Dominion Power Substation on Monroe Avenue in Alexandria, Virginia (Image via City of Alexandria)

Construction on new Dominion Power Substation causing nearby homes to shake

We were alerted by several readers to loud construction from the new Dominion Power substation on Monroe Avenue in Del Ray causing their homes to shake.

Here’s an example of some of the texts/tweets we’ve received:

According to Dominion, the new substation will provide additional capacity for future growth in the area and potentially create shorter power outage times during storms and other weather incidents. Dominion apologizes to residents and says the loud work causing the shaking should last only till the end of this week.

(Image: City of Alexandria)

The Southeast Fairfax Development Corporation ('SFDC') secures $400,000 federal grant to support transit oriented development on Richmond Highway.

SFDC partners with Fairfax County to secure highly competitive $400,000 federal grant

The Southeast Fairfax Development Corporation (“SFDC”) proudly partners with Fairfax County to secure highly competitive $400,000 federal grant in order to support transit oriented development (“TOD”) on Richmond Highway.

On Tuesday, October 11, the Federal Transit Administration announced that Fairfax County is one of 16 recipients nationwide of its highly competitive 2016 Transit Oriented Development Planning Pilot Program grant. SFDC proudly served as Fairfax County’s critical partner in the grant application.

The $400,000 grant, which strongly emphasized a partnership between a project sponsor (Fairfax County) and an entity with land-use planning authority (SFDC) as a qualifying factor, will support planning activities, such as engineering and analysis, surrounding the implementation of Bus Rapid Transit as part of Embark Richmond Highway.

According to Edythe Kelleher, Executive Director of SFDC, “Our Board acted quickly and decisively when the Fairfax County Department of Transportation approached us to serve as the grant partner at our Board of Directors meeting on May 18. We knew the importance of securing the grant, particularly to the planning initiatives already in progress.”

(Image via Google Maps)

Warehouse on Calvert Avenue in Alexandria Virginia's Oakville Triangle neighborhood

Photo credit: Google Maps

Warehouse located in upcoming Oakville Triangle Development

NAI KLNB has brokered the sale of a two-story 35,000 square foot warehouse building in Alexandria, Virginia for $6.075 million. Josh Simon, principal with NAI KLNB represented the seller, Avanti Real Estate Group. The buyer, Saxa Realty Group, LLC was self-represented in this transaction. The building was 100% leased and occupied by four tenants at the time of the sale.

Located at 410-420 Calvert Avenue, the building features sixteen and one-half foot ceiling heights, four roll-up doors and two internal loading docks. It is situated on Jefferson David Highway (VA Route 1) in the Potomac Yard area, and is approximately two miles from Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport and less than ten miles from downtown Washington, D.C.

“When we acquired this asset approximately three years ago, our strategy consisted of a long-term hold in order to execute a development plan within the next seven to ten years,” explained Teddy Kim, Principal of Avanti Real Estate Group. “These plans changed when we were presented with an offer representing a sub 6% capitalization rate, in an off-market scenario, and we made the decision to dispose the property.”   (more…)

Regal Potomac Yard 16

Alexandria theater among growing list of multiplexes in region offering beer and wine

According to planning documents filed this week with the City (PDF), the Regal Potomac Yard Stadium 16 at Potomac Yard Shopping Center has applied for an amendment to its SUP (Special Use Permit) to allow it additional space where alcohol can be consumed on the premises.

This request has been approved by the Virginia ABC. Regal Entertainment Group currently has over 140 locations that serve alcohol currently.

Here’s what they had to say about this request (see application at link):

The addition of alcohol service is only intended as an added amenity for its patrons and Regal does not operate as a bar or lounge and does not sell, serve or permit alcohol consumption during hours when the theater is not open for the exhibition of motion picture films. Typically, alcohol sales have accounted for less than 1096 of revenue at similarly situated Regal locations throughout the country. Therefore, the addition of alcohol service has not resulted in additional traffic or congestion to the theater premises but has generally served merely as an added concession item for movie going patrons. Throughout the country, film exhibitors have enhanced concession menus with the inclusion of adult beverage options in order to provide a more inclusive movie going experience for adult patrons thereby providing options for all family members. Further, the movie theater industry has found the upgraded menu offerings to be an essential part of sustaining the industry’s expansion and technological innovation as an additional profit source. However, because of the limited lobby space and typical operational requirements for a standard theater, the limitations on consumption areas has proven overly burdensome. Consequently, theater operators are moving toward full consumption floor plans even where the points of sale and service may be limited to concession and lobby areas. Regal thereby respectfully requests verification and confirmation of such floor plan and operational model at the Regal Potomac Yards, and that any necessary changes be made to the current City use approvals to reflect Regal’s intended operation.

If you have any comments regarding the request, please contact Planning and Zoning staff at (703) 746-4666 or email the Planner associated with this case no later than September 7, 2016.

Robinson Terminal South in Old Town Alexandria, virginia

Construction starting at mixed-use Robinson Landing Community in Alexandria

The Robinson Landing project, designed by Shalom Baranes Associates, is a mixed use residential community that features 26 elevator townhomes and 70 luxury condominiums with design that blends historic Old Town with the new waterfront plan. The project also includes two mixed-use buildings on the Potomac River that will feature a 5,800-square-foot restaurant and 4,800 square feet of retail. There is also planned a multifamily building at Wolfe and South Union streets, and the rehabilitation and restoration of the historic 2 Duke Street building. There will be a new pier, a boardwalk promenade, and retail and amenity spaces fronting the river.

Starting this week, and for the next two weeks, residents should see:

  • At 226 Strand, the old marine repair shop, the brick recovery effort continues. Eighteen pallets of bricks have been conserved to date and are ready to be transferred to the City of Alexandria for adaptive reuse.
  • Demolition of the existing warehouses has commenced and will continue over the next two weeks.- Cracking of the existing building concrete floor slabs is more than 50% complete.
    • The northeastern building of the four major structures has been demolished.
    • Sorting and disposal of building debris has commenced. This includes the preparation of concrete for recycling onsite as fill material.
    • The southernmost building along Wolfe Street is scheduled to be demolished the week of August 22. This will necessitate parking lane closures. Demolition of the remaining major structures will then progress.
    • Vibration monitoring by Seismic Surveys Inc. (SSI) continues at adjacent properties during demolition and additional vibration sensors are being installed this week.
    • SSI will be contacting, scheduling and conducting additional Pre-construction Condition Surveys within a 250’ radius of the Robinson Landing property lines, including properties that share an adjacent wall with properties within the 250’ radius.
    • Over the course of the next 3-4 weeks, there will be temporary sidewalk and parking lane closures on Duke Street, Union Street and Wolfe Street as the demolition of the adjacent building walls occurs.
  • The City of Alexandria Fire and EMS is scheduled to conduct training onsite over the next week. There will be no fires during these events. They focus mostly on practicing entry techniques through various types of walls, doors, and windows within the building.

The overall schedule of development activities for the project include:

  • Summer 2016: Demolition
  • Fall 2016: Import fill by barge
  • Winter 2016/Spring 2017: Archeological work
  • Spring/Summer 2017: Excavation/export by barge
  • Summer 2017/Fall 2019: Construction phase
  • Summer 2019: Robinson Landing opens to the public

Scene at the Alexandria (VA) Marina June 2015
City of Alexandria Schedules Engin Artemel Plaque Dedication for Saturday, July 9

The public is invited to join the Alexandria, Virginia City Council for the dedication of a plaque in appreciation of Engin Artemel on Saturday, July 9 at 2:00 PM at the City Marina, 0 Cameron Street. The dedication will be held rain or shine.

Engin Artemel, former Alexandria Planning Director, coordinated all public and private sector planning and development on the Alexandria waterfront during a significant period (1974 to 1984) in the history of the City. During this time, the waterfront area began to transition from a heavy industrial and warehouse center to a more diverse economic base focused on recreation, open space, scenic vistas and a vibrant mix of residential, commercial and office uses. Through his expertise on waterfront issues, he assisted the City in negotiating complex waterfront title suit settlement agreements and the formation of waterfront principles used to guide waterfront planning. He was instrumental in preserving important historic resources and open space along the waterfront area, including the Torpedo Factory, the Canal Lock at Montgomery Street, Oronoco Bay Park and Waterfront Park.

For additional information, contact Lance Mallamo, Director, Office of Historic Alexandria.

(Photo via Ron Cogswell, on Flickr)


(Rendering via City of Alexandria)

Robinson Terminal North, long owned by the Washington Post, and protested by Alexandria, Virginia residents, has a new owner(s).

The new owners plan a major mixed-use development at the site.


The Washington DC-based City Interests and Rooney Properties have acquired two parcels of land at a 3.2-acre site at Robinson Terminal North with plans to develop it into another mixed-use community along Old Town’s waterfront. The seller of the site was Graham Holdings Co., and it was represented by Savills Studley’s art Greenberg, Vernon Knarr and Parker Lange.

The site is located on the Potomac River at the north end of Old Town Alexandria. The buyers, which formed a JV for the purchase, plan to build a mixed-use project that will include 66 multifamily units, a 132-key hotel and 25,000 square feet of retail space including a riverside restaurant.

It will join a project planned for the Robinson Terminal South site, in the southeast quadrant of Old Town Alexandria along the Potomac River. That parcel, which runs an entire city block, was purchased by a separate joint venture between EYA and the JBG Cos. They plan to construct 70 multi-family units, 26 townhomes, and three restaurants.

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