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Fairfax County Pool Closures

Now is the time of year when some of Fairfax County’s pools are closed for bi-annual maintenance. For all you swimmers out there, here is the latest schedule:

Lee District: Closed through Thursday September 15th

Audrey Moore: Closed through Friday September 9th

George Washington: Closed through Friday September 9th

Oak Marr: Closed through Friday September 30th

Cub Run: Competition pool closed through Monday September 5, Leisure pool closed through Thursday September 8th

If your favorite pool is closed, be sure to check one of the other facilities in the area.

South Run: Springfield

Mount Vernon: Alexandria

Providence: Falls Church

Spring Hill: McLean

Susan Hall

Metro has announced some major track work that may affect your weekend plans. On the Blue line, Franconia-Springfield and Van Dorn Street stations will be closed. Shuttle buses will transport passengers back and forth between the Franconia-Springfield, Van Dorn Street and Eisenhower Avenue stations. Track work affects the Orange line as well. Shuttle buses will operate between East Falls Church and West Falls Church stations as labor continues on the Dulles Rail Project. Closures begin at 8 PM Friday 9/2 for the Orange line, at 10 PM Friday 9/2 for the Blue line and continue through closing on Monday 9/5 (Labor Day). Normal service resumes on Tuesday September 6.

Additional Details:

Blue Line:

Trains will run to/from the Huntington Avenue station, with service about every 20 minutes. Passengers using shuttle buses should allow about 30 minutes of extra travel time. Free shuttle buses between Franconia-Springfield and Eisenhower, via Van Dorn.
Orange Line:

Free shuttle buses will transport persons between East Falls Church and West Falls Church stations. Last train will leave Vienna 20 minutes ahead of schedule (2:08 AM Friday and Saturday nights and 11:08 PM Sunday). Trains traveling between Vienna and West Falls Church will run every 24 minutes and share one track. Those persons traveling through this area should allow an extra 30 minutes of travel time to their agenda.
Susan Hall

Come out and celebrate Lorton at the Workhouse Art Center’s Block Party on Saturday, September 3rd! Events start at 2 PM and include the Workhouse Artists’ Sidewalk Sale, a Neighborhood Talent Show, Food, Music, an INOVA Blood Drive and the Workhouse Friends & Family Exhibition and Reception from 5 PM to 7 PM. For this exhibit, the Workhouse asked each of its artists to contribute one piece of art and to have a friend or family member who is not affiliated with the Workhouse do the same.

For $10 you can get a tasting card and experience “Flavors of the Community”. Sample fare from local restaurants such as Madigan’s Waterfront, Great Harvest Bread Company, Joe’s Crab Shack and more!

Sing, dance, read poetry, play an instrument or do any other creative endeavors? Be sure to sign up for the Talent Show! You can e-mail Joseph Wallen at josephwallen@lortonarts.org for details and registration info.

If you can, please bring non-perishable food items to donate to the Lorton Community Action Center. They particularly need pasta, pasta sauce in plastic containers, tuna, brown rice, canned fruit and vegetables, wheat crackers, cereal and peanut butter.

Workhouse Arts Center
9601 Ox Road, Lorton, VA 22079
(703) 584-2900
Text “Workhouse” to 839863

Susan Hall

The Lorton Workhouse Arts Center is hosting a series of great events this Saturday July 2nd. Here is the schedule:

2-4 PM: Curated Military Art Exhibit Public Opening Reception, Building W-16, Second Floor

4-8:30 PM: Outdoor activities on the Quad, food & drink from American BBQ, interactive art demonstrations, youth & family activities

4 PM: The New Dominion Choraliers perform a Patriotic Concert at the Festival Tent

4:30 PM: Keynote address by Congressman Gerry Connolly, Color Guard & National Anthem, Festival Tent

7 PM: Performance by the Commodores, the US Navy’s premier Jazz ensemble, Festival Tent

The military art exhibit is on display until July 31st.

As always, if you are thinking about buying or selling a home in Lorton, give us a call–we’d love to help!

Susan Hall

Unique restaurants with delicious menus can be found throughout Alexandria, and Restaurant Week is a great opportunity to check some of them out. Alexandria’s Restaurant Week takes place this year from January 21 to 30. Two special pricing options are available: $35 Prix-Fixe Three Course Dinner and $35 Dinner for Two. You can go to this website to see a complete list off all the restaurants that are participating; menus are posted daily and many will let you make online reservations. A sampling of participating restaurants include A La Lucia, Bastille, Chart House, Geranio, La Bergerie, RT’s, Shooter McGee’s, The Wharf, Austin Grill, Chadwicke’s, Murphy’s, Southside 815, Hank’s Oyster Bar and FireFlies. There is a wide range of cuisines represented here, so you shouldn’t have a problem finding something to eat. I hope you have a great meal this week! Let us know which Alexandria restaurants are your favorites.

Susan Hall

The “Eagle Express” is a new bus route between the Franconia-Springfield Metro station and Fort Belvoir. It runs during morning and afternoon rush hours with fares of $3.65 with a SMarTrip card or $3.85 if you pay with cash. Riders will need a government-issued photo ID to be able to ride the bus on post. From the Metro, the bus travels through Telegraph Gate and stops at the new hospital, John Kingman Road, Jackson Loop and the intersection of 12th Street and Gorgas Road near the Commissary. The new bus is fuel-efficient has seating for 39 and standing space for 36 for a total of 75. This new route was implemented to try and offset the rise in commuter traffic due to the BRAC. It provides a great alternative for personnel to get to Fort Belvoir and for those living on base to get to the Metro!

Susan Hall

There are a lot of reasons why buying a home in Northern Virginia is a good idea right now. Interest rates are still fantastic, prices are still low compared to the peak and the job market continues to be extremely strong. But as you probably already know, real estate is not just local, it’s hyper-local. Here are 6 big reasons why buying a home in the Kingstowne or Springfield area is a great investment right now.

A lot of military personnel and employees are still slated to move to Fort Belvoir as part of BRAC (base realignment and closure process). In fact, the next big move will be in September when 6,400 employees will be relocated to the base’s main campus.

Also in September, the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency will be moving 8,500 jobs to the Springfield’s former engineer proving grounds off of Backlick Rd (now Ft. Belvoir North)

Because of reasons #1 and #2 many government contractors are also relocating to the area. The 37 acre Metropark Complex at the intersection of Beulah and the Franconia-Springfield Parkway is already home to SAIC, Calibre Systems, DCS Corp and CGI Group. A new 13 acre development is also going up in that complex that will consist of another 4-5 buildings and 875,000 square feet of office space.

Inova Health System already has a 150,000 square foot complex in the Metropark and they are petitioning the county to double its size with an additional 8-story building.

The Hilltop Village Center should be complete in 2013 at the intersection of Beulah and Telegraph. The anchor store will be Wegman’s. People love Wegman’s.

Vornado Realty is finally moving forward with its vision of the Springfield Town Center around the site of the current Springfield Mall. They are starting phase 1 which will be a total renovation of the mall itself. They will then expand the Town Center to include high density office and residential space somewhere along the lines of what Pentagon Row has become.

So why are these 6 good reasons to buy a home right now in Kingstowne, Springfield and the surrounding areas? Because it will drastically increase the demand for housing but there is already a limited supply. I can’t predict the future but if Econ 101 taught me anything about the law of supply and demand then home values should continue to increase at a healthy pace over the coming years.

Jim Patrick, Realtor

We’ve had another interesting year in real estate in 2011. Prices struggled to remain flat. Appraisers were very conservative. Many distress sales were still with us. And yet, great properties priced correctly sold quickly. We sold over 200 homes. Pricing and staging were king.

As we end the year, inventory is down. This is typical for this time of year. Some people whose homes have sat for long periods take them off the market for the holidays. Others that know they will be selling wait until well into the new year to go active in the MLS. But even though inventory is down enough to be noticable, business is not slow.

Our agents are busy even a couple of days before Christmas and constantly lament the scarcity of quality homes on the market. That bodes well for sellers next year and potentially for prices in the areas we service.

If you add the low inventory of nice properties to historic low interest rates, home prices at the 2004 level and all the people and companies moving to the Alexandria, Springfield and Lorton areas, you have the stage set for a dynamic 2012.

Tonight (11/21), from 10 PM to 5 AM, the two right lanes of the Capital Beltway (Outer Loop) will be closed between the Eisenhower Avenue Connector and Telegraph Road so that crews can hang a road sign. All lanes will be closed for 15 minutes just after midnight.

Today, tomorrow (11/22) and Wednesday (11/23), the right lane of the Capital Beltway (Outer Loop) will be closed from the Eisenhower Avenue Connector to Telegraph Road for roadside improvements. This will take place between 9:30 AM and 3 PM today and tomorrow and 9:30 AM to 12 PM on Wednesday.

Be prepared for traffic changes along Telegraph Road starting Tuesday November 29th. Starting at 6 AM 11/29, the left southbound lane of Telegraph Road will be closed but one lane will be open until traffic is shifted onto the newly constructed section of the bridge over Cameron Run. The left southbound lane will reopen by the late afternoon.

Starting at 7 AM on Wednesday 11/30, the ramp from the Outer Loop LOCAL lanes to Huntington Avenue will be closed until at least the morning of 12/2 (Friday). The part of the ramps leading to North Kings Highway and South Telegraph Road will remain open. Those looking to travel on Huntington should get off at Route 1 instead.

Be careful when driving around Alexandria these days! Always be on the lookout for construction delays.

Starting in May 2011, the Fairfax Connector will begin educating the public on bus service changes that will be put into effect because of the BRAC. Information will be provided on their website as well as social media outlets such as Facebook and Twitter. Public meetings will be held in June so residents can comment on proposed routes and schedules. The new schedules will be finalized by August, with the new service to be implemented by late September or early October. Nine new buses are proposed and this significantly augments bus service in South Fairfax County.

New information is also available about the I-95 HOV and HOT lanes. The new proposal allows for a third lane to be added to the current lanes on I-95. The third lane would begin in Stafford County and end just inside the Beltway. Original plans called for this lane to continue all the way into DC. This updated project will link to the 495 HOT lanes currently under construction and provide a “direct HOT to HOT lanes connection” between I-95 in Springfield and Tysons Corner.

There will also be a ramp built from existing HOV lanes on 395 at Seminary Road. This will provide direct HOV access to the new Mark Center site in Alexandria that will soon be home to 6,400 Defense Department employees.
Susan Hall