Alexandria, VA

Morning Notes

New Residential Building Promises Daycare and Retail in Braddock Area — “Right now, that property is primarily garage and warehouse space for a variety of auto and other businesses.” [Alexandria Living]

Van Dorn, Eisenhower Metro Stations Reopening June 28 — “Several stations and stops were closed in March, in an effort to conserve cleaning supplies during the early stages of the pandemic.” [Zebra]

Residential Proposal Made for Old Town North Building — “The project, at 801 N. Fairfax St., goes before the City of Alexandria Planning Commission this Thursday and may go before the City Council on July 7.” [Alexandria Living]

Nectar Coffee & Wine Bistro Closes For Good — “Susan and I have made the extremely difficult decision to close Nectar permanently. We have loved our business, awesome staff, customers and neighbors and are truly grateful for your business over the past 3 years. See you in the neighborhood!” [Facebook]

The Water Taxi is Back — “On June 22 the Potomac Water Taxi resumed service between Alexandria, National Harbor, and the District. Dining cruises resume on Saturday, June 27. To ensure the safety of all on board, a number of procedures are in place. The safety measures include requiring face coverings for all guests (ages 3 and up), physical distancing, touchless entry boarding and ticketing, and reduced capacity onboard.” [Zebra]

TEDxOronocoBayPark Cancels All 2020 Events — “We are excited to be bringing the TED content to the community virtually through the TED Circles program – save the date July 20 7 p.m.” [Facebook]

Alexandria Symphony Premiers Virtual Concert — “Welcome to Alexandria Symphony’s Garden Sounds! Enjoy music from ASO musicians and appearances from special guests Paula Poundstone, Alan Gilbert and more!” [Youtube]

New Job: Bartender — “Be a part the Silver Diner Family! We are hiring full-time Bartenders for all shifts for our Grand Opening in Alexandria! Full-time Bartenders at our established locations can make $400-$700 in tips per week!” [Indeed]

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If you’ve gotten used to working from home with your kids during the pandemic, a new daycare and coworking facility coming to Old Town could let you work alongside your kids.

Two Birds is a coworking office in D.C. with a focus on also offering child care. The company offers the usual coworking amenities, like coffee bars, dedicated desks, and conference rooms, but also comes with amenities aimed at early childcare.

The company has filed a special use permit to open a new location near the King Street Metro station at 1721 King Street.

“Because our childcare is licensed and available 7:30 a.m.-6 p.m., you’re free to choose half-day or full-day scheduling,” the company said on its website. “You can leave to go to meetings or run errands any time you like, with total freedom — and without the need to check in on your little ones unless you’re jonesing for some playtime.”

Two Birds offers programs for children from infants to pre-k, with full-time and part-time options. Full-time care is $2,365 per month and part-time is $1,300. A dedicated desk is $400 per month and a shared desk is $250.

In the application, the company said the office is designed with people using both the childcare facility and the coworking space, but said both uses would also be available to the public without needing to utilize the other.

Two Birds would utilize 28 adjacent parking spaces, with three more designated for pick-up and drop-off.

“The proposed uses are compatible with the existing commercial development surrounding the property, will meet the increasing demand for childcare in the city, and will provide parents with an opportunity to co-locate their office and childcare needs,” Two Birds said.

The application is docketed for review at the June 2 Planning Commission meeting.

Photo 1 via Google Maps, photo 2 via City of Alexandria

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As Alexandria struggles with affordable daycare, a new facility is in the works near the Fairlington neighborhood.

A special use permit has been filed for Our First Step Daycare Center, a new daycare center planned for 2500 N. Van Dorn Street. The facility is planned by Liz Villa, who currently runs Little Rising Stars Daycare Center in Falls Church.

No pricing has been established for the Alexandria location, but Villa said the Falls Church facility charges $350 per week, which includes meals, sign language and Zumba classes.

Villa said the Alexandria facility will offer a bilingual program with a play-based curriculum. The program, she said, will be more structured than the Falls Church one, requiring a prepared and credentialed staff.

“I see there are a lot of schools around here that focus on one method of teaching, but not every kid learns the same way,” Villa said. “We have to be open to different learning styles.”

Villa said she started running the daycare program as an in-home facility to care for two of her own kids. Now with her oldest child aging out of the Falls Church program age range, Villa said the program in Alexandria will aim at a pre-school level.

“One thing I’ve learned is about being sympathetic to the parents,” Villa said. “I’ve never experienced dropping off my children at a center with strangers, so throughout the years, I’ve learned to be sympathetic to that.”

Our First Step Daycare Center is planned to have a capacity of 50 children, but Villa said she doesn’t expect to build to that until a few years down the road.

Next month, Villa said the proposed daycare will be going to the City Council to secure the permit.

Photo courtesy Liz Villa

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