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Del Ray

Zip Code 22301

Del Ray’s proudly touted slogan is  “Where Main Street Still Exists.”  In this case, Main Street is actually Mt. Vernon Avenue where dozens of independent businesses and restaurants provide a wide range of services.

Del Ray is known for it’s generous community spirit, an incredibly active Citizens Association and Business Association, and for it’s enduring walkability.

Once known as the Town of Potomac, Del Ray was annexed by the City of Alexandria in 1930.  The occasion was commemorated January 1, 1930 with a “gala program of music and danceat the fire station.   In 2011 Del Ray was named as one of the top Ten Revitalized Neighborhoods according to MSN.

Zip Code 22301 also includes the neighborhoods of Rosemont and Temple Hills.


Metroway is Up and Running on Rt. 1 in Del Ray and Potomac Yard

If you regularly travel the Rt 1 corridor from Alexandria to Washington, you have been an eyewitness to the on-going construction saga that is the new Metroway  or Bus Rapid Transit (BRT).

And if motoring our way in not part of your routine, well, you’re in for a big surprise.

Buses Only

Buses Only

 

Starting yesterday, August 24, new Metro buses now occupy the center lane of Rt 1 between East Glebe and foot of the Monroe Street bridge.

The remainder of the route, which circulates between the Braddock Rd and Crystal City Metro stations, will take place in mixed traffic.

 

Phase 11 plans (Spring 2015) include connecting the Pentagon City Metro, along with new transit stops on Fayette and at 33rd Street and Crystal Drive.  Ultimately the long awaited Potomac Yard Metro will join the circuit too.

As much as we have complained about the construction, we are pleasantly pleased with the final product.

Lots of seating and protection from the elements

Lots of seating and protection from the elements

 

The stations are sleek, the pathways well marked and the landscaping, while years from maturity, is well done and thoughtful.

Landscaping

Landscaping

The Washington Post, in a long article, quoted Eric Randall, a senior transportation engineer at the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments as saying: ““A lot of people will be looking to this project as a test concept to find out what lessons they can learn from it.

This is the first BRT in the region. It offers us an opportunity to apply some concepts for the first time — things like off-board fare collection, a design of bus stops with higher platforms and custom design shelters, a new branding and frequency of buses.”

An unexpected, but much welcomed outcome, is the relative ease with which one can now cross Rt 1 on foot or bike.  We love using Potomac Yard Park for long walks but had taken to actually driving our car to Potomac Avenue rather than negotiating the 12 lanes of oncoming traffic – a scary, scary proposition.

The bus lanes have changed that, creating both a buffer and midway stopping point.  Pedestrians and bikers will still need to be cautious but we now walk to Potomac Ave on a daily basis.

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The impact of Metroway on real estate in Del Ray and Potomac Yard will probably not be felt immediately the long view is quite optimistic.

As the commercial sites (like the new 70,000 Giant) begin to take shape in Potomac Yard the Metroway is a bonus for hourly wage workers who rely heavily on public transportation.

We’re always excited about ‘what’s next’ for Del Ray and  all of Alexandria and this is right at the top of the list.

Want to know more about this great area?  Give me a call at 703.927.4554 and let’s talk.

Michael

 

Real Estate with Integrity 

 

 

 

 

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In Alexandria, Del Ray’s First Urban Garden Tour

Last  Saturday we had the distinct pleasure of being part of Del Ray’s First Urban Garden Tour. 

Community Gardens at GW Middle School

Community Gardens at GW Middle School

Organized by Katie Briscoe and Leslie Duss, the creative geniuses behind DIY Del Ray the tour was a way to showcase how the ‘farm to table’ movement can happen in your own back – or – front yard.

 

Tour de Del Ray

Tour de Del Ray

 

We started at the GW Middle School Community Gardens and then moved on to five private gardens.

 

 

 

 

 

Bikes were recommended as the preferred method of transportation and it was fun to watch as the mini “Tour de France” spread out through the streets of Del Ray.

 

 

 

Bees!

Bees!

 

We saw functioning bee hives, beautiful strawberry patches, passion fruit vines, heavily laden fig trees, asparagus beds, corn, potato/sweet potato beds, towers of beans, staircases laden with cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers and well, the list goes on and on.

 

 

 

 

 

 

One of our favorite  stops was a shared open garden on Duncan.  Here, three homeowners have turned their yards into a common space that provides food for their families all year long.  They have been so successful, they are looking to expand their efforts with efforts with a local CMA – you donate the land and they’ll do the work!

Carrots

Carrots

Corn

Corn

Click here to read more about their plans and what opportunity there might be for you to get involved.

It was a great day to be out and about but what I really loved is that I felt like we were seeing the Del Ray we all know and love.

Imperfect, sometimes messy, always interesting.

Can’t wait for next year!

Virginia

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Alexandria Neighborhoods: Del Ray’s Garden Contessa is Closing on Mt. Vernon Avenue

The Garden Contessa on Del Ray’s Mt. Vernon Avenue is closing after some 6 years in business.

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According to the website, vintage art, mirrors and lamps will now be sold on ETSY under the name ContessasHome, launching in October 2014.

From now until at least the end of August most items are on sale. Spend $50 and receive 35% off with cash or check. Spend $50 and take 30# off with credit cards.

It's a Sale!

It’s a Sale!

Just an FYI – we’ve heard the Contessa really does not like those pesky credit cards so be prepared . . .

Sorry to lose any business on Mt. Vernon Avenue but we don’t think this well located building (next to the Post Office at the corner of East Howell and Mt.Vernon) – with a great alley space – will be vacant long.

Want to know more about commercial locations in Del Ray? Give me a call at 703.927.4554 and let’s take a tour.

Michael

Real Estate with Integrity

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Alexandria Neighborhoods: Open Houses in Del Ray, Potomac Yard and Old Town Alexandria in Zip Codes 22301 and 22314

Want to go house hunting before the big rains move in today? Check out these open houses in Del Ray, Potomac Yard and Old Town Alexandria for zip codes 22301 and 22304.

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Click here for more information:

http://mrislistings.mris.com/DE.asp?k=1211710XXR2T&p=DE-246834652-144

Michael

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Public Transportation Gets a Boost with Metroway on Alexandria’s Rt 1 Corridor

Public transportation on Alexandria’s Rt 1 corridor will get a boost when the Metroway opens in mid-August.

Also known as bus rapid transit, the Metroway represents a new way of thinking about public transportation.

Out the front door and on to the bus

Out the front door and on to the bus

The service will use bus-only lanes along a five-mile stretch between Crystal City in Arlington, Potomac Yard and Alexandria.

The buses will be frequent and the stops will offer shelters, benches, lighting and landscaping.

Shelter - Under Construction

Shelter – Under Construction

Crosswalks

Crosswalks

Early Landscaping

Early Landscaping

The first section of the Metroway to open is on Rt. 1 at Swann Avenue to just south of East Howell.

Metroway

Metroway

At that point, the buses will detour into regular traffic lanes to cross the Monroe Street bridge and make their way to the Braddock Rd Metro.

Ultimately the completed route will incorporate bus-only lanes on Potomac Avenue and Crystal Drive as well as other sections of Rt. 1.

It’s easy to be skeptical about this project, particularly if, like us, you live in Del Ray just blocks from the construction.  But, we’re eager to see what happens once the system is up and rolling.

One thing we have noticed – the bus lanes provide a nice buffer against 8 lanes of traffic when trying to cross Rt. 1 as a pedestrian or biker.  And given the popularity of Potomac Yard Park that’s no small matter.

 

Michael

Real Estate with Integrity

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A Tomato Plant Grows in Del Ray

This volunteer tomato plant is one of several that have sprung up in the garden this summer – the result of spreading ‘homemade’ compost that ‘cooked’ over the winter.

 

Volunteer Tomato

Volunteer Tomato

There are a few blossoms and two or three teensy tiny green tomatoes so, for the forseeable future I’ll still be getting my tomatoes at the Del Ray Farmers Market.

See you there on Saturday!

Michael

PS – In the interest of full disclosure  the ‘tomato man’ is no longer at the Farmer’s Market but almost every vendor has a beautiful selection of these summer beauties.

 

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Open Houses in Del Ray, Potomac Yard and Old Town Alexandria in Zip Codes 22301 and 22414 for July 20

It’s a big weekend for Open Houses in Del Ray, Potomac Yard and Old Town Alexandria (zip codes 22301 and 22314) with some 60 houses available to see.  And just over 11 of those are in the million dollar range!

openhousestarburst

Click here to see what’s available zip codes 22301 and 22314 :
http://mrislistings.mris.com/DE.asp?k=1211710XXR2T&p=DE-245958373-591.

Want to know more about these listings?  Give me a call at 703.927.4554 and I’ll give you all the details.

Michael

 

Real Estate with Integrity

 

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Alexandria Neighborhoods: Del Ray’s Bombay Curry Company Re-Opens

One of Del Ray’s favorite restaurants, Bombay Curry Company, has re-opened at 2607 Mt. Vernon Avenue after a seemingly endless series of delays.

IMG_0267

Or, as the owner, Balray Bhasin, humorously notes in a missive posted on the door:

. . . this [Del Ray] is where we have worked and played for the past 18 years . . . so, after long delays, numerous pitfalls, a second mortgage, wife’s depleted 401 and a zero investment account . . . . we are ready to serve you again.

He also asks for patience as servers and kitchen staff learn new routines and recipes.

IMG_0269

Take out is not yet available but the restaurant is open for lunch and dinner.

Formerly located at the old Calvert Shops – and sorely missed for the past year or two – it’s great to have Bombay Curry Company back in the ‘hood.

Michael

Real Estate with Integrity

 

 

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Alexandria Neighborhoods: Open Houses in Del Ray and Old Town Alexandria at Zip Codes 22301 and 22314 for July 13

Looking for open houses in the Del Ray or Old Town areas of Alexandria on Sunday, July 13?

 

openhousestarburst

 

There are 20+ open houses in Del Ray, Potomac Yard and Old Town Alexandria this weekend. Check out the following listings in zip codes 22301 and 22314.


http://mrislistings.mris.com/DE.asp?k=1211710XXR2T&p=DE-245006132-510

 

Michael

Real Estate with Integrity

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Alexandria Neighborhoods: Potomac Yard is One Incremental Step Closer to a Metro Station

Because it offers a clear and concise report of what happened recently when City of Alexandria officials traveled to Philadelphia to update Federal Transit Administration Officials on the environmental impact statement for the long awaited Potomac Yard Metro Stations, we are offering this article by Michael Neibauer of the Washington Business Journal in its entirety:

In what should come as a shock to no one, federal transit leaders have nixed the two most expensive, least viable options for the location of the future Potomac Yard Metro station, leaving only two in the competition.

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“It allows us to focus on what we’ve known all along are the final alternatives,” Alexandria Deputy City Manager Mark Jinks said during the most recent meeting of the Potomac Yard Metrorail Implementation Work Group.

Alexandria officials traveled to Philadelphia in late May, Jinks said, to update the Federal Transit Administration’s regional administrator on the environmental impact statement progress, and they left with a pared list of site options. The FTA is the lead agency on the roughly $5 million Potomac Yard Metro EIS, scheduled for initial release this fall and final adoption in 2016.

Alternative D and the so-called “B-CSX” option were ruled out. Both will be deemed “something looked at but not carried forward,” Jinks said.

An aerial station in the vicinity of the 69-acre, big box-anchored North Potomac Yard shopping center, Alternative D was by far the most expensive of the four at upward of $500 million, and it threatened to breach the George Washington Parkway, a big no-no for neighbors. For those reasons alone, it was tossed aside.

“We’ve known from day one this was not a financeable option,” Jinks said.

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The B-CSX alternative, requested by the National Park Service nearly a year ago, would have required the city to purchase 5 acres of developable land and to move the existing CSX tracks to the west. It would have cost more than $350 million. And to build it would have meant waiting for Regal Potomac Yard’s lease to end, setting back the Metro project three years.

The consequence of studying those two alternatives: $1.5 million and a wasted year, and little more. The analysis of each will be reserved for an appendix in the EIS.

But with those out of the way, Jinks said, Alexandria can “refresh” the EIS and conclude its analysis of the two remaining alternatives: A and B. A financial study of the two should be done before the end of the summer.

Alternative A is located adjacent to the Potomac Greens neighborhood, well south of North Potomac Yard. Alternative B is located immediately east of North Potomac Yard. Both are at-grade.

There are pros and cons for each.

Alternative A is the least expensive, at a projected $195 million. But its close proximity to Potomac Greens has some neighbors deeply concerned, and it’s a good distance from existing Potomac Yard shopping and future development, which likely results in less economic bang.

The $250 million Alternative B faces a host of environmental and federal easement issues and a skittish National Park Service. Metro recently ruled out the option of a curved track into the station, to avoid NPS property, because it would have required trains to slow to 15 mph coming into and out of the station.

Despite those issues, Alternative B promises to deliver the most economic jolt and to create more jobs, Alexandria officials say, and it is widely preferred by the development community.

Michael

Real Estate with Integrity

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