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Breakfast links: Where the jobs will be

Photo by Adam Foster on Flickr.
Arlington wants more high-tech startups: Concerned about recent job losses, Arlington will focus on attracting high-tech businesses in the new year, board members said. Also, Libby Garvey again spoke against the streetcar, Artisphere, and Long Bridge aquatic center. (Post)

Bye (for now), 7th Street businesses: The Passenger and other businesses along 7th Street in Mt. Vernon Square will have to move when Douglas Development builds a large office complex. But many may be able to return. (City Paper)

Prince George's bans some bags: Residents can no longer put yard waste in plastic bags for pick up. Instead, they must use paper bags or reusable containers. (WAMU)

Contamination is costly: A parcel next to Nats Park on the Anacostia River may soon be apartments and retail, but it may cost millions to clean up waste on the site from old underground storage tanks. (WBJ)

Hybla Valley organizes for recreation: There are very few walking paths, soccer fields, and other facilities west of Route 1 in Fairfax County's Hybla Valley. Residents are organizing to change that. (Post)

Google pursues the perfect map: Google hopes to create a more accurate world map using both public data and the knowledge of users. (Atlantic Cities)

Trottenberg will lead NYC DOT: New York's new mayor, Bill de Blasio, has appointed Polly Trottenberg to run the DOT. Trottenberg, USDOT's Under Secretary for Policy, supports better bus service, safer streets for peds and bikes, and more. (Streetsblog)

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Elina Bravve moved to Washington in 2009, after completing a degree in City Planning at UNC-Chapel Hill. She's lived in the Columbia Heights neighborhood since 2010. After recently parting ways with her car, her goal is to learn how to bike around the neighborhood. 


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I don't really see the panic over arlington's commercial vacancy rate. Not at least for the long term. People desparately want to tie that fact to what they consider out of control spending by the board but I'm finding that it shows that Arlington has responded well to the demand lately by allowing the county to grow (upwards). Landlords may not like it but prices may have to fall to attract new commercial tenants. This was how Arlington became deseriable in the first place.

And Vornado is rehabbing a lot of the old BRAC buildings and that takes time. Of course vacancy will be higher when there is no one there due to construction.

by drumz on Jan 2, 2014 9:46 am • linkreport

And congrats to Ms. Trottenberg. I've actually met her before as well.

by drumz on Jan 2, 2014 9:48 am • linkreport


Arlington has the highest office vacancy rate of any County in the DC Metro at 20%, and at nearly 25% vacancy rate, the Crystal City submarket is in some serious pain. Yes, while Vornado is taking the opportunity to renovate their now large vacant presence in Crystal City, the next 3-5 year view point doesn’t provide any relief. There is currently 34 million sf of office space in Arlington, with another 2 million under construction, set to deliver in 2014/2015, most of it speculative. Whatever office demand there is, it is being absorbed in Tysons and the District (16% and 10% vacancy respectively). By all accounts, Arlington could easily have a 30% vacancy rate, if not higher by this time in 2015 when BRAC relo’s out of Crystal City are more complete.

Arlington has made its fortunes the past 30 years on its office market and relies on it heavily to fund its tax base, which is why they are understandably worried about the forseeable future.

by metro on Jan 2, 2014 10:17 am • linkreport

That I get, the local commentary usually takes that info and says "see! Arlington made a bad decision when they decided X" with them then taking time to rail against whatever project they don't like.

I'm not saying there won't be any bad repercussions but rather that the County is better prepared for this than a lot of people would like to claim. Thus enabling a quicker recovery as well.

by drumz on Jan 2, 2014 10:24 am • linkreport

I'd be even more worried about Monday. They financed that new building in Rosslyn by themselves with no tenants in place. I don't think they have leased anything. Bets like that can kill smallish real estate companies.

The positive news for Arlington is there is still demand for residential and you can covert some of that office space over. But yes, Arlington has been believing their own PR a bit too much as a premier corporate location. Nice place to live, no need to work there.

(and of course the best part of working in Arlington is the easy commute by car and more affordable parking than DC)

by charlie on Jan 2, 2014 10:26 am • linkreport

Trottenberg is a member of Montgomery County's Action Committee for Transit.

by Capt. Hilts on Jan 2, 2014 11:21 am • linkreport

Vornado needs to build more housing and less offices in the Crystal City rehab. The downward spiral of office demand probably isn't temporary.

Related, Vornado needs to kick in some $ to the Long Bridge aquatic center. That project will do more to increase the desirability of living in Crystal City than anything else coming along.

And plenty of people in DC would love to buy memberships in that center and sometimes rent it. Arlington is going to have to finance it with memberships, not just county money.

by Tom Coumaris on Jan 2, 2014 11:39 am • linkreport

I actually looked at Crystal City when I transferred into DC 5 years ago. The main sticking point that drove me away from there (and Braddock Rd/Parker Grey) and to Huntington was price.

by Froggie on Jan 2, 2014 11:54 am • linkreport

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