JBG Smith, the master master developer for Virginia Tech’s $1 billion Innovation Campus, just signed a deal to design, construct, manage and own 2 million square feet of mix-used property at Potomac Yard.

“Institutional investors advised by (project financial manager) J.P. Morgan Global Alternatives contributed a land site that is entitled for approximately 1.3 million square feet of development it controls at Potomac Yard Landbay F (North Potomac Yard), while JBG SMITH contributed adjacent land with more than 700,000 square feet of development capacity at Potomac Yard, Landbay G (the Town Center),” JBG Smith said in a release.

JBG Smith has a 50% ownership stake in the joint venture, and will act as leasing agent for future residential and commercial properties at the site. The move increases the company’s ownership development rights by more than 285,000 square feet.

“The plans call for two multifamily buildings totaling approximately 419,000 square feet that have been placed in JBG SMITH’s Near-Term Development Pipeline and could start construction within the next 12 months,” JBG Smith said. “The remaining 1.6 million square feet of mixed-use development across Landbays F and G is expected to be developed over time and, consequently, are included in the Future Development Pipeline.”

“We are thrilled that this joint venture will further the community’s collective long-term vision of National Landing as a thriving, transit-oriented, mixed-use destination and world-class innovation district,” said Ed Chaglassian, executive vice president and head of acquisitions at JBG SMITH. “This transaction will help ensure that the surrounding neighborhoods can grow in lockstep with Virginia Tech in ways that will complement and enhance its Innovation Campus.”

Virginia Tech plans on opening its four-acre Innovation Campus by fall 2024. Additionally, the Potomac Yard Metro station is expected to open by spring 2022. It is also located a mile south of National Landing, the future home of Amazon’s HQ2 project at National Landing, which is slated for a 2028 completion.

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Dave Dolton moved to Potomac Yard last month, and with his new garage full of unpacked boxes has been parking on the street. One of his neighbors wasn’t too happy about his extended street parking, and left a strongly worded note on his windshield.

“Please don’t park and take up space on a street where you don’t live,” the note says. “Alexandria has parking rules — and your vehicle has been reported. Thank you.”

Dolton said that the note is hilarious.

“No idea which neighbor left the note,” Dolton wrote to ALXnow. “We moved here in early March, and I still can’t fit my car into our garage, due to all the boxes. We live in Potomac Yard, and while there are no posted signs, there is a rumor of not leaving your car here (if you don’t live here) for longer than 72 hours.”

In fact, it turns out that Potomac Yard is not in a residential permit parking district, and only general parking rules apply, such as no commercial vehicles can park in a residential area, no parking within 15 feet of a fire hydrant and the city’s 72-hour rule. There are few parking signs throughout Potomac Yard along and around Main Line Boulevard, which neighborhood residents say leads to rampant fraudulent parkers.

“It happens all the time,” said a Potomac Yard resident. “They come park here and they take an Uber and go to Reagan National Airport for a trip and leave their car parked here and nothing happens. Sometimes they will just park and take an Uber to the Metro. Imagine how it’s going to look at this new Potomac Yard Metro station they’re building.”

Alexandria does not enforce parking on private streets, according to the city. Accordingly, many of the streets on the garage side of homes are private streets owned by the Potomac Yard Homeowners Association.

“Transportation & Environmental Services staff are working with the Potomac Yard HOA to consider creating a residential permit parking district,” Alexandria Senior Communications Officer Andrea Jones Blackford told ALXnow. “This will be a public process that involves petitioning the residents and going to the Traffic and Parking Board and City Council for approval if there is neighborhood support.”

Blackford said that there are no current plans to install new signs and that the City does not install parking signs on private property.

Photo via Dave Dolton/Twitter

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Alexandria Police have identified a 39-year-old suspect who was arrested in North Carolina after allegedly crashing his car into the Verizon store near Potomac Yard on March 22.

Chip Rodney Daniels, of Tyler, Texas, was arrested on unrelated charges the following day in North Carolina.

“He is now awaiting extradition to Alexandria to face charges including hit and run, destruction of property, reckless driving, misdemeanor assault and battery and other charges,” Alexandria Police Senior Public Information Officer Amanda Paga said in a news release.

Daniels is also suspected of driving his car into the lobby of The Drake apartment complex in Washington, D.C.

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It was quite a week in Alexandria.

Our top story this week was on a man who allegedly crashed his car headfirst into the Verizon store near Potomac Yard. The suspect was later arrested in North Carolina.

The week was full of big news. Former Mayor Allison Silberberg announced her candidacy against Mayor Justin Wilson for the June 8 Democratic primary, and ALXnow has learned that the Del Ray Business Association is planning a debate.

One of our favorite stories this week was on Tobi, the Alexandria dog without front legs who needed a new $2,350 wheelchair. Within a day of posting the story, Tobi’s GoFundMe goal was reached. The fundraiser has since raised $3,590, and Tobi’s owner says the excess funds will be donated to help another disabled pet get a wheelchair.

As of noon Friday, our unscientific poll on mayoral candidates had 1,111 votes, but only 537 views. Former Mayor Allison Silberberg trailed by a large percentage for the first several hours, but she later received a surge of votes that led to her getting 589 votes, or 53%, to Wilson’s 432 votes, or 39%. Republican candidate Annetta Catchings, who also announced her mayoral candidacy this week, got 90 votes, or 8%.

Other important stories:

ALXnow’s top stories:

  1. BREAKING: Man rams car into Verizon Store near Potomac Yard
  2. Waterfront Commission tries to avert ‘Disneyland-like’ development in Old Town
  3. Flight attendant Annetta Catchings running for Alexandria mayor as a Republican
  4. Chadwicks going double-decker on outdoor dining at upcoming BAR meeting
  5. BREAKING: Former Mayor Silberberg rematch as she enters democratic primary for mayor
  6. City Councilman Seifeldein quits meeting after argument with mayor
  7. Three men tied up and robbed in West End
  8. GoFundMe launched to get wheelchair for Tobi, an Alexandria dog with no front legs
  9. Just Sold in Alexandria: March 23, 2021
  10. Republican J.D. Maddox announces run for 45th District seat
  11. Al’s Steak House to endure under new management

Have a safe weekend!

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A suspect has been arrested after allegedly crashing his car headfirst into the Verizon store near Potomac Yard on March 22.

Police did not identify the suspect, but said in a tweet that he was arrested in North Carolina. Police also did not say what he was charged with or when he was arrested.

“We’ll provide further updates and details when we have them,” Alexandria Police Senior Public Information Officer Amanda Paga told ALXnow in an email.

A video was recently released of a suspect walking in to the store, walking out and then driving in headfirst, narrowly missing an employee before driving away.

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(Updated 3:15 p.m.) Police and fire department are at 2920 Richmond Highway after a driver apparently crashed his vehicle into the building then left the scene.

There are no injuries reported yet, according to Alexandria Fire Department spokeswoman Raytevia Evans.

According to Evans:

Call went out around 2:30pm for a vehicle into a building in the 2900 block of Richmond Highway. No injuries reported at this time. Driver apparently hit the building and left the scene.

Staff at the Verizon store said the man became belligerent over a service issue and left before hitting the building with his vehicle.

A witness said the driver was a white man driving a black sedan.

“It sounded like a bomb,” one witness said. “Boom. Then I saw him drive around the corner [northbound on Route 1].”

Code enforcement and the building inspector are at the scene after officials responded to a report of a building collapse, according to scanner traffic.

James Cullum and Vernon Miles contributed to this story. Image via Google Maps

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Alexandria Police are investigating a robbery that occurred at the Tobacco and Vape King store at 408 E. Glebe Road was robbed on Saturday night.

Police said a suspect walked into the shop on Saturday night and demanded money. The suspect, who fled the scene with an undisclosed amount of cash, did not present a weapon or imply that he had a weapon, according to police.

The incident occurred Richmond Highway and across the street from Potomac Yard.

No suspect description was available.

Map via Google Maps

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New York-based multinational investment firm JPMorgan Chase & Co. has taken over financial management of the massive Potomac Yard redevelopment from Texas-based Lionstone Investments.

But even though the Washington Business Journal broke the story on Feb. 11, sources familiar with the 20-acre project say that the transition was made more than a year ago and will have no impact on development, which includes Virginia Tech’s $1 billion Innovation Campus that is slated for completion in 2024.

“Not sure why the article is coming out now as the change happened over a year ago and has had no impact on the project,” Cathy Puskar, an attorney with property developer JBG Smith, told ALXnow. “…(E)verything proceeded on time and according to plan.”

JBG Smith and JPMorgan Chase broke ground on the Virginia Tech development last month with the demolition of the Regal Potomac Yard movie theater.

Representatives from Lionstone and JPMorgan Chase could not be reached for comment.

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Morning Notes

Carjacking at Gunpoint Near Potomac Yard — “The Alexandria Police Dept. is investigating a carjacking in the 400 block of Calvert Ave. It happened just before 5pm. Victim’s vehicle stolen at gunpoint. No injuries were reported. Expect police activity in the area.” [Twitter]

Port City Brewing Co. Turns 10 — “We can’t celebrate 10 years of PCBC w/ a big in-person event so we’ve put together a Virtual Event to celebrate 10 years. The Anniversary video includes a message from our Founder, a Tasting Room update, 2021 beers, & a Colossal X tasting w/ a brewer!” [Twitter]

Dozens of Trees Planted at Four Mile Run Park — “55 trees were installed along the eastern edge of Four Mile Run Park. At maturity, the tree buffer will improve sightlines, expand habitat fauna, and create shady areas for park and trail users to enjoy. We look forward to seeing this project continue to grow!” [Twitter]

Snow Sculpture in Oronoco Bay Park Honors Disappeared Duck — “Thus, when the snow came down in Alexandria Monday, February 1, Robert decided to pay homage to Lex by sculpting the Snow Duck, which he named Lex Jr.” [Zebra]

Today’s Weather — “Sunshine and some clouds (during the day). High 38F. Winds SW at 5 to 10 mph… Partly cloudy skies during the evening will give way to cloudy skies overnight. Low 28F. Winds light and variable.” [Weather.com]

New Job: Tennis Instructor — ” We are looking for positive coaches with communicative, motivated, life-experienced/educated, and relevant qualifications. We value diversity. Your work here is both independent and team collaborative. You will be a key valued team member.” [Indeed]

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What a news-filled week in Alexandria.

Things got off to a snowy start on Monday and Tuesday, as the city was under a winter weather advisory.

Our top post was a poll regarding the proposed Heritage Development in Old Town. Nearly 1,500 people voted, and 52% don’t have a problem with it. The development was approved unanimously by the Planning Commission and now goes to City Council for consideration.

One of the most important stories of the week was the decision announced Thursday to resume in-person classes at Alexandria City Public Schools on March 16.

On the coronavirus front, there has been an additional death since Monday’s weekly COVID-19 update. The death toll from the virus now stands at 105, and the number of cases is 9,630. That’s more than 500 cases since Monday. The city’s seven-day moving average is now at 41.1 cases, which is down 14 cases since Monday. Additionally, there are more than 30,000 city residents on the waiting list to get the vaccine.

This week, Alexandria Police mourned the loss of parking enforcement officer Edward Bonds to COVID-19. This is the department’s first death due to complications from the virus.

In case you missed them, here are some important stories from the week:

  1. Alexandria Boxer Troy Isley Goes Pro With Big Fight Next Week
  2. Psychologist Lauren Fisher Elected Del Ray Business Association President
  3. Overhaul of Eisenhower Baseball Field Up to Bat at Planning Commission
  4. From Layoff to Liquorice: West End Business Owner Creates Candy Store Amid Pandemic
  5. Just In: James Lewis Files Paperwork to Enter City Council Race

Here are our top stories this week in Alexandria:

  1. Poll: What Do You Think of the Proposed Heritage Development in Old Town
  2. New West End Residential Development Headed to Planning Commission
  3. Heritage Project Now Goes to City Council After Unanimous Planning Commission Approval
  4. BREAKING: Councilman Mo Seifeldein Running for Alexandria Mayor, Hatch Act Conflict in Question
  5. Poll: Should the City’s Taylor Run Stream Restoration Project Go Forward?
  6. Revamped ‘ESP’ on King Street Ditches Old Ownership and Controversies
  7. Stream Restoration in Alexandria Attracts a Deluge of Controversy
  8. ACPS: Community is Generally Opposed to Affordable Housing at T.C. Expansion
  9. Just In: ‘QAnon Shaman’ from Capitol Siege Transferred to Alexandria Jail
  10. Weather Alert: Up to Eight Inches of Snow Expected in Alexandria
  11. Photos: The Regal Potomac Yard Movie Theater is Being Torn Down

Have a safe weekend!

Image via City of Alexandria

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