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Thursday, September 30, 2010

Community center plans move forward

Plans for a long-awaited five-story community center in Arlington Mills were unanimously approved Saturday by the Arlington County Board.

The community center, which will be at 4975 Columbia Pike, will include a gym and about 2,250 square feet of retail space; bike paths linking to the W&OD trail; underground parking; and enough space for a housing project to be built later. The center will be built to strict environmental standards and have infrastructure in place for the county's future energy plan.

County Board member Mary H. Hynes (D) said because of budget restrictions, the county will not have money for programs to fill the facility once construction is completed. The project, originally approved in 2008, has been delayed by the economic downfall.

Groundbreaking for the center is planned for spring, and the project is expected to be completed in early 2013.

Arlington house gets gold-level designation

Arlington Designer Homes has received the first gold-level Green Building Certification in Arlington County from the National Association of Home Builders for a house on Underwood Street. The house is the sixth in Virginia certified at the gold level.

It is 45 percent more energy-efficient than a standard new home, the company said. The house includes a solar hot water heater and spray-in foam insulation, and leftover building materials were recycled, among other green practices.

Restaurant Week is deemed a success

Ninety percent of Alexandria restaurateurs who participated in Restaurant Week in August said their business increased, according to the Alexandria Convention and Visitors Association.

About 875 reservations were booked through the city's tourism site and at OpenTable's special Alexandria Restaurant Week pages, generating nearly $85,000 in revenue. The association said tourism increased by 120 percent compared with last August.

Senior InfoExpo is Sunday in Ballston

The annual Northern Virginia Senior InfoExpo will be from noon to 4 p.m. Sunday at Ballston Mall in Arlington County. News anchor J.C. Hayward of WUSA (Channel 9) and meteorologist Bob Ryan of WJLA (Channel 7) will host the event, which will focus on the needs and interests of people 50 and older.

Representatives from government and nonprofit agencies will answer questions about services and resources available to seniors in their respective jurisdictions. Health screenings, speakers, entertainment and informative exhibits from retirement communities, legal and financial advisers, arts venues and travel agencies also will be available at the free event.

-- Compiled by Christy Goodman

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