UPDATED 11:52 AM: Added remarks on Potomac Greens.
As I told you during the recent City Council Legislative meeting live blog, there was a lot of back and forth discussion between members and City staff on the Potomac Yard Metro EIS Study over the concerns raised by the National Park Service where alternative option B is concerned (see image below) and the costs associated with the study over these concerns and the tax implications.
The location of a proposed Metro station at Potomac Yard in Alexandria is now in doubt.
For years, city leaders have been planning to build a new Metro station on the Blue and Yellow lines between National Airport and the Braddock Road station. City planners have identified a site behind the Target store on Route One, although the National Park Service is raising concerns about that location violating a scenic easement because it’s visible from the George Washington Parkway.
Now Deputy Alexandria City Manager Mark Jinks says moving the site to the east to address concerns would cost an additional $83 million and delay the project three years. But that’s not all.
“I would suspect it’s probably going to be north of $50 million in tax impacts, so we are going to be well over $100 million,” he says.
Alexandria Councilman Tim Lovain says that means city leaders are likely to abandon that location altogether and select a separate site to the south at the edge of a residential development known as Potomac Greens. Councilman Paul Smedberg says that would be a mistake.
In an email to me, Council Smedberg explained his thoughts on the situation and why alternative A is not good. I got a sense at the meeting that several of the members feel the same way about option A right now.
In my opinion Option B is a much better option for the City/Potomac Yard if we want to realize the best scenario for future economic (commercial) development – Option A in my view is less desirable because it is further away from where the commercial core is planning.
Another issue that may be in play with option A is that in addition to it being too far south, I believe that the Potomac Greens community was not included in the special tax district for the Metro station. Option A, in my view, would benefit them the most. Will try to find out more tonight on this prior to the budget work session. Please let me know if I am wrong on this in the meantime.
What are your thoughts on the Potomac Yard Metro Station??