An exploration of things to do in Arlington

Friday, April 25, 2008

New Staples Coming to Virginia Square

Was on my way to work a couple of weeks back when I saw this at Wilson Boulevard & Oakland Street ...

OK, so as usual my cell phone camera sucks, but the red sign says "Staples Coming Soon." That strip used to be home to a doggy daycare, dance school, and flower shop. I'm assuming this Staples will replace the one in Ballston as development continues at the former Bob Peck site.

When taken in the larger context of the new tennis shop going in at Wilson & Pollard and the new stores going in at "Liberty Plaza" on Wilson across from the Metro bus lot, the new Staples is a sign of progress. Right now, there are virtually
no retail storefronts on Wilson all the way from the Ballston Common Mall to Lincoln Street the east end of Virginia Square -- a full seven blocks of blankness.

I wonder if the new Staples will come with an upgraded sidewalk. That stretch is one of the last narrow sidewalks left on a major road in Arlington. It's so narrow that if you're walking with a friend and someone's coming the other way, you have to go single file to let them pass.

And when buses and trucks fly by at 40 miles an hour just a couple of feet away from your head ... well, who needs King's Dominion? They should have a camera set up that snaps your picture at that instant like they do on rollercoasters.

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Anonymous Vicky Choy said...

Ugh. I danced at Arlington Center for Dance which was in this strip mall for 25 years, which has now been forced to move into Fairfax County b/c of the difficulty in finding suitable space in Arlington - a huge loss to the Arlington arts community. I feel bad for Exotica Florist and the Pet Stop and don't know whatever happened to them.

However, I do agree that this part of Wilson Blvd is pretty sorry.

9:53 PM

Anonymous Karen said...

I hope Staples is more considerate to pedestrians than in Ballston.

I fell into into the drainage gap in their driveway exit last summer. Peering around, it was obvious that the parking lot exit was full of gaps and uneven grates. I'd fallen into the biggest drop, a section where the drainage grate was missing altogether. Meanwhile, my bubblewrap rolled into Glebe Rd. (Thankfully, no car accidents resulted.) Staples corporate and store management promised immediate correction.

Returning this winter, I discovered only minor adjustments had been made, not what was promised or could be considered pedestrian-safe. I complained again and got more assurances of prompt correction.

Experience suggests pedestrian safety may not be a priority to Staples in their new location either. The community needs to closely monitor any pedestrian priorities; we can't count on Staples' pro-active (or reactive) consideration.

5:02 AM


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