Morning Notes

Beyer Calls for Accountability in Wake of Capitol Siege — “The idea that we would just move on and not hold those responsible for this accountable is immoral.” [Twitter]

Stonebridge Sells Piece Of Oakville Triangle Site To Townhouse Builder — “Stonebridge is under contract to sell a 3.5-acre piece of the site to Winchester Homes to build an 84-unit townhouse project, Stonebridge principal Doug Firstenberg tells Bisnow.” [Bisnow]

City Warns Against Icy Roads — “With potential winter weather in the morning, roads may quickly turn icy. If you’re commuting Thursday morning, plan for extra travel time and use caution.” [Twitter]

Emergency Utility Assistance is Available — “If you were unable to pay your Virginia American Water or Washington Gas bills between March 1 and October 31, 2020 as a result of COVID-19, you may be eligible for assistance. Deadlines to apply are Jan 29 for water bills and Jan 31 for gas.” [Twitter]

Italian War Bride Turns 100 in Alexandria — “For Ada’s 100th, a few close friends and family, including daughter Daria, granddaughter Nathalie, and friend Betty, socially-distanced at The Hermitage. The party ensued with a sheet cake, flowers, gifts, a myriad of birthday cards from friends unable to attend, and video-chatting with her son, daughter-in-law, and grandson.” [Zebra]

City Seeks Feedback on Old Cameron Run Trail — “Ending Sun. Jan. 31: the feedback period to provide input on the proposed design for the Old Cameron Run Trail: alexandriava.gov/116739 The 0.53-mile shared-use path btwn Hooffs Run Dr. in Eisenhower East & S. Payne St. in the Southwest Quadrant. The City wants to hear from you!” [Twitter]

Today’s Weather — “Windy. Cloudy skies will become sunny in the afternoon. High 36F. Winds NNW at 20 to 30 mph. Higher wind gusts possible… Mainly clear early (in the evening), then a few clouds later on. Low 23F. Winds NW at 15 to 25 mph.”[Weather.com]

New Job: Private Piano Teacher — “Old Town Music School, an old fashioned preparatory Music School in Old Town Alexandria for over 20 years, is expanding and hiring a community of professional musicians/teachers who offer a nurturing, positive and personal approach to piano lessons. Students are beginning through advanced intermediate levels. Seeking out-going, motivated and fun teachers to join our faculty.” [Indeed]

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Shortly after the City Council approved overall plans for the new Oakville Triangle, developers are coming back to the city next Tuesday (Dec. 5) with specific development applications for various pieces of the development.

Developers have submitted three applications for sites in the development area, including the creation of development blocks and the medical facility. The first application would lay out a street grid and infrastructure for the new development. In total, four development blocks would be created.

In a report, staff recommended approval of the creation of four development blocks and easements to start laying out the road network.

“Staff recommends approval of the requested Development Site Plan (Infrastructure Plan) with a subdivision to create the development parcels, open spaces and the required streets and a vacation of portions of right-of-way on Oakville Street, subject to compliance with City codes, ordinances and staff recommendations,” city staff said.

The second application is for the Inova Healthplex — specifically to allow construction with a parking reduction and an illuminated sign higher than 35 feet above ground, modifications to the tree-canopy requirement, and an exception to height-to-setback requirements. Staff recommended approval of the development special use permit (DSUP).

The third permit request being heard at the Planning Commission meeting is for the creation of two multifamily units being built on the development parcels in the first application.

“The applicant requests approval of two Development Special Use Permits with site plans and modifications, and associated Special Use Permits,” staff said in a report, “including encroachments into the public right-of-way for building canopies, in order to construct two multifamily buildings at approximately 715,000 sf (square feet) with 577 units and 55,000 sf of ground floor retail, site-wide landscaping, streetscape and infrastructure improvements, as part of the Oakville Triangle Phase 1 redevelopment.”

If approved at the Planning Commission, the applications would move forward to the City Council at its Jan. 23 meeting and the applicant would have until Jan. 24, 2024 to start construction.

Image via City of Alexandria

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Morning Notes

Virginia Tech Students Help Design Oakville Triangle — “A group of local Virginia Tech students in an architecture studio class got the opportunity to reimagine a small section of Alexandria this semester.” [Alexandria Living Magazine]

Carolers Serenade Goodwin House Staff — “The carolers arrived in Dickensian costumes  as a trio and sang classic as well as beautiful newer arrangements of traditional Christmas carols, well-known winter favorites, and gems of Channukah pieces with gorgeous harmonies.” [Zebra]

Expected Snow Closes ACPS, but Virtual Learning Continues — “On Dec. 16, virtual learning will continue, but ACPS buildings and grounds are closed. All programs and services at ACPS school buildings and facilities are canceled, including meal distribution, child care programs offered by ACPS partners, and the Tech Help Desk.” [Patch]

Del Ray Street Goes Big for Holidays — “Just take a walk down East Luray Avenue. For a few blocks on East Luray west of Mount Vernon Avenue, more than two dozen houses are decorated not only with lights but also with brightly painted 4-by-6-foot plywood sheets.” [Washington Post]

City Seeking Assistant City Manager for Public-Private Partnerships — “As a member of the City Manager’s Senior Leadership Team, the Assistant City Manager for Public- Private Partnerships reports to the City Manager and a Deputy City Manager and is responsible for leading the overall public private partnership initiatives for the City primarily via capital project planning and financing…” [Glassdoor]

Staff photo by Jay Westcott

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New plans for the Oakville Triangle received an overwhelmingly positive reception from the City Council at the public hearing on Saturday and unanimous approval.

Plans for the Oakville Triangle include a new Inova HealthPlex and other land use changes. Plans presented to the City Council show dramatically scaled back retail and office space in the area compared to what was approved in 2015.

The new plan reduced retail from 193,900 to 65,000 square fee. and office density from 135,200 to 115,000 square feet — following a trend of reduced retail density in new developments.

“You’d rather have less retail than empty retail,” explained developer Doug Firstenberg at the meeting. “I think we’ve sized it and still bring a good mix of uses.”

The plan also includes an expansion of Mount Jefferson Park and improvements, a move praised by City Council members.

“This plan is so much better than the 2015 plan,” said Councilwoman Del Pepper. “I like the park. I like the way it’s situated. It makes it more of a usable park and it’s such a plus. And of course we can hardly let go of the fact that the health care [center] is going to be moved there. All these things will not only help the community but help development up and down Route 1. This is really a terrific change. I felt like we had a whole new project here and it’s so superior to what we had.”

Duncan Blair, an attorney representing the applicant, said projects within the development will be back in January for special use permits and infrastructure.

“The goal is to have this project under construction quickly,” Blair said.

Images via City of Alexandria

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Developers are planning to host an online meeting next week to update the public on plans to build a large new health center at the heart of the redeveloping Oakville Triangle.

Stonebridge and Inova Health Systems held meetings earlier this year discussing proposed plans to build a “Inova HealthPlex” — which will have emergency room services, an outpatient care center and medical offices. The developers gathered community feedback and submitted concept development applications.

Now Inova and Stonebridge are coming back with new designs for public consideration.

“The community is invited to participate in the applicants’ next virtual engagement opportunity on Tuesday, November 10th at 6 p.m.,” the city said on its website. “The live presentation will be held via Zoom where the community may ask questions directly in the online forum. Meeting topics include an update to the project schedule in preparation for upcoming public hearings, updated conceptual renderings of building and site designs, updates to the Block C open space design, among others.”

The call in number for the meeting is 301-715-8592 and the passcode is 287000.

The project is planned for review by the Planning Commission and City Council this fall and development special use permits in early 2021.

Images via City of Alexandria

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Morning Notes

Alexandrian Killed in D.C. Shooting — “Metropolitan Police identified Montrell Lucas, 18, of Alexandria, as one of two victims who were killed Tuesday night. Police responded to the 1600 block of Maryland Avenue Northeast around 8:46 p.m. for a report of a shooting and found three victims.” [Patch]

D.C. Company Sends Out Incomplete Ballot Applications — “Judith, a city of Alexandria resident, received the letter, which includes a partially completed application for a mail-in voting ballot and a pre-addressed and prepaid envelope to send the application to her registrar’s office. But her ballot application would have gone to the wrong address.” [NBC4]

Inova Reveals Design for New Healthplex in Oakville Triangle — “Oakville Triangle, located on the opposite side of Route 1 from the new Virginia Tech Innovation Campus and the Metro, will see new residential, some retail and public open space adjacent to Mount Jefferson Park. The new Inova Healthplex will feature an emergency room as well as other outpatient services and medical services.” [Alexandria Living]

Annual Classic Car Show Postponed to 2021 — “After careful consideration, the Old Town Festival of Speed & Style Board of Directors have made the difficult decision to not move forward with the re-scheduled September event.” [Zebra]

Today’s Weather — “Mixed clouds and sun with scattered thunderstorms. High 84F. Winds light and variable. Chance of rain 60%.” [Weather.com]

New Job: Alexandria Police are Hiring — “Interested in applying for our department? Register for our upcoming tests using the link below!” [Twitter]

New Job: Land Acquisition Manager — “If you’ve been involved in land acquisition/development for a publicly-traded homebuilder we would like to connect. We are developing residential and mixed-use communities for the future.” [Indeed]

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Alexandria wants community input on the latest plans regarding the proposed Oakville Triangle redevelopment, and another Zoom meeting is planned early next month.

Inova Alexandria Hospital plans to accommodate development at National Landing and Virginia Tech’s Innovation Campus by expanding it services with a new HealthPlex in the city’s Oakville Triangle neighborhood.

The proposed facility will offer emergency room services, an outpatient care center and medical offices. Construction is expected begin next year, and the facility is slated to open at the corner of Fannon Street and Richmond Highway in the fall of 2023.

The city also wants feedback on a new .75 acre public park that will be built adjacent to Mount Jefferson Park before the entire plan goes before the Planning Commission this fall.

“Meeting topics include an update to the preliminary traffic analysis, a summary of community feedback from the Open Space survey, and conceptual renderings of the building and site design,” according to the city.

The Zoom meeting will be held August 4 at 6 p.m.

Map via Google Maps

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Morning Notes

Fairlington UMC Warns Against Phishing Scam — “Remember the phrase ‘fishers of men?’ We have PHISHERS again. They are sending emails and TEXTS from ‘Janine Howard’ asking you to go out and buy ebay cards for them. Don’t do it. If you’d like to make charitable donations, call or go to our website.” [Facebook]

Burke & Herbert Bank Issues More Than 1,100 PPP Loans — “Today Burke & Herbert Bank, which has been serving the northern Virginia business community for more than 167 years, announced that nearly 1,100 Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans totaling approximately $136 million in aid for local businesses have been approved for the Bank’s customers.  As a result, an estimated 10,000 individuals in the local community will remain employed or return to the businesses’ payroll.” [Zebra]

Inova Alexandria Hospital Gets ‘A’ Safety Rating — “We are so proud Inova Alexandria Hospital was awarded an ‘A’ for The Leapfrog Group’s Hospital Safety Grade for the 4th consecutive time and we are thrilled that all five Inova hospitals were awarded an ‘A.’ Leapfrog’s Hospital Safety Grade is a national distinction which recognizes achievements in protecting patients from harm and providing safer healthcare.” [Facebook]

Rotary Club Awards $65K to Local Nonprofits — “The grants seek to improve the lives of children, youth, seniors and those with special needs in the Alexandria community. The grants are traditionally presented at the organization’s annual Contributions Day Luncheon in mid-June. Due to the current COVID-19 crisis, recipients were notified earlier this month and funds were dispersed in an effort to quickly support the needs of each nonprofit.” [Gazette]

ACPS Releases Info on Buying Graduation Caps and Gowns for Virtual Graduation — “Total cost for the cap, gown, and tassel (includes tax and shipping) is $44.47. The cap, gown, and tassel will then be delivered to your home. If you pre-ordered your cap and gown, Herff Jones will be shipping them out next week. You should receive it by May 15!” [Facebook]

Sheriff’s Office Recognizes National Nurses Week — “Today marks the start of National Nurses Week. We work closely together every day so we know how awesome our nurses are but this year, we really can’t say ‘thank you’ often enough!” [Facebook]

Historic Map Comparisons Reveal 18th Century Waterfront Expansion — “This 1749 map shows the minimally altered shoreline of the city running in a gentle arc from West’s Point to the north down to Point Lumley. This 1798 map shows dramatic changes to the shoreline. In 50 years, Alexandrians created several blocks of new land along the Potomac River, changing both the physical landscape and the City’s economic prospects.” [Facebook]

Alexandria Living Magazine Participating in Face Mask Contest — “Alexandria Living Magazine has teamed up with Mission Masks by KH Giving to encourage more Alexandria residents to wear masks while supporting local businesses and nonprofit organizations. Plus, purchasing a Mission Mask will earn you an entry into a raffle where you can win prizes valued at up to $15,000, including jewelry, local restaurant and retailer gift cards, wine from Sonoma Cellar and much more.” [Facebook]

New Job: Harris Teeter Hiring Customer Service Management Assistant — “Supervise up to 120 associates in the Customer Service Department [cashiers, baggers, customer service clerks] and accounting office. Is responsible for assisting the Department Manager with the overall direction, coordination, and evaluation of these departments. Carry out supervisory responsibilities in accordance with Harris Teeter’s policies and standards.” [Indeed]

It’s Hurricane Preparedness Week — “It’s Hurricane Preparedness Week, and @AlexandriaVAGov is urging the community to be prepared for a potential land-falling storm or hurricane. Making preparations now is the best way to protect yourself, your property and your loved ones.” [Twitter]

Virginia Theological Seminary Panel Discussion on Vacation Bible School at 3 p.m. — “Vacation Bible School is a flagship event for Christian formation and discipleship in many churches. As we live into the COVID-19 pandemic, folks are wondering how to move forward. Do we cancel altogether? Should we offer the full programming via Zoom? Would people use activity bags for pick-up at the church? We feel ourselves wondering, ‘NOW WHAT?'” [Eventbrite]

Alexandria Symphony Orchestra Trio Performing at Goodwin House at 4 p.m. — “Residents will open their windows at 4:00 p.m. to be treated to a 30-minute program performed by a trio of brass players led by ASO Music Director James Ross. Some residents will also enjoy the concert via limited seats on Goodwin House Alexandria’s rooftop. Thursday’s Courtyard Concert is just one activity Goodwin House Alexandria has planned to keep residents in high spirits, while maintaining social distancing. Many Goodwin House Alexandria residents are subscribers to the Alexandria Symphony Orchestra.” [ASO]

Del Ray Conducting Community Porch Party at 6 p.m. — “The Del Ray Business Association is proud to present the first-ever First Thursday: Porch Party from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Thursday, May 7. In the spirit of Del Ray’s summer street festivals, the event features a wide range of activities that promote community while maintaining social distancing standards. Wear your mask, keep proper social distancing, and participate in these community activities.” [Facebook]

Oakville Triangle Virtual Meeting at 6 p.m. — “The third online engagement opportunity will include a live presentation by the applicant via a Zoom meeting on Thursday, May 7 beginning at 6 p.m. where the community may ask questions directly in the online forum. A link to the virtual meeting can be found below and will also be posted to the project website with accompanying materials prior to May 7. A recording of the meeting and an online feedback portal for community comments will be posted to the project website following the live presentation.” [City of Alexandria]

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Morning Notes

T.C. Senior Wins $40K Scholarship — “What does it feel like to get a SURPRISE ZOOM CALL from U.S. Senator Mark Warner, Lisa Collis, and daughters Gillian, Eliza & Madison…telling you that you are the first recipient of the Collis Warner Family Scholarship worth $40,000? Just ask T.C. Williams High School Senior Foziya Mohammed! Mohammed received the call this afternoon…’I am shocked and excited! I was nervous I thought this was a call about some kind of problem with my scholarship application. I’m not nervous anymore! Thank you so much. I would tell all of the younger students at T.C. that hard work pays off!'” [Facebook]

Police Respond to Domestic Violence Service Call — “The Alexandria Police Department is investigating a weapon violation in the 1400 block of South Highview Lane. A helicopter is assisting and expect police activity in the area.” [Twitter]

Local Reporter Gets Coronavirus Test — “To my surprise, the ER wasn’t crowded and I got in fast. With the social scene dead, the emergency room would be the most interesting thing I’d do that week. I kind of like the ER. You’re waited on, there’s a lot of hustle and bustle, and you generally feel you’re safe. Although this time was slightly different. The nurse wore a hazmat suit.” [Zebra]

Hops N Shine Hosting Virtual Beer Tasting Tonight — “This will be a Zoom meeting broadcast onto Facebook live for all to see. We welcome you to join us on Zoom to chat about how things are going for breweries, cideries, and restaurants around town, or if you just want to watch you can check it out on Facebook.” [Facebook]

T.C. Seniors Make Fox 5 DC Appearance — “T.C. Williams High School seniors TJ Horton & Amiya Chisolm on Fox 5 DC with Principal Balas this morning talking about the Titan #Classof2020 documentary we’re making. Don’t miss out – record your stories this Friday, May 1!” [Facebook]

New Job Posting: Virtual Insurance Agent — “The Financial Crisis Prevention Center is seeking highly motivated Benefits Analysts to meet with federal employees about their retirement benefits, supplemental insurance, annuities, and fringe benefit discount programs. Hiring immediately part-time and full-time sales representatives. Licensed and unlicensed positions available.” [Indeed]

Carpenter’s Shelter Gets Face Mask Donation — “Thanks to Elegance By Roya Bridal – Alexandria for these beautiful masks made by their atelier and donated to the shelter for the protection of our residents. We are appreciative of your, and all of our donor support for needed items such as masks, Clorox cleaning wipes, and sanitizer.” [Facebook]

Oakville Triangle Plan Comment Deadline is Today — “As a reminder, the online feedback portal for the applicant’s second online engagement posted on April 16 will remain open through tomorrow, April 30. Please take a few minutes to view the second presentation and provide comments.” [City of Alexandria]

Del Ray Cakery Makes Flower-like Cookie Bouquets — “Mother’s Day bouquets! 3 choices DM if interested. $15 each.” [Facebook]

There’s a 500-Piece Lee Fendall House Museum Jigsaw Puzzle — “Feeling PUZZLED about how to spend your time? How about a springtime image of Lee-Fendall House? These 500-piece puzzles are $18, and all proceeds support our preservation and education work. Message us on Facebook, email [email protected]g, or call (703)548-1789 to place your order and arrange for contactless pickup, local delivery (within 1 mile of the museum), or shipping (at cost).” [Facebook]

Old Town Book Club Goes Online This Saturday — “In this captivating story of crisis and survival, Emily St. John Mandel takes readers through often hidden landscapes: campgrounds for the near-homeless, underground electronica clubs, the business of international shipping, service in luxury hotels, and life in a federal prison. Rife with unexpected beauty, The Glass Hotel is a captivating portrait of greed and guilt, love and delusion, ghosts and unintended consequences, and the infinite ways we search for meaning in our lives.” [Old Town Books]

Alexandrian Creates Haiku Contest for Sister’s 70th Birthday — “Poring over the poems was the closest they were going to get to a family reunion. They picked their three favorites and sent the entire batch to the family to enjoy.” [Washington Post]

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The developers behind the Oakville Triangle redevelopment say the project has been dramatically reshaped by the decline of brick-and-mortar retail.

Early designs for the project were of a predominately retail district set up across several blocks near Mount Jefferson Park, but Doug Firstenberg, a principal with development investment firm Stonebridge, said in a video that the 13-acre project near Potomac Yard is being reshaped.

“The original design for the Oakville Project was going to include exclusive retail near Mount Jefferson Park,” Fistenberg said. “So what’s changed? The retail world changed a few years ago and it’s, unfortunately, changing again.”

Firstenberg said the idea of a predominately retail district isn’t economically feasible. Now, neighborhood-serving retail will be focused on the new buildings facing Richmond Highway. A hotel that was also planned for the site has also been scrapped.

Instead, a large section of the development at the western end of the site will be replaced with townhouses and the area will be the site of a new Inova HealthPlex.

“The HealthPlex is a standalone emergency room with other complementary standalone services,” said Dr. Rina Bansal, President and CEO of Inova Alexandria.

Bansal said the HealthPlex will feature a full-service emergency room, surgery center, and medical office space. The site is designed for outpatient care only, meaning patients cannot stay for more than 23 hours.

One of the local benefits of the change is a 34,000 square-foot expansion of Mount Jefferson Park. Firstenberg said early community feedback indicated that the park was viewed as a crucial community resource and expansion of that was prioritized.

Firstenberg said the developer is targeting Planning Commission and City Council review in November for the small area plan and the first quarter of next year for a special use permit. Firstenberg said that timeline is important to keep the project on track for summer 2021 construction and opening in the third and fourth quarters of 2023.

A press release noted that feedback can be submitted through the project website.

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