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Friday, January 15, 2016

DMV will not move to Barcroft Plaza

Barcroft Plaza on a recent Friday afternoon.
The Virginia Department. of Motor Vehicles will not relocate its customer service center from Four Mile Run in Arlington to the Barcroft Plaza shopping center after all.

The planned move had generated an enormous amount of opposition from Mason District residents who were concerned that a DMV in Barcroft Plaza on Columbia Pike would create parking and traffic problems. Residents of Arlington has also opposed plans to shut down the DMV at 4150 S. Four Mile Run Drive.

Under an agreement worked out with Del. Kaye Kory, Del. Alfonso Lopez, Sen. Dave Marsden, Sen. Dick Saslaw, and the property owners, the DMV will keep its Arlington center open and has gotten out of its lease with Federal Realty Investment Trust for the Barcroft Plaza site.

“Without the community activism, this would not have happened,” Kory said. “I’m proud of their hard work.” Kory also thanks Gov. Terry McAuliffe and his staff for their support.

A Jan. 15 letter to Northern Virginia members of the General Assembly from VDOT Commissioner Richard Holcomb says, “we have agreed to mutually terminate the lease with Federal Realty in the interest of cooperation.”

Federal Realty asked whether DMV “would be willing to consider a mutual termination of our lease, with respective parties absorbing their out-of-pocket expenses to date,” Holcomb states. “As we understand, our occupancy of space in Barcroft Plaza has reached an anchor tenant and potentially jeopardized their continued presence.”  [Holcomb doesn’t identify the tenant, but it would seem to be Harris Teeter.]

The Virginia Department of General Services’ Division of Real Estate Services was than able to negotiate a new 10-year lease term for the Four Mile facility with a substantial rent reduction, a more equitable facility maintenance structure, and parking lot redesign, the letter says. 

“This cooperative attitude will allow us to collectively mitigate some concerns that initially compelled us to relocate, such as overall maintenance/upkeep of the facility and interior improvements,” the letter continues. “Other concerns, such as site accessibility, vehicle load at the traffic light, parking encroachment by adjoining tenants, etc., are inherent to the location and the ambitious development surrounding it but, with the renewed spirit of cooperation from the current owners, we will pursue every possible solution.” 

It’s not known what will happen to the storefront in Barcroft Plaza that the DMV had already started renovating. The DMV will lose the money it invested in the renovations, but is getting a favorable rent in Arlington, Kory said.

The DMV still plans to open an additional office this spring at 3434 Washington Blvd. in Ballston, one and a-half blocks from the Virginia Square-GMU Metro station.

 “This is a big win for the Barcroft community and for Arlington County residents, who will keep their DMV facility,” states a press release from Kory’s office.

“Del. Kaye Kory and Del. Alfonso Lopez have worked diligently to make this happen as have senators Dick Saslaw and Dave Marsden,” the release state. “It was, however, the citizens in the Barcroft community and Arlington residents who truly made this happen. Their emails, phone calls, petitions, and attendance at the forum to discuss the relocation were very effective. The four legislators involved thank them for their efforts, as well as Commissioner Holcomb and the McAuliffe administration for diligently working to explain their position and to work to provide a resolution that satisfied all parties affected.”

32 comments:

  1. This is fabulous!

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    1. This was a huge collaborative effort. Thanks to MDC and Kaye Kory for hosting the DMV Forum and all who wrote letters and signed the petition!

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    2. That MDC forum was packed. A huge level of concern was demonstrated and the follow-on petition,letters and calls all kept the pressure on. Good on the residents of Mason.

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  2. WOW! GREAT work everyone.

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  3. There is a GOD; thank you Kaye-we love you. I'm ready to go to the ABC and buy some champagne.

    Richard C Zambito
    Parklawn and ecstatic

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    1. Better go to Harris Teeter instead; the ABC store sells hard liquor, although apparently they have also started carrying some Virginia-made wines (so not Champagne, as that's made only in the Champagne region of France)...

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    2. Your right, ABC does not scream champaign but after reading some of the harsh and less than grateful notes here, I think now I need hard liquor. Really folks can we give the Trumpism a break and be happy for this WIN for 24 hrs, that is all I ask.

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  4. Congratulations on showing up and being heard!!!

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  5. There is a GOD, I am ecstatic. Kaye we love you. I can believe again in the democratic process; I have been reborn.

    Thanks to everyone who stood up and said NO and signed the petition, spoke at the meeting, wrote letters to our political leaders, made calls and firmly stuck together to end what could have been a terrible misfortune!

    Richard C. Zambito
    Parklawn

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    1. and Marsden! He did ALOT!!!!!

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  6. THANK YOU, KAYE!

    Also, thank you MDC and individuals who stepped up to the plate on this issue.

    It's good to know that the community's voice can sometimes be heard.

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  7. GREAT JOB AND THANK YOU KAYE KORY AND SEN. MARSDEN (AND HARRIS TEETER) AND ALL THE VOLUNTEERS WHO WORKED ON THIS THROUGH MASON DISTRICT COUNCIL AND THEIR NEIGHBORHOODS -!!!

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  8. yelling does work when the supervisor is asleep at the wheel.

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  9. Thank you MDC for accomplishing what a disengaged and disrespectul supervisor failed to even attempt. Hooray for citizen engagement in the process of government.

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  10. Why are people thanking Kaye? I think the MDC and Del Lopez of Arlington are the people to be thanking!

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  11. Big thanks to Kaye, community members and the Mason District Council for their tireless efforts.

    Now lets work the same magic to get the county to vacate the SEQ and let Avalon Bay build us a gorgeous mixed use residential/retail complex.

    Raise your voices everyone!

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    1. Yes indeed Avalon we want you, DMV hasta la vista!

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  12. I thank MDC and Harris Teeter. It sounds as if Harris Teeter got involved as well. I also appreciate the support of Kaye Kory and the rest of those mentioned. No thanks goes to Penny.

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  13. Thank you to the 600 Mason District residents who signed the petition opposing DMV's move to Barcroft.

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  14. Can we for once celebrate this VICTORY together. We ALL made a difference. Please stop berating some for doing nothing or for doing less. And I am confident that Penny Gross made her dissatisfaction with this DMV location knowN to Richmond and Federal Realty.

    This was probably the first time we could all agree for the right reason to thwart a bad decision that would have been a detriment to our community.

    And a special deserving thank you to the MDC for doing a great job in herding the cats, Thank you Kaye Kory for being our voice inside the Richmond Chamber and in the Governor's ear. I am certain that your message to him was more delicate that the VM I left him.

    And a noted thanks to the folks at our Harris Teeter, they indeed did hear much from us both at the store and at their corporate offices.

    And thanks to all of us who in their own personal manner made this happen.

    To that end we can all truly say this weekend - "Free At Last" -

    Richard C. Zambito
    Parklawn

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    1. Thank you for speaking up on behalf of civil discourse here! Snark only begets more snark.

      I'm so relieved that people worked together on this and made it happen (or un-happen?). Even if they were only watching out for themselves, I want to offer props to HT, too.

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    2. Thank you goes to Marsden too. He spoke to lots of us....who live nearby.

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  15. Thank everyone! But, don't under estimate Kaye's involvement. Kaye did a great job representing her constituents on this. Mason District Council rallied the troops. This was teamwork.

    Why thank Del. Kaye Kory? Because she held a community meeting where people had an opportunity to tell DMV staff why they made a bad decision. Because Del. Kaye Kory met with Gov. McAullif to explain why DMV made a bad decision.

    The Blog limits space and there isn't enough room to present the entire letter from DMV Commissioner Richard Holcomb thanking her for her efforts. Here are snippets.


    From Richard Holcomb, Commissioner of the Department of Motor Vehicles

    Members of the General Assembly from Fairfax, Arlington, and Alexandria -

    In my December 23 email to you, I provided an update of DMV’s facilities strategy for Northern Virginia. This note is to advise you of recent events that have presented an opportunity for additional savings of taxpayer dollars and less perceived inconvenience for our Arlington/Fairfax area customers.

    As you know, throughout the course of this project, we have fielded local concerns about our plan to open a new office at Barcroft Plaza and responded with a wide range of accommodations to mitigate those concerns. Operational solutions included offering road tests by appointment only at the new Barcroft Plaza office, adding road tests at the new Ballston office and scheduling additional mobile office visits throughout Northern Virginia.

    On January 11, the landlord for our new Barcroft Plaza office, Federal Realty, inquired whether the Department of General Services’ Division of Real Estate Services (DRES) and DMV would be willing to consider a mutual termination of our lease, with respective parties absorbing their out-of-pocket expenses to date. As we understand, our occupancy of space in Barcroft Plaza has reached an anchor tenant and potentially jeopardized their continued presence.

    While DRES/DMV could have insisted that this project proceed to completion, we have agreed to mutually terminate the lease with Federal Realty in the interest of cooperation. We remain confident that this location would have positioned us to effectively serve our local customer base and provide a critical piece of our long-term customer service strategy for Northern Virginia, but staying committed to a long-term lease at Barcroft Plaza was not tenable or desirable.

    With this in mind, DRES approached the landlord of our current Arlington Customer Service Center on Four Mile Run about our continued occupancy. Negotiations have proven successful as a new ten-year lease term has been confirmed. Incentives to remain at Four Mile Run include a substantial rent reduction (less than the overall cost negotiated for the Barcroft Plaza space), money for tenant improvements, a more equitable facility maintenance structure and a parking lot study/redesign.

    TEXT DELETED DUE TO SPACE CONSTRAINTS

    In closing, I would like to thank Delegate Kaye Kory for being so instrumental in bringing her constituents together to give us a forum to better understand their concerns.

    Also, I want to particularly thank Delegate Alfonso Lopez for his able assistance with initiating discussions that resulted in negotiations of an extremely favorable deal for the Commonwealth to remain in South Arlington. And I would be remiss if I didn't thank Senator Richard Saslaw and Senator Dave Marsden for their sound guidance and support as we worked toward this favorable solution.

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  16. Interesting. They should be going after the new gun shop in Falls Church next to St. James.

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  17. Can they go after the new gun shop on Broad Street in Falls Church. Right next to St. James elementary school. That folks, is worse than a DMV in Barcroft.

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    1. Yea lets shoot the bast---s down. Get out of town before we drop a house on you and your little dog too.

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  18. Hooray Harris Teeter! Thanks from the bottom of my heart.

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  19. Yippee!! So excited. Thank you Kaye and everyone else for standing up to say "NO".

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  20. How can you be confident that Penny Gross made her displeasure known to anyone. Her silence on the subject has been deafening.

    She has said nothing publically to her constituents about about the DMV. In fact, if you reread her FCNP article it was very carefully worded, but it left room for one to think that she may have known all along.

    It would be so easy for Penny to represent her constituents. Why does she refuse to do so?

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  21. Wish we could reassemble that panel who sat there and told us over and over again that this was a done deal and there was no way to stop it. The DMV creeps and that jackass representative from the mall. Maybe even throw Gross in the mix despite the fact that she didn't bother to show the first time.

    In your face!

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  22. Classic small ball from Kaye Kory (D- Lake Barcroft). Maybe this is a sign she will actually get something done in the General Assembly.

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  23. To Anonymous1/15/16, 9:43 PM
    I don't consider this feat small ball at all. Kaye's job is to represent her constituency, not just write legislation. She had to work hard and work quickly to pull this off.

    You sound like those freshman legislative aides on the Hill who just can't wait to write legislations to make a mark for themselves whether its good for the public or not.

    Penny's job is to represent her constituency, but she refuses to. Why is that? It would be so easy for Penny to make her constituency happy, but she goes out of her way to do exactly the opposite. What satisfaction does she get from frustrating her constituents?

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