop-up with new concepts and menus, and the top of their parking deck was made into the tropical retreat Lena’s Oasis.

“Lena’s didn’t just put up a tent with tables outside,” wrote one nominator. “They recognized people needed an escape during COVID, so they created an elevated dining experience — and it changes with the seasons!”

Lena’s is owned and operated by Alexandria Living Legends Jason and Loran Yates. It opened in 2015 at “Yates Corner” at Braddock Road and Mount Vernon Avenue, and is next door to Yates Dry Cleaning and across the street from the Yates Automotive Service Center.

The award was presented to Dolce & Bean last year, and Preeti Patel’s 7-Eleven on Mount Vernon Avenue in 2020.

“The past year has been hard on all of us,” Lena’s said on its website. “We created Lena’s Oasis to say ‘thank you’ and to give back to this wonderful community that has supported us through thick and thin for more than 57 years. An oasis is something calm in the midst of chaos. So, come to our safe space and relax for a while. You deserve it. We will get through this together.”

The other nominees:

Courtesy photo

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A 24-year-old Alexandria man has been arrested for the Dec. 13 drive-by shooting in the Braddock area. No one was injured in the incident, but police say nine handgun rounds were fired at another vehicle.

Antonio Barkley was charged with unlawful discharge of a weapon, felonious assault, and shooting or throwing missiles at vehicle.

The incident was reported at around 8 a.m. in the area of First Street, Fayette Street and Route 1. Police briefly closed off the area during Monday morning rush hour traffic.

Barkley was interviewed at home by police, and said that the victim tried to fight him while he was walking to his car to get to work, according to a search warrant.

Barkley reportedly said that he went back home and got a handgun, then walked back outside to get into his car and saw the victim waiting in a black SUV.

Barkley told police that he was afraid of being assaulted, and “unprovoked, (Barkley allegedly) fired nine handgun rounds at the vehicle,” according to the warrant.

The victim’s car was damaged, but no one was hurt.

Police recovered video footage of the incident at the nearby McDonald’s. Both the victim and Barkley told police that their problems started after an argument in mid-November.

Via Google Maps

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First Street, where Alexandria police responded to a shots fired call, photo via Google Maps

Police are investigating a shots fired call at the northern end of the Braddock neighborhood.

Police closed off First Street between Fayette Street and Route 1 this morning around 8 a.m., but reopened it not long after.

“No injuries were reported,” the police department said in a press release. “APD is on the scene.”

Photo via Google Maps

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(Updated 1:50 p.m.) Alexandria police officers responded to sounds of gunfire last night (Sunday) near the Braddock Road Metro found a man shot minutes later.

Residents who called police around 11:47 p.m. Sunday reported hearing multiple gunshots in the area of North West Street and Madison Street.

Police found the man a block away on North Fayette Street.  He was taken to George Washington University Hospital with a non-life threatening wound to the upper body.

Police are working on a suspect description for the shooter who fled the scene by auto.

This incident is currently under investigation. APD is asking anyone who may have information related to this case to contact APD Detective Matthew Kramarik via phone 703 746 6650 or email at [email protected], or call the non-emergency line at 703 746 4444.

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The PT Blooms LLC development at 805 Columbus Street is returning to the Board of Architectural Review for a certificate of appropriateness after having its hand slapped earlier this year for being too Old Towny.

The proposed development — designed by the Penney Design Group — is a five-story building with 78 residential units built on what is currently a vacant lot in the heart of the Braddock/Parker-Gray neighborhood. While the building would tower over some of the nearby two-story homes, the application notes that it’s tapered at the upper levels of the building to shift the height away from the street. Even so, several pending five-story developments for the area indicate that this sort of building could be the norm in the area within a few years.

The new application also included a page with comparisons to the current building design and the old Parker-Gray School that had been a centerpiece of the neighborhood until it closed in 1979.

An earlier special use permit (DSUP) indicated that PT Blooms LLC was looking for slight increases in allowable density for the project and a reduction in parking. The DSUP and site rezoning were approved last month.

Images via PT Blooms Development.

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