On Thursday night, June 16, the Alexandria City Council unanimously approved the Master Plan Amendment, Rezoning, Development Special Use Permit and related applications and requests for the proposed Potomac Yard Metrorail Station.
“The diligent efforts of stakeholders and staff continue to pay off,” said Mayor Allison Silberberg. “We look forward to continuing our close relationships with Metro and our federal partners as we work to ensure that this station – which will be an asset to the City and the region – will be both beautiful and functional.”
The approvals by City Council bring the station one step closer to opening. The project also reached a major milestone with the recent completion of the Final Environmental Impact Statement, which is available for public review and comment until July 11. Later this summer, the Federal Transit Administration and the National Park Service are expected to issue Records of Decision, which would allow the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) to advertise for a design-build contract and select a vendor. Construction is expected to begin in late 2017, with the station opening in 2020.
Potomac Yard represents one of the most significant redevelopment opportunities for the City, with the potential to achieve the vision for an urban mix of uses near transit. The new Metrorail station, to be built on Metrorail’s Yellow and Blue Lines between the existing Braddock Road and Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport stations, would provide an extensive range of benefits for the City and surrounding community. The station, which would provide walkable access to regional transportation systems for neighborhoods in the northeast portion of the City, is expected to generate billions of dollars in new private sector investment, support 26,000 new jobs and 13,000 new residents, and remove thousands of private vehicles from the congested Route 1 corridor.
The station is anticipated to be funded through a variety of sources – including new tax revenue gained primarily from development around the station; regional transportation authority grants; developer contributions; and special tax district revenue – without the need for any additional local funds. This means most residents and businesses in Alexandria will not have to contribute existing local tax revenues to the station’s construction.