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Children sit in a circle at a Celebree School location (via Facebook)

A new day care center to accommodate 190 children is planning to open in the new Carlyle Crossing development in January.

There are 750 luxury apartments in Carlyle Crossing, and the Celebree School of Alexandria will be located within the 1 million-square-foot luxury residential development, on the ground floor of the brand new 13,648-square foot space at 2450 Mill Road.

The daycare franchise will be located in the same building as the Wegmans (150 Stovall Street), which opened in May. Its hours will be 6:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and it will be able to hold up to 190 children and 30 staffers working on-site at any given time, according to a special use permit filed with the city.

Founded in 1994, the school provides early education and childcare service-based programs for children aged six weeks to 12-years old.

The company has 26 corporate locations (24 in Maryland and two in Delaware), as well as 10 other franchises, and is “aggressively” expanding to open 150 new locations and franchises within the next three years.

“After developing successful schools in our home state of Maryland, Virginia was a natural next step as a target growth area for our continued franchise expansion,” said Richard Huffman, founder and CEO of Celebree School. “With a 25-plus-year history, we’ve built an incredible infrastructure for growth. By partnering with like-minded franchisees who believe in our brand and our mission, we’re poised for long-term success.”

There are four other Celebree Schools in Virginia — in RestonHenricoAshburn, and Tysons-Jones. Sixteen new locations are also planned to open next year, including the Celebree School of National Landing, at Metropolitan Park in Arlington, in Herndon and Dulles.

Via Facebook

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A 23-year-old Loudoun County man is being held without bond after allegedly eluding police, crashing into a semi-truck on Interstate 95 and ditching a stolen gun, weed and a safe into a nearby ravine.

The incident occurred on the rainy evening of Thursday, October 6, after police received an emergency call from an apartment in the 2400 block of Mandeville Lane in the city’s Carlyle neighborhood, according to a search warrant affidavit.

Police responded to a domestic incident inside the apartment. The victim said they were afraid for their safety during an altercation, and that the suspect had a gun. As the suspect walked out of the apartment, the argument went into the hallway and the victim was seen tugging on the suspect’s shorts and a black handgun was observed falling from the suspect’s waist and onto the floor, police said in the search warrant affidavit.

The suspect was also allegedly carrying a two-foot-square black safe, and was seen by police fleeing the area in a gray Honda Accord. Police followed him, and said that he drove erratically, and that he fled after they tried to initiate a traffic stop.

“The above-described vehicle ended up crashing into another vehicle on I-95 South at Exit Ramp 174,” police said in the search warrant affidavit.

After the crash, the suspect got out of the Accord, and was seen throwing the safe into a ravine near the exit ramp. Police searched the area and found the closed safe, an ounce of marijuana in a plastic bag, a handgun and bullets — not yet sunken in the mud and within throwing distance. What was found inside the safe has not yet been made public.

The suspect was arrested shortly thereafter, and was found carrying $5,700 in cash. Police found that the gun was reported stolen by the Fairfax County Police Department, and that the suspect has been charged numerous times with felony possession with intent to distribute marijuana since 2017.

The suspect was charged with weapon possession by a convicted felon, domestic assault and battery, receipt of a stolen firearm, reckless driving, eluding police, and failing to use his headlights with his windshield wipers.

The suspect goes to court on Wednesday, Nov. 9.

Via Google Maps

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District Dogs (image via District Dogs/Facebook)

Alexandria has its fair share of grooming salons and overnight hotels, but the Carlyle neighborhood could be getting a new one for the city’s canine companions.

Dog care facility District Dogs is headed to the City Council at a meeting on Saturday, Nov. 12. The item is docketed for the consent calendar, meaning it’s likely to be approved with little or no discussion.

The new location at 2424 Mill Road would include grooming, training and daycare services for dogs.

An animal care facility is already authorized in the building’s zoning, but a staff report said because District Dogs includes overnight accommodations it requires a special use permit.

The staff report recommended approval of the special use permit, saying the new business could be a boon to the growing neighborhood:

The proposed location for District Dogs is well-suited for this use. Dog-related businesses have grown in popularity and, with the number of new residential units in this area, the demand for dog boarding will likely increase. The addition of overnight accommodations to the permitted animal care facility use will increase the options dog-owners have in this neighborhood.

Photo via District Dogs/Facebook

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District Dogs (image via District Dogs/Facebook)

Dog care facility District Dogs is seeking a permit to open in Alexandria.

District Dogs is filing for an amendment to the development special use permit to add an animal care facility to 2424 Mill Road in the Carlyle neighborhood.

The new location would include grooming, training and daycare services for local dogs.

“The Animal Care Facility is a neighborhood serving business that will provide indoor only grooming, training and daycare services to its clients,” the application said. “The facility will consist of approximately 4000 square [feet] of ground floor space.”

The new District Dogs location would be part of the Hoffman Town Center project, which includes the Wegmans that opened earlier this year.

The DSUP request is scheduled for review at the Tuesday, Nov. 1, Planning Commission meeting.

Photo via District Dogs/Facebook

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The Remsen building of the Patent and Trademark Office (image via Google Maps)

The Remsen building of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) in Alexandria will be closed for the rest of the week after what the USPTO has called an “Alexandria Campus Incident”.

Alexandria Police spokesman Marcel Bassett said police received a call at approximately 10:45 a.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 14, for a person having a mental health crisis.

“APD reported to the scene and with the help of the Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Protective Services we were able to make contact with the subject and connect them with services,” Bassett said.

Despite rumors circulating among staffers left in the dark about what was happening, Bassett said no one was killed during the incident.

A memo to employees at the USPTO from Fred Steckler, Chief Administrative Office for the USPTO, said police were on campus to “protect an individual in distress.” The letter provided few other details about what happened other than it was under control, but urged workers in the building to be discrete about what took place at the building.

“While I truly understand the natural human instinct to want to know more, I’d like to encourage empathy and privacy for those most directly impacted,” Steckler wrote. “We will always do our best to communicate relevant information about safety and security to you, while exercising discretion and protecting individual privacy.”

While Steckler’s memo indicated that the office would be closed Tuesday and Wednesday, a USPTO spokesperson confirmed that the office would be closed until Saturday, though they would not comment on why.

Some in the patent examiner subreddit noted intensely stressful working conditions in the building and cited previous incidents of violence in the building: notably a malicious wounding in 2016 after a former examiner returned to the office after being fired and stabbed a DJ at a work event.

Letter from Fred Steckler, Chief Administrative Officer of the PTO, to staff (image via USPTO)

Photo via Google Maps

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Fall is art season in Alexandria.

Two popular art festivals are on the horizon — the 20th Annual Alexandria Old Town Art Festival on September 17 and 18, followed by Art On The Avenue on October 1 in Del Ray.

Both festivals draw tens of thousands of visitors to Alexandria, with hundreds of artists selling their paintings, sculptures, jewelry and photos.

20th Annual Alexandria Old Town Art Festival

For the second straight year, the Alexandria Old Town Art Festival will be held at John Carlyle Square (300 John Carlyle Street) in the city’s Carlyle neighborhood.

More than 150 juried artists will be set up along John Carlyle Square — near the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. The event lasts from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

“Alexandria is recognized as one of the country’s premier artistic hubs,” the event organizer said on the festival’s website. “All artwork is juried, which provides a higher level of quality, diversity and creativity of art on display, exemplifying the gifted artists in regions from all over the country.”

Art On The Avenue

Art On The Avenue is widely regarded as the best day of the year in Del Ray, drawing tens of thousands of art lovers to Mount Vernon Avenue.

The festival, which is always held the first Saturday in October, will be held Saturday, October 1, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Celebrating in its 27th year, the festival now features live music on three stages, a kids art corner at Mount Vernon Recreation Center and a virtual charity pie auction.

While deemed a success for artists and visitors, last year’s Art On The Avenue event was marked by a day-long power outage that shuttered businesses along the main stretch of Mount Vernon Avenue.

Dozens of vendors participate, although they have not yet been publicly listed.

The music schedule is below.

City Stage (Mount Vernon and Oxford Avenues)

  • 10 – 10:45 a.m. — Marian Hunter Band
  • 11 – 11:45 a.m. — Janna Audey Band
  • 12 – 12:45 p.m. — Irish Breakfast Band
  • 1 – 1:45 p.m. — The Rob Hornfeck Enterprise
  • 2 – 2:45 p.m. — Cast Iron Skillet
  • 3 – 3:45 p.m. — The Rand Band
  • 4 – 4:45 p.m. — The Rockits Band
  • 5 – 6 p.m. — Rogue Johnsen Project

Americana Stage (1900 Mount Vernon Avenue)

  • 10 – 10:50 a.m. — Justin Shaffer Duo
  • 11 a.m. – 11:50 a.m. — Craig and Rick Duo
  • 12 – 12:50 p.m.  — Esther Haynes Duo
  • 1 – 1:50 p.m. — Mike Elosh Duo
  • 2 – 2:50 p.m. — Julia Kazdorf Duo
  • 3 – 3:50 p.m. — Elizabeth Lane Duo
  • 4 – 5 p.m. — Dire Wolves Duo

Colonel Arnald D. Gabriel Concert Band Stage (Mt. Vernon Community School basketball court)

  • 10 – 10:45 a.m. — Whiskey Before Breakfast Band
  • 11 – 11:45 a.m. — Alexandria Singers
  • 12 – 12:45 p.m. — NOVA Concert Band
  • 1 – 1:45 p.m. — NOVA Nighthawks Jazz Band
  • 2 – 2:45 p.m. — Alexandria Choral Society
  • 3 – 3:45 p.m. — The Alexandria Citizens Band
  • 4 – 4:45 p.m. — The Alexandria Citizens SWING Band
  • 5 – 6:00 p.m. — The Academy at Metropolitan School of the Arts (Vocal Performance Ensemble)
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Several people were injured Saturday evening (September 3) after a man allegedly threatened to harm someone, leading to a stampede out of the AMC Hoffman Center 22 movie theater (206 Hoffman Street).

The incident occurred at around 6 p.m. and the suspect was gone by the time officers got to the scene. No arrests have been made, and all of the injuries were from people running out of the theater, police said.

“The threat was made at a theater, people ran out, but no other occurrences happened,” Alexandria Police spokesman Marcel Bassett told ALXnow.

No weapons were used, and the incident remains under investigation.

Anyone with information in connection to this incident can call the APD non-emergency line at 703-746-4444. Callers can remain anonymous.

Via Google Maps

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Updated at 2:30 p.m. on Thursday, September 1: A man fell to his death off a roof of an apartment building on Tuesday afternoon, according to the Alexandria Police Department.

The incident occurred at around 3 p.m. near the intersection of Mill Road and Dock Lane — at the four-story Carlyle Mill Apartments complex.

The man was identified as Rosalio Esquivel Ramirez, 29, of Hyattsville, Maryland.

The man was part of a work crew on the roof of a building when the incident occurred, APD spokesman Marcel Bassett told ALXnow. Bassett did not confirm from which building the man fell.

“It’s believed he was working on the roof, where he fell off several stories,” Bassett said. “The preliminary investigation suggests that it was an accident.”

Bassett said that the man fell between four and five stories. He was declared dead en route to the hospital.

Police tweeted that there is a heavy police presence in the area, and that the incident is under investigation.

Via Google Maps

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Ted’s Bulletin breakfast (photo via Ted’s Bulletin/Facebook)

Americana restaurant Ted’s Bulletin and the off-shot Sidekick Bakery are coming to the Carlyle Crossing’s development in the eponymous Carlyle neighborhood, Washington Business Journal first reported.

Carlyle Crossing is a mixed-use development near the Eisenhower Metro station anchored by a Wegmans Food Market that opened in May. The Alexandria location will be the seventh Ted’s Bulletin in the region, with other locations in nearby Merrifield and Ballston Quarter.

In addition to classic American fare like fried chicken and burgers, the restaurant has all-day breakfast and is possibly best known for its Ted’s Tarts — like a bougie take on a Pop-Tart.

No word yet on when the Ted’s Bulletin location in Carlyle will open, but ALXnow has reached out to the restaurant for more information about the opening.

Photo via Ted’s Bulletin/Facebook

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What two additional stories looks like on a 45-foot-tall structure. (Via City of Alexandria)

After public outcry over a rushed plan, the Alexandria Planning Commission deferred a city staff proposal to allow developers to build affordable housing into new apartment buildings up to 70 feet in height in areas where height limits are 45 feet or more.

There were more than 30 speakers at the meeting on Thursday, June 23, mostly residents of Del Ray.

Gayle Reuter has lived in Del Ray for 40 years, and said that the proposal would ruin her neighborhood’s small town feel.

“I understand the city is in need of and has promised increased affordable housing and endorsed the Washington COG Regional Housing Initiative,” Reuter told the Planning Commission. “If this is approved, developers will come to come in and the Avenue with its small town feel of mom-and-pop businesses where Main Street still exists will be gone forever.”

The proposal would allow developers bonus height of 25 feet in any zone or height district where the maximum allowable height is 45 feet.

Planning Commission Chair Nathan Macek asked city staff to present a refined proposal to the community before reintroducing it to the Commission for review again.

“I think it’s an important tool, and I think I think the actual impact would be very modest in terms of when it would choose to be enacted,” Macek said. “I don’t think you’re gonna end up seeing 70-foot buildings and this and that. That is sort of the extreme if every site were to redevelop, but I don’t think that that’s the reality of what would happen. But rather than speculate about that, I think we have a chance to step back and study it or provide some projections, some best guesses about what we’ll see so that we can inform the decision and possibly take it in steps with a pilot for a phased amount of density and we can revisit.”

Under the proposal, numerous areas of the city would be open for developers to move in and increase the height of 45-foot-tall buildings to a maximum of 70 feet in height — specifically along Mount Vernon Avenue in Del Ray, in Arlandria, Alexandria West, the Beauregard area, the Landmark area, Eisenhower West, Old Town North and Carlyle.

The proposal does not apply, however, to single family, two story and town home dwellings.

Areas of the city that would be impacted by the proposed change to height restrictions. (Via City of Alexandria)

Alexandria is currently experiencing an affordable housing crisis, and lost 14,300 (or 78%) affordable housing units between 2000 and 2022. Consequently, 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.

“While approximately 800 market-rate and affordable units of housing are currently generated per year in Alexandria, meeting the RHI (Regional Housing Initiative) goal involves the production of an estimated additional 300 units per year, of which 75 percent are recommended to be affordable,” staff wrote. “This represents an estimated additional 2,250 affordable units over the 10-year period…”

Save Del Ray founder Nate Hurto said that the community needs time to understand the potential impact of such a move.

“I think we really need to look at the impact that it could have communities have to the existing housing stock, and to the very nature and character of our neighborhood,” Hurton said. “How will it affect the existing stock of apartments, rentals, condos that are affordable? How will it affect businesses, especially along Mount Vernon Avenue and governed by the small area plan?”

Commissioner Stephen Koenig said that he was swayed by the input of residents.

“I’m certainly persuaded by the sort of breadth and depth of the input that we’ve had tonight,” he said.

Commissioner David Brown said that the City needs to reevaluate its approach.

“We we have a process where we figure out what works in particular places,” Brown said. “It’s called planning. We haven’t done any planning here. We need to look at each one of these zones, figure out what the likely impact is going to be in that zone and figure out whether or not that zone should be considered a candidate for affordable housing.”

According to the City:

At the core of the Bonus Density and Height Program of Section 7-700 is the idea that the affordable housing gained through incremental increases in density and height is a positive exchange.

Additionally, by its nature and in alignment with the City’s All Alexandria Resolution, the initiative provides affordable housing opportunities in locations that might otherwise not receive them, and this specific proposal could increase the likelihood of affordable housing in projects that are more mid-scale. Moreover, each project approved through this proposal would be reviewed rigorously and through a public process to ensure that additional density and/or height is designed in a way that respects the neighborhood.

The requirement that a project using this provision obtain a Special Use Permit means that all impacts of the project are thoroughly reviewed and mitigated as a condition of approval.

As for outreach, City staff noted:

The City undertook the following outreach: established a Bonus Height Webpage; developed and posted Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) in English, Spanish and Amharic; conducted two virtual community meetings–on April 12 (130 attendees) and May 19 (90 attendees); addressed questions during the meetings and posted Questions/Comments/Responses subsequent to the meetings; and advertised engagement opportunities through eNews and directly to Civic Associations and to those who contacted the City by email or other communication.

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