Loan is Integral Piece of Financing for New Potomac Yard Metro Station
Governor Terry McAuliffe announced today that the Commonwealth Transportation Board has approved a $50 million loan from the Virginia Transportation Infrastructure Bank (VTIB) for the City of Alexandria to construct a Metrorail station in the Potomac Yard area.
The Potomac Yard Metrorail Station will be built on Metrorail’s Yellow and Blue Lines, between the existing Braddock Road and Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport stations, and is expected to generate billions of dollars in new private sector investment. The resulting development around the station will support up to 26,000 new jobs within one-quarter mile, and 13,000 new residents within one-half mile.
“This loan is an important step towards a major economic development project for Virginia, and a sign of continued progress as we seek to build a new Virginia economy,” said Governor McAuliffe. “I applaud the Commonwealth Transportation Board for approving this investment to reduce strain on area roadways, attract new residents, and create and keep good jobs right here in the Commonwealth.”
“The investment Virginia is making today will pay dividends over generations by spurring smart growth and bolstering transit alternatives for the entire region,” said Alexandria Mayor William Euille. “We thank Governor McAuliffe and the Commonwealth Transportation Board for supporting this important project.”
The new station will also enable thousands of residents and workers to reach their destinations without adding vehicles to congested routes such as U.S. Route 1, which already carries up to 50,000 vehicles per day. Potomac Yard is located only five miles from downtown Washington, D.C., in the same corridor as the busy Crystal City economic hub, the Pentagon, and Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport. The station is a key component of the City of Alexandria’s strategy to focus development in areas served by transit, linking transportation and land use to enable people to travel using modes other than the automobile.
“Metro is a crucial part of the region’s transportation network,” said Secretary of Transportation Aubrey Layne. “This Metro station is essential to the redevelopment of Potomac Yard into a major transit-oriented activity center, which will benefit both the Commonwealth of Virginia and the Washington, D.C., region.”
Feasible station location options will cost between $209 million and $268 million. Today’s loan provides up-front construction funds at substantially lower interest rates than municipal bonds, and will be repaid by the new tax revenue occurring from development in Potomac Yard, and the revenue from two special tax districts surrounding the station. Remaining costs will be paid by contributions by private developers, funding from the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority, and some federal funding.
Jennifer Mitchell, Director of the Department of Rail and Public Transportation, praised this combined funding approach. “Utilizing the anticipated revenue from the development that the station will bring is not only an innovative way to build new infrastructure, it also reinforces the indisputable benefits transit brings to a city and its communities.”
The City of Alexandria is currently completing the environmental impact review stage of the process required to secure federal funds. Partner agencies include the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, the Federal Transit Administration, and the National Park Service. It is expected that public review of the Draft Environmental Impact Statement will start in March 2015, after which Alexandria City Council will choose the preferred station location in April. The project timeline anticipates that the new station will open in late 2018.