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Alexandria Waterfront News Update 6/23| Bert Ely and Mark Mueller | Friends of the Alexandria Waterfront

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Alexandria Waterfront News Update —

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

 Dear Friend of the Alexandria Waterfront, here is an important update on key waterfront issues:

Carr pre-construction photography later this week

On May 29, Carr City Centers sent a letter to “adjacent neighbors” offering to take photographs of houses and other structures within 250 feet of the site of the hotel it plans to build at Duke and South Union.  The purpose of these photographs is to document the structures’ current condition should there be subsequent damage from pile-driving and other excavation-related activities. Many property owners have yet to respond to that offer.

Here is the link (http://www.alexandriava.gov/uploadedFiles/special/WaterfrontPlan/CarrHotelMonitoringAreaJune2015.pdf) to a map showing the boundary (in red) of the area where Carr has offered to take these photographs.  Although the original deadline has passed for scheduling photography for this Wednesday and Thursday, Carr is still willing to schedule a photography session on those days or to consider taking photos at another time.  Property owners within the affected area who would like to have photos taken of their properties but have not yet scheduled a photography session need to contact Carr immediately, by emailing info@carrcc.com or calling Michael Wilson, Carr’s construction manager for this project, at 202-349-9049.

Next OTAPS meeting tomorrow, Wednesday, June 24

The next meeting of the Old Town Area Parking Study Group (OTAPS) will be held tomorrowWednesday, June 24, at 5:00 p.m. in the Sister Cities Conference Room.  The Group will continue its work on developing recommendations regarding changes in parking rules and policies for Old Town.  The agenda for tomorrow’s meeting will be found  at: https://alexandriava.gov/uploadedFiles/2015-06-24%20OTAPS%20Work%20Group%20Agenda_Final.pdf  Here is the link to the staff presentation for this meeting:  https://alexandriava.gov/uploadedFiles/2015-06-24%20OTAPS%20Meeting%207%20Presentation-Final.pdf

Decision to demolish 226 Strand

to be appealed to City Council

Last Wednesday, June 17, the Board of Architectural Review (BAR) for the Old & Historic District voted, 3 to 2, to approve the demolition of the historic building at 226 Strand, the former home of Alexandria Marine.  Two members of the BAR were absent.  This decision will be appealed to City Council as there is no need to demolish this building at this time as it does not block redevelopment of the Robinson Terminal South property.  Instead, time should be taken to determine the extent to which this historic structure can be incorporated in the civic building that the City plans to construct on this site.

Petitions are being circulated to appeal the BAR decision to City Council.    City Council will hear this appeal if a petition with the signatures of at least 25 property owners who live in the Old & Historic District are filed with the Council Clerk by a week from tomorrow, July 1.  An active effort is underway to gather these signatures.  If you would like to sign this petition, please email Bert or Mark at the addresses shown below.

Robinson Terminal South schedule

EYA is preparing to start work on its Robinson Terminal South (RTS) project, beginning with requests of the BAR to approve Certificates of Appropriateness for the various buildings EYA proposes to construct.  The Wednesday, July 1 BAR meeting will consider the designs for buildings #1 and #2 and the rehabilitation of the existing building at 2 Duke Street.  Here is the link to the agenda for the July 1 BAR meeting, which will be held in the Council Chambers on the second floor of City Hall:  https://alexandria.legistar.com/View.ashx?M=A&ID=367184&GUID=24261F2E-C0C8-4C99-A009-F218DB21AEE4  Here is the link to EYA’s application for rehabilitating the 2 Duke building: http://alexandria.legistar.com/gateway.aspx?M=F&ID=7f9f2b02-4816-4940-9008-e3e3a41da244.pdf  Here is the link to EYA’s application for buildings #1 and #2: http://alexandria.legistar.com/gateway.aspx?M=F&ID=5a68a7ac-597c-4b88-9758-e9ef362c15ab.pdf  In the fall, EYA will seek Certificates of Appropriateness for other aspects of the RTS project.

Separately, EYA is preparing to begin demolition work this fall on the RTS warehouse building.  Following demolition, EYA must then elevate the site to meet flood-plain requirements, after which it will launch actual construction work, most likely in the fall of next year.

Robinson Terminal North off the table until the fall

No official actions will be taken on the Robinson Terminal North (RTN) project until the fall as the earliest the Planning Commission could hear plans for this project would be at its September 1 meeting.  Reportedly, City Interests, the developer for this project is claiming that the RTN pier is not strong enough to support the barging of excavated material.  That same argument was made for the RTS project, yet found not to hold water, so the barging-versus-trucking issue for the RTN project will come to a head when the Planning Commission and City Council act on the Development Special Use Permit (DSUP) for the RTN project.

Waterfront Implementation timetable

The City recently released a bar chart showing the estimated construction schedule for various waterfront projects.  Here is the link to that chart:   http://www.alexandriawaterfront.org/  Private-sector developments are shown by the orange bars; City-funded projects by the blue bars.  What is especially noteworthy about this chart is the significant delay in the construction of City-funded waterfront projects, such as the construction of Fitzgerald Square at the bottom of King Street now scheduled for 2024.  Presumably these delays reflect the City’s increasingly stressed financial condition.

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Please contact us if you have questions about what is happening along the waterfront.  Also visit  www.alexandriawaterfront.org for up-to-date news about waterfront issues.

Do you know someone who would like to or should be receiving the FAW waterfront News Updates?  If so, please send their email address to bert@ely-co.com so that we can add their address to our email list.  Feel free to forward this News Update to others.

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