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Local Entrepreneurs Bring Back King Street’s Flowers

By | Alexandria, King St., News, Old Town Alexandria, Press, VA | No Comments

Original article by Alexandria Living, Beth Lawton, September 25, 2020

The flower baskets on King Street may have remained empty this year until Teddy Kim and Andy Reid stepped up.


King Street almost didn’t have flowers hanging from its iconic light posts this year.

As the realities of the coronavirus pandemic pushed City of Alexandria officials to tighten its budget, it appeared that the King Street flowers could be on the chopping block.

The petunias, lantana, dragon wing begonias and blue scaevola adorning King Streets lamps are all thanks to the efforts of T.C. Williams grads and local entrepreneurs Teddy Kim and Andy Reid, with backing from Alexandria Lighting and Avanti Holdings.

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Andy Reid, top, and Teddy Kim, made sure the flowers on the light posts on King Street in Old Town were in place this year when budget cuts threatened the program.

“We thought it was something we should do because it adds a lot to the city and shows the community pride that makes Alexandria so special,” Kim said this week.

It was early April when Kim and Reid found out the flowers were at risk in necessary pandemic budget cuts.

Working with Alexandria’s parks department and city staff, Kim and Reid used schematics from the previous years and worked with wholesalers to find plant materials, including the basket base, soil and flowers. The two made multiple trips to Maryland to bring back materials from places like Garden Artisans in Annapolis and Six Flags.

After purchasing a trailer and watering tank, Kim and Reid worked for about a week straight to fill the 240 flower baskets that run the length of King Street in Old Town — Kim would usually hold the ladder and Reid would go up and do the planting, covering three to five blocks each day.

“We literally brought life back to the street as we installed,” Reid said. As they planted, store owners and residents walking on King Street thanked them.

Growing up in Alexandria, both Kim and Reid said their parents instilled the value of giving back to the community. Reid’s parents were both public school teachers and both loved to garden, and Reid is now setting up a new landscaping company, Reid Outdoors, LLC.

“With that there’s a lot of pride — Titan pride, Alexandria pride — and I think the flowers and taking care of your community is also a show of pride in the community,” Reid said.

All summer, the two have been watering plants between midnight and 3 a.m. multiple times per week. With on-street outdoor dining late into the nights and early deliveries for King Street stores starting around 5 a.m., the midnight to 3 a.m. time slot was the only safe time for them to water the plants, replace flowers that didn’t thrive and do other maintenance.

Kim and Reid are not being paid for this, and neither Alexandria Lighting nor Avanti Holdings Group, where Kim is a principle, are receiving any payments. The project, including materials, labor and overhead, is valued at more than $60,000.

Reid chose hardy flowers that were disease resistant, drought resistant and native — all chosen for longevity. The flowers are expected to last through at least October.

“As we start to have frost or cold air at night, the things that don’t do well, we’ll start taking them out,” Kim said.

At a time when many residents and business owners were feeling some despondency about the pandemic, “we wanted to show hope, we wanted to show strength, we wanted to show pride,” Kim said.


Read full article at: https://alexandrialivingmagazine.com/business/local-entrepreneurs-bring-back-king-street-flowers/

Investing in the future, OPEI purchases new headquarters building

By | Alexandria, Commercial Real Estate, News, Office, Press, VA | No Comments

ALEXANDRIA, Va.Aug. 21, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — The Outdoor Power Equipment Institute (OPEI) announces the association has purchased a new headquarters building, and will move its offices to 1605 King Street, Alexandria, Va., in the spring of 2018.

Avanti Holding Group principal Teddy Kim and OPEI President and CEO Kris Kiser close Aug. 15.

Original article by Outdoor Power Equipment Institute (OPEI)Aug 21, 2017

OPEI President and CEO Kris Kiser said the trade association outgrew its current space. The new building will be better equipped for the association’s needs. “OPEI has been dealing with a problem for a couple years now,” Kiser said. “And it’s a great problem to have: We’ve increased our membership and increased our member engagement to a point that we’ve outgrown our current location and meeting space.”

The new OPEI headquarters will include a state-of-the-art conference center that can seat 50 people for in-person and virtual meetings. This new space will enable OPEI members around the country and overseas to participate more fully in association business and activities.

“As a trade group with members in EuropeJapanChina and across the United States, we have global meetings, and we wanted to be able to host them in person and virtually. Now, we’ll be better suited to host ISO, IEC and other international gatherings,” said Kiser. “Alexandria has been our home for 30 years. When we looked to make this decision, we considered other locales, and our board of directors chose to reinvest in Alexandriadue to its proximity to Washington, D.C., airports, hotels, as well as its historic character and lifestyle.”

OPEI’s new King Street location is on the historic main thoroughfare in the bustling heart of Old Town Alexandria, and is within walking distance to several hotels. It is one block from the King Street Metro station, the second subway stop from Washington National Airport. It will also have private offices reserved for members when they visit the D.C. area.

OPEI closed on its new location on Aug. 15, and the move represents a multi-million-dollar investment. OPEI has retained OTJ Architects of Washington, D.C., for the project.

“In 1987, OPEI’s board was prescient and chose to relocate from Washington, D.C., to Alexandria and built its current building. The current building met our needs for three decades and appreciated considerably. Our new building prepares us for future growth and engagement,” said Kiser.

About OPEI
The Outdoor Power Equipment Institute (OPEI) is an international trade association representing more than 100 power equipment, engine and utility vehicle manufacturers and suppliers. OPEI is the advocacy voice of the industry, and a recognized Standards Development Organization for the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and active internationally through the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) in the development of safety and performance standards. OPEI is managing partner of GIE+EXPO, the industry’s annual international trade show, and the creative force behind the environmental education program, TurfMutt.com. OPEI-Canada represents members on a host of issues, including recycling, emissions and other regulatory developments across the Canadian provinces. For more information, visit www.OPEI.org.

Media contacts/Image Requests
– Ami Neiberger-Miller, Four Leaf PR on behalf of OPEI, 703-887-4877, ami@fourleafpr.com
– Suzanne Henry, Four Leaf PR on behalf of OPEI, 434-972-7278, suzanne@fourleafpr.com


SOURCE Outdoor Power Equipment Institute (OPEI)


Read full article at: https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/investing-in-the-future-opei-purchases-new-headquarters-building-300506826.html