What's Next for Alexandria's Waterfront?
The City of Alexandria is considering redevelopment of Robinson Terminal, a waterfront property valued at $30 million. Its current owner, The Washington Post Co. intends to sell the combined 600,000 SF of warehouse space located in two separate buildings at North and South Terminal, which are about half a mile apart.
"More than seven decades after they opened, the warehouses sit amid a patchwork of parks, low-rise office buildings, townhouses, shops and restaurants, remnants of an industrial era that existed before the waterfront evolved into a popular tourist destination and upscale neighborhood," report Jonathan O'Connell and Patricia Sullivan. "City officials, looking to further attract tourist business and expand Alexandria’s commercial tax base, consider the sites’ redevelopment critical to fulfilling a new vision for the area."
A land use plan adopted by the city council last year designates an eight block waterfront area - which includes Robinson Terminal - as a mixed-use redevelopment zone with a maximum of two 150-room hotels and plenty of commercial and residential space. The plan envisions uninterrupted public access to the waterfront.
Voices of dissent include preservationists who want to protect the industrial buildings for their historic value, open space advocate Friends of the Alexandria Waterfront and residents who are concerned that redeveloping the waterfront could be detrimental to Old Town.
The waterfront parcels are within walking distance of busy King Street, which is a major thoroughfare in Alexandria.