Shopping center Restaurant Depot on Eisenhower Avenue (4600 Eisenhower Avenue), a big-box store that sells equipment to restaurants, is looking to purchase open space from the city for an expansion.
Jetro Cash & Carry, owners of Restaurant Depot, are headed through the city approval process for an offer to purchase 32,459 square feet of the public right of way adjacent to the property for additional warehouse space.
“This City-owned public right of way is currently green space but does not appear to function as ‘open space’ for recreational use,” said a staff report on the proposed purchase. “The property is shown as open space in the Eisenhower West Small Area Plan, as part of a series of planned ‘finger parks’, or green extensions connecting Eisenhower Avenue to other locations and offering green space from the Avenue. Per the Small Area Plan, the Restaurant Depot site and neighboring parcels are planned for residential development. This City-owned property has not been declared surplus.”
The report said there will be a demand for open green space identified in the Eisenhower West Small Area Plan, but city staff said the exact timeline for implementation of the plan is unclear the sale of the property is consistent with goals for the Eisenhower Valley.
“Staff believe that the sale of this property would be consistent with the Eisenhower Small Area Plan if proceeds from the sale are allocated to the Eisenhower West Open Space Fund and upon future redevelopment of the site, the Eisenhower West’s open space goals for this site will be met,” the report said.
The report recommends sale of the property. The Planning Commission is scheduled to vote on the purchase at a meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 1.
Photo via Google Maps
The city is looking for feedback on a planned new trail at the east end of the Eisenhower corridor in the Carlyle neighborhood, though the construction of the trail is still years away.
The plan is to build a half-mile shared use path between Hooffs Run Drive and South Payne Street. Another quarter-mile section will connect it to redevelopment between Mill Road and Hooffs Run Drive.
“This project will help address a major gap in the City’s trail system and provide a key link in the bicycle and pedestrian transportation system,” the city said on the project website. “The goal of this project is to create a more direct and conflict-free connection for people walking and biking between the Eisenhower East and Southwest Quadrant neighborhoods.”
The city was awarded $7.5 million in grant funding in 2016 to design and build the trail.
Construction of the project is still years away, with right-of-way acquisition scheduled to start in spring 2023 and construction not starting until spring 2025, finishing up summer 2028.
Hey, Alexandrians! Share your thoughts with us on the 60% design plans for Old Cameron Run Trail by December 22, 2021. View the updated plans here >>> https://t.co/tVBslR6McZ. pic.twitter.com/HABKNKZ7s7
— Alexandria T&ES (@AlexandriaVATES) December 13, 2021
A new co-warehousing company for digital commerce platforms has filed a special use permit to operate at 4700 Eisenhower Avenue.
With e-commerce on the rise in Alexandria, Colorado-based Saltbox, Inc. filed the permit for the light assembly, service and craft establishment on Nov. 15, and the last day for public comments is Dec. 15.
Saltbox, which was founded in 2019, has locations in Denver, Seattle, Dallas, Atlanta and Los Angeles. The company offers office and warehouse spaces, flex storage, equipment rental and packing stations.
“With our purpose-built network of flexible warehouses in major metropolitan areas across the country, we are powering the e-commerce economy and the next generation of entrepreneurs by democratizing access to essential operations and logistics infrastructure,” the company said on its website. “From flexible and smartly designed warehouse and office suites to on-demand services like our Elastic Workforce, Fulfillment, and even photography studios Saltbox solves some of the most critical challenges ecommerce entrepreneurs face when starting, growing, and scaling their businesses.”
Saltbox did not respond to ALXnow’s calls for comment.
The 44,500 square-foot property is located in a heavily industrial area of Eisenhower Avenue, next door to Restaurant Depot, CubeSmart Self Storage and a FedEx Ship Center.
A man was unsuccessful in trying to walk out of the Restaurant Depot on Eisenhower Avenue with $1,851.73 using a discarded receipt, according to the Alexandria Police Department.
The incident at the store at 4600 Eisenhower Avenue occurred in August, and the suspect has not been arrested. He “passed all the points of sale without purchasing the store merchandise,” police said in a search warrant.
Restaurant Depot management gave APD security footage of the suspect picking up a discarded receipt out of a trash can and then presenting it to security staff at the exit of the store, police said.
“The suspect was questioned regarding the authenticity of the receipt, at which (time) the suspect immediately left the merchandise inside the store and walked to his vehicle,” police said in the search warrant.
The suspect was then captured driving away in a black SUV with DC license plates.
Restaurant Depot wants to follow through with prosecution if the suspect is arrested, police said.
The Eisenhower Partnership is planning an Oktoberfest celebration early next month to help raise funding for the Partnership’s Engin and Agnès Artemel Urban Planning Scholarship.
The scholarship is named for former Director of Planning Engin Artemel, who helped shape waterfront development in Alexandria and died last, and his wife Agnès Artemel, a realtor and president of Artemel & Associates Inc. The scholarship helps students from Alexandria City Public Schools and planning to major in a realty or urban planning related studies.
Eisenhower Partnership Executive Director Daniel Beason said the first award from the scholarship was given earlier this year to a rising freshman at George Mason who moved to Alexandria from Afghanistan and attended Alexandria High School.
The event is scheduled for The Garden by Building Momentum (5380 Eisenhower Avenue) at from 6-10 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 2. Tickets to the Oktoberfest are $5.
At a City Council meeting earlier this week, Council member Amy Jackson described what’s planned for the event.
“Proceeds will go to the [scholarship] spearheaded for his name,” Jackson said. “There will also be a TEDx type of stage to hear input from TEDx-type communication.”
The TEDx talks will run from 1-5 p.m. Beason said the TEDx talk will be hosted by TEDxOronocoBayPark.
Vacant lot in Eisenhower could become pop-up events and market space — “At 2425 Eisenhower Ave., there’s more than 18,000 square feet of open, grassy space. Until recently, the lot, which is owned by Rubenstein Partners LP, has remained unused except for the occasional dog romping with its owner. The Eisenhower Partnership is working with the site owners to bring fresh life to the lot by creating a pop-up space that could be used for food trucks, markets, arts, musical performances and other recreational uses according to a recent application filed with the City.” [Alexandria Living]
There’s a new mural in Old Town — “When Erik Muendel took over the ESP Tea and Coffee Shop at 1012 King Street, he not only revitalized the hip location with a new spin on the name and increased offerings, the wanted to make a splash on the outside as well.” [Zebra]
Catholic Charities plans café for Alexandria headquarters — “Catholic Charities USA filed an application to add a café in 2,088 square feet on the ground floor of its headquarters building located at 2050 Ballenger Ave. in Suite 400. According to the application, the space was formerly occupied by the Carlyle Club restaurant.” [Alexandria Living]
Today’s weather — “Cloudy skies (during the day). Slight chance of a rain shower. High 81F. Winds E at 5 to 10 mph… Overcast (in the evening). Slight chance of a rain shower. Low 66F. Winds E at 5 to 10 mph.” [Weather.com]
New job: Personal assistant — “I am the owner of a luxury men’s clothing store and am seeking a personal assistant/IT adviser . You will not only be working for me but working with me towards a common goal. If you are a self starter with a ton of different talents and all you have been waiting for is an opportunity, this may be for you.” [Indeed]
The Alexandria Drive-In will be discontinued after this Saturday night’s performance of Shrek.
With life returning to normal and movie theaters and entertainment venues coming back, event organizers decided to shut down the operation.
“As vaccination numbers rise and we are, thankfully, able to return to our new normal; celebrating in person with friends and families, attending events, and even going back to movie theaters, we have made the difficult decision to discontinue the Alexandria Drive-in after July,” organizers from The Garden wrote on the drive-in website.
The effort launched with Jurassic Park last August in the parking lot of the Victory Center at 5001 Eisenhower Avenue, and the first several shows were completely sold out.
“We loved the Drive-In,” said founder Kelly Grant of ALX Community. “It was the best example of a community coming together.”
Grant would later win the city’s Philanthropist of the Year Award for her effort, since more than 12,000 people safely saw movies on the big screen again. More than $150,000 was also donated to ACT for Alexandria, the Scholarship Fund of Alexandria and Athena Rapid Response.
Shrek will start at 9 p.m. and tickets are $40 per car.
It was a quick week in Alexandria. Here’s the rundown.
On the COVID front, the city’s DASH bus service announced that one of its drivers passed away from complications from the virus.
Meanwhile, Mayor Justin Wilson believes that the city has met its 80% vaccination threshold, while Virginia Department of Health data says about 65% of residents over the age of 16 are partially vaccinated. The Alexandria Health Department, which just launched a COVID-19 test and vaccine pilot at T.C. Williams High School, says the data does not take into account city residents vaccinated in Washington, D.C., and Maryland.
It’s also July 4 weekend, and in this week’s poll we asked whether readers plan on traveling, with 67% of respondents voting to stay home, 27% opting to travel by car and just 6% traveling by air.
- City Council to specify when local dogs are allowed to bark
- Woman shot in Landmark Area Monday night
- New mixed-use development headed to the heart of Chirilagua
- Alexandria’s unemployment rate has been cut in half since May 2020
- Alexandria’s Sportrock Climbing Center is packed with business after Biden visit
- Alexandria eyes bus rapid transit and bike lanes for Duke Street
- Alexandria Police looking for driver in fatal hit-and-run
- Basilica of St. Mary bridge and expansion designs move forward
- Military spouses ask Sen. Tim Kaine to help with childcare in Alexandria roundtable
- Alexandria Reggae band FeelFree gets political in latest single
- Alexandria teaching racial and social equity with 30 day challenge
- Visit Alexandria website gets most views ever as businesses slowly climb back
- King Street Trolley service to return next Monday
- Researchers call out shoddy craftsmanship in buried 18th century Alexandria ship
- Man suspected of raping 12-year-old stepdaughter in Landmark area flees to El Salvador
- Landmark Mall plan approved as Planning Commission demands better environmental considerations
- Alexandria leaders acknowledge serious security issues with elimination of school resource officer funding
- Shortened Alexandria Birthday celebration is still on for July 10
- Alexandria eyes bus rapid transit and bike lanes for Duke Street
- Parker-Gray tiny lot home moves forward with some unique challenges
- Alexandria woman dies after veering off road on Interstate 95
- City talks strategy on making Chirilagua/Arlandria neighborhood Amazon-proof
- UPDATE: Man taken into custody as West End apartment barricade situation ends peacefully
- BREAKING: California man arrested for West End murder, indicted with 16 others in massive racketeering conspiracy
Have a safe weekend!
Sportrock staff claim that it’s the first time any president has ever visited a climbing gym, and that it has shined a spotlight on their 35,000 square-foot operation. On a recent weekday evening, every parking spot was taken outside their location at 5308 Eisenhower Avenue. Inside the massive gym, masked and unmasked climbers hung out, lifted weights, belayed, and worked their ways to the top of the tallest climbing walls in the Mid-Atlantic.
“I think what the President did was put Sportrock in the public consciousness for people who had never heard of climbing before,” Sportrock’s marketing manager Jeff Shor told ALXnow. “It’s definitely elevated our spotlight.”
Biden visited the gym to celebrate the lifting of COVID-19 regulations across Virginia, although some measures are still in place at both the Alexandria and Sterling locations. All climbers are currently required to wear face masks on Mondays after noon, and on weekends in the morning.
It’s a far cry from where the gym had come from at this point last year, having recently reopened to dramatically reduced capacity after a three-month shutdown. SportRock, which offers private instruction and a number of fitness classes, was also forced to switch in-person practices to a virtual format.
The eased restrictions are a welcome relief for 16-year-old Abigail Humber. The Arlington resident has been climbing at the gym since she was eight years old, and works with Taylor Reed, the director of the Sportrock Performance Institute, which is a 9,000 square-foot climbing facility connected to the main gym.
“I come here pretty much every day for training,” Humber said. “I am, homeschooled and I spend all of my time climbing. And so yes, I am the ultimate climbing nerd, especially combined with Taylor, who’s also a huge climbing nerd. We geek out together in the gym all the time about rock climbing, and it’s honestly the best. I just want to keep doing this for as long as I can, and if that means being a professional climber, then that’s what I want to do, because climbing is what I love, and climbing is what keeps me wanting to get up every morning.”
Some of Reed’s students regularly commute to the gym from North Carolina, like 19-year-old Charlie Osborne and 13-year-old Tessa Huang.
Osborne is a USA Climbing competitive climber in bouldering and lead climbing. He’s been climbing for 13 years, and has Olympic aspirations, and says he trains in Alexandria specifically because of Reed.
“He’s very technically focused, when it comes to climbing so he helps me realize all my weaknesses and strengths and how I can better myself in those certain areas to apply it to the wall,” Osborne said. “Before I usually started training with him, I was super strength focused, and I’d have all this all these abilities, but I didn’t know how to use them properly.”
Reed said that climbing boosts self esteem, and that the gym is full of athletes of all ages intent of solving puzzles with their bodies.
“These kids are kind of insane when it comes to how climbing has consumed them,” Reed said. “But you get this this interesting dynamic between youth and adults in the climbing gym where they’re all planning on the same problems and trying to share information about getting to the top of the wall. And that’s the element that allows for an inspiring community.”
When the Victory Center parking lot does eventually get turned into a housing development, locals won’t have to go far to get their car checked out.
The Planing Commission is scheduled to review an application by Vijay Laxmi LLC to open a light automotive repair shop at 4936 Eisenhower Avenue, directly across from the Victory Center.
“The applicant anticipates serving five customers daily and would operate with two employees,” staff said in a report. “The hours of operation would be 8 a.m.-5 p.m., Monday through Friday, and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday.”
City staff expressed support for the development in the report. The area’s flexible zoning is part of what’s allowed some unique small businesses nearby to thrive.
“This small-scale automobile repair shop is not expected to produce neighborhood impacts,” staff said, “as there are several automobile repair shops in the surrounding area and in the same industrial/flex space complex.”
Photo via Google Maps