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Potomac Yard

Zip Codes 22314, 22301

Potomac Yard is a large scale mixed use development located on Jefferson Davis Highway (Rt. 1) between Ronald Regan Washington National Airport and Old Town Alexandria.

This 69 acre development, when finished, will include a Metro Stop, houses, apartment buildings, condominiums, retail, etc.

Located strategically on a north/south corridor and between the established neighborhoods of Arlandria, Del Ray and North Old Town, Potomac Yard combines close in living with new construction.

Featured community:  Old Town Greens/Potomac Greens


Public Transportation Gets a Boost with Metroway on Alexandria’s Rt 1 Corridor

Public transportation on Alexandria’s Rt 1 corridor will get a boost when the Metroway opens in mid-August.

Also known as bus rapid transit, the Metroway represents a new way of thinking about public transportation.

Out the front door and on to the bus

Out the front door and on to the bus

The service will use bus-only lanes along a five-mile stretch between Crystal City in Arlington, Potomac Yard and Alexandria.

The buses will be frequent and the stops will offer shelters, benches, lighting and landscaping.

Shelter - Under Construction

Shelter – Under Construction

Crosswalks

Crosswalks

Early Landscaping

Early Landscaping

The first section of the Metroway to open is on Rt. 1 at Swann Avenue to just south of East Howell.

Metroway

Metroway

At that point, the buses will detour into regular traffic lanes to cross the Monroe Street bridge and make their way to the Braddock Rd Metro.

Ultimately the completed route will incorporate bus-only lanes on Potomac Avenue and Crystal Drive as well as other sections of Rt. 1.

It’s easy to be skeptical about this project, particularly if, like us, you live in Del Ray just blocks from the construction.  But, we’re eager to see what happens once the system is up and rolling.

One thing we have noticed – the bus lanes provide a nice buffer against 8 lanes of traffic when trying to cross Rt. 1 as a pedestrian or biker.  And given the popularity of Potomac Yard Park that’s no small matter.

 

Michael

Real Estate with Integrity

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Alexandria Neighborhoods: Potomac Yard is One Incremental Step Closer to a Metro Station

Because it offers a clear and concise report of what happened recently when City of Alexandria officials traveled to Philadelphia to update Federal Transit Administration Officials on the environmental impact statement for the long awaited Potomac Yard Metro Stations, we are offering this article by Michael Neibauer of the Washington Business Journal in its entirety:

In what should come as a shock to no one, federal transit leaders have nixed the two most expensive, least viable options for the location of the future Potomac Yard Metro station, leaving only two in the competition.

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“It allows us to focus on what we’ve known all along are the final alternatives,” Alexandria Deputy City Manager Mark Jinks said during the most recent meeting of the Potomac Yard Metrorail Implementation Work Group.

Alexandria officials traveled to Philadelphia in late May, Jinks said, to update the Federal Transit Administration’s regional administrator on the environmental impact statement progress, and they left with a pared list of site options. The FTA is the lead agency on the roughly $5 million Potomac Yard Metro EIS, scheduled for initial release this fall and final adoption in 2016.

Alternative D and the so-called “B-CSX” option were ruled out. Both will be deemed “something looked at but not carried forward,” Jinks said.

An aerial station in the vicinity of the 69-acre, big box-anchored North Potomac Yard shopping center, Alternative D was by far the most expensive of the four at upward of $500 million, and it threatened to breach the George Washington Parkway, a big no-no for neighbors. For those reasons alone, it was tossed aside.

“We’ve known from day one this was not a financeable option,” Jinks said.

PYfantasymap

The B-CSX alternative, requested by the National Park Service nearly a year ago, would have required the city to purchase 5 acres of developable land and to move the existing CSX tracks to the west. It would have cost more than $350 million. And to build it would have meant waiting for Regal Potomac Yard’s lease to end, setting back the Metro project three years.

The consequence of studying those two alternatives: $1.5 million and a wasted year, and little more. The analysis of each will be reserved for an appendix in the EIS.

But with those out of the way, Jinks said, Alexandria can “refresh” the EIS and conclude its analysis of the two remaining alternatives: A and B. A financial study of the two should be done before the end of the summer.

Alternative A is located adjacent to the Potomac Greens neighborhood, well south of North Potomac Yard. Alternative B is located immediately east of North Potomac Yard. Both are at-grade.

There are pros and cons for each.

Alternative A is the least expensive, at a projected $195 million. But its close proximity to Potomac Greens has some neighbors deeply concerned, and it’s a good distance from existing Potomac Yard shopping and future development, which likely results in less economic bang.

The $250 million Alternative B faces a host of environmental and federal easement issues and a skittish National Park Service. Metro recently ruled out the option of a curved track into the station, to avoid NPS property, because it would have required trains to slow to 15 mph coming into and out of the station.

Despite those issues, Alternative B promises to deliver the most economic jolt and to create more jobs, Alexandria officials say, and it is widely preferred by the development community.

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March 2011 Housing Prices in Zip Code 22314 – Old Town Alexandria and Potomac Greens

Today we are looking at the March 2011 Housing Prices in Zip Code 22314 which includes Old Town Alexandria and Potomac Green. (These numbers do not include condominium sales.)

The first thing that struck me about this chart was the consistency in the number of sales over a five year period.  Prices and days on the market have been up and down but the number of sales has held steady.

March

Zip Code 22301

No. of Homes Sold

Average  List

Price

Average Sold Price

Days on Market

Mar 2011

26

$668,228

$654,935

70

Mar 2010

25

$771,088

$695,396

67

Mar 2009

20

$517,472

$596,508

71

Mar 2008

20

$692,560

$670.345

94

Mar 2007

25

$787,704

$740,040

140

As always, each month’s sales are dependent on multiple factors including the amount of inventory, the number of priced-to-sell homes, the number of qualifying buyers, etc. etc.

For more information on properties in Old Town Alexandria, give me a call at 703.927.4554.

Michael

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Potomac Yard Metro Station Set to Open in 2016

The Potomac Yard Metro Station is set to open in 2016 – and a lot rests on that date holding firm.

In fact, funding for the station is absolutely dependent upon an on-time completion according to Vice Mayor Kerry Donley:

“Any slippage in time along the way costs more money in one of two ways. Either in expense or inability to gather revenue as quickly as we would like… all of our projections on bonds, all of our projections on repayment of the bond are all predicated on opening in 2016.”

Potomac Yard Metro Map

Our friends over at The Arlandrian do a great job of following City Council actions as they pertain to the proposed station.  In a recent post, Nick Partee tells us that:

  1. An Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) is now underway and should last through 2013.  A project Web site is available for public information and viewing.
  2. The City of Alexandria created a special tax district and tax increment financing (TIF) area to pay for the station. That revenue depends on development around the station, but the development depends on the station. The city has issued bonds to pay for the station and budgeted funds to cover the bond debt service the first few years, but is counting on the TIF for later years. If the station and surrounding development are delayed, the bond repayment costs could cut into other city services or cause other financial complications.
  3. A project manager has been hired to keep the EIS process on track.
  4. The EIS process includes refining the Metro station location alternatives. All alternatives are on the table, including not building the station as well as all station configurations — above ground, below ground, center platform, side platform, etc.
  5. Two informational meetings will take place on Thursday, Feb. 10 at the Cora Kelly Recreation Center from 4:30 – 6:00pm and 6:30 – 8:00pm.  No reservations are necessary.


What does this mean for you and housing in and around Potomac Yard ?  Give me a call at 703.927.4554 and let’s take a look.

Michael

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Potomac Yard Development is Underway in Alexandria

The long awaited Potomac Yard development is underway.  In fact, it didn’t take more than a few weeks after final approval was passed by the Alexandria City Council for the bulldozers to move in and the signs to go up.

It’s hard to capture the vast movement of land in these pictures but let’s see if I can walk you through it.  The first picture is the entrance at the intersection of Rt. 1 (Jefferson Davis Hwy) and Monroe Avenue.

Before construction this was a maintenance shop for rental cars and then a maintenance shop/parking lot for city school buses.  Adjacent to it, and running parallel to Rt. 1 were two, if not three, soccer fields.  In other words, it was a very large flat piece of land, at least half of which was covered in macadam.

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That same space is now marked by a huge mound of leveled off dirt.  We’re not sure where the buses have gone but permanent soccer fields are under construction on the v-shaped parcel of land between the Monroe Street bridge and Eugene Simpson Stadium Park.   This seems a natural addition to an already good sports/recreational complex and we’re looking forward to it.

The final set of pictures is taken from the same Rt. 1, Monroe Street intersection looking north.  Unfortunately I didn’t capture the “before” pictures but just believe me when I say that there was a stand of trees buffeting the bike path on the right from Rt. 1.  What you have now is a clear view, starting at the Monroe Street Bridge, all the way into Crystal City.

This new work will provide infrastructure for the development; look for road construction in the next few months.

On a side note, Edward Jones, a financial services company, is the first retail establishment to take up residence in the mixed use Station at Potomac Yard. Edward Jones is known for establishing offices in neighborhoods and we take this as a sign of the future for Potomac Yard.

Stay tuned,

Michael

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Slaters Lane Shopping in Alexandria, VA

I’ve tried really hard to find an official name for the row of shops on Slater’s Lane in Alexandria but to no avail.

So, we’re just going to call it the “Slater’s Lane Shopping Center.”

X BuzzExcept of course that it’s not really a shopping center and it’s not a strip mall either.

Instead, it’s a charming collection of shops at the entrance to the Potomac Greens and Old Town Greens townhouse development, across the street from the Old Town Crescent (condominiums)  and half way between the Monroe Street Bridge and the George Washington Parkway.

Got it?  In other words, it’s conveniently located for a lot of folks in North Old Town and Del Ray.   Here’s what you will find at the “Slater’s Lane Shopping Center”:

X Russian Gourmet


Want to know more about properties around this shopping area? Give me a call at 703.927.4554.

Michael

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City of Alexandria Approves Potomac Yard Redevelopment and New Metro Construction

In a long anticipated move, the City of Alexandria has approved the final phase of the massive Potomac Yard Redevelopment. Known more formally as the North Potomac Yard Small Area plan, the vote provides the framework to turn the Potomac Yard Retail Center into a 69-acre, 7.5 million sq. ft., mixed-use, transit-oriented development.

The retail center, a huge draw for District and Virginia residents alike is anchored on one end by Shoppers Food Warehouse and on the other end by Target.  Other shops include PetSmart, Barnes & Noble, and Staples.  These stores will be rebuilt/restructured/redesigned according to development guidelines.

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Station at Potomac Yards Celebrates Grand Opening

The Station at Potomac Yards – a mixed used commercial and residential space – celebrated its grand opening today with a ceremony in the new, state of the art Fire Station #209, the first in Alexandria  in more than 30 years.

Despite the cold and constant rain, more than 150 people turned out for the ceremonies and the tours that followed.

It was a great chance to get a first hand look at the station that will serve Del Ray and provide a permanent home for specialized hazardous waste equipment.

The station was designed with an eye to the future and can accommodate a larger staff if warranted and serve as a command post in times of national emergency.

Conveniently arranged on one level (no more sliding down a pole), the station has a large eat in kitchen with floor to ceiling windows, an all purpose “family” room, 15 individual sleeping rooms, each with a single bed, table, chair, light and phone; four large bathrooms, laundry rooms, conference rooms and office, training and storage space.

     

As much fun as we had though, it was clear that the day belonged to little boys.

Heuer, Dane, Nolan

 

With fireman’s hats, boots and slickers, it was a day for inspecting the equipment, sitting in the drivers seat and soaking up lots to tell mom.

Kudos to the City of Alexandria for the public/private cooperation that made the Station at Potomac Yards a reality.  For more, click here.

Michael

Related stories:
Potomac Yard Development Expands with New Fire Station and Sewage Pumping Station
Old Town Greens/Potomac Greens – Neighborhoods That Are Not What They Seem and Just Where You May Want to Be.

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Potomac Yard Development Expands with New Fire Station and Sewage Pumping Station

The long planned mixed use development of Potomac Yard is well underway.  The first building, now in the final phases of construction, will house, among other things, a new fire station that will serve the Del Ray area and replace the current, historic station on East Windsor.

Planning documents from the city offer this additional information about the building, a cornerstone of this massive development (square footage is approximate):

The report goes on to say ” In a manner similar to City Hall’s function in the heart of Old Town, the proposed fire station building will have an open space and plaza area setback from Main Street, meeting rooms for the community, and a tower all of which enhances its role as a prominent civic building. The building will mix the City functions, bringing fire personnel to Main Street and Potomac Yard, and surrounding the fire protection function with housing, shops and neighborhood open spaces.”

The main entrance to the building, the retail shops and the tower face are on the side facing into the development (Main St.) rather than Rt. 1.

To read the full report and see architectural drawings, click here.

Another, less glamorous, addition to the space is a sewage pumping station  that will take on major significance once the development is finished.  Thanks to strong architectural considerations, the station is traditional in design and will ultimately fade into the background.

One of the major thorough fares into the development is Potomac Street at the foot of the new Monroe St. Bridge.  Currently a work in progress, it will eventually be accessed with its own turn lane and traffic light.

In the meantime parts of the open space continue to house non-stop weekend soccer games for young and old alike as well as a rental car maintenance facility.

It will be years before Potomac Yard is fully developed and utilized but it’s off to a good start.  As a Realtor who is always looking at property values and great housing opportunities, believe me, I have my eye on this one.

Want to know more about what’s selling in this area?  Give me a call at 703.927.4554 and let’s take a look.

Michael

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Old Town Greens and Potomac Greens in Alexandria, VA

Ten years ago when developers were planning Old Town Greens, a mix of 145 townhomes and 128 stacked townhouses at the very southern end of Potomac Yard, they envisioned a community that would entice singles and two-income adult families. And why not? Washington was one stop light away on the George Washington Parkway, Reagan National Airport was a 10 minute cab ride, shops, and dining were just blocks away in Old Town and Del Ray. Convenience and location were key words.

Additional amenities and improved transportation options have added to the convenience of this area but the demographic has changed. In the first four years after the development welcomed its initial home owners, a baby boom swept the community and the under-five population went from three to well over 60. Six years later, babies are still an integral part of all planning.

Located between Jeff Davis Highway (Rt. 1) on the west and the George Washington Parkway on the east, the “Greens” are an unlikely isle of serenity in what will eventually be a highly developed mixed use area. There are only two entrances into the complex and numerous, wide, one way streets help control traffic. As one long time resident and former association president, noted, “Nobody comes in here unless they live here or are visiting.

The recent addition of Potomac Plaza, home to Zagat rated Rustico and Buzz, as well as the Russian Gourmet shop, a Tropical Smoothie Cafe, the Jon Ric Salon and Spa, dress shop Periwinkle, a dry cleaner and children’s clothing store, brings walkable amenities – and creates yet another buffer between residents and Slater’s Lane, a main thoroughfare between Rt. 1 and the George Washington Parkway.

The second development, Potomac Greens, opened its first buildings in 2005 and when it is completed later this year will add almost 200 new townhomes to the area.

Small but important changes reflect the number of under-five residents – a volley ball court (originally intended for young singles) was turned into a playground although the tennis courts still remain. Bike and walking trails have been created through the wetlands that are an important part of this land tract. A pedestrian foot bridge to connect with a still to be developed retail area is in the planning stages . There is a children’s Halloween parade and a Fourth of July party. The pools (one in each community) are “big happy places” and a beehive of activity during the summer months.

And my favorite – the last four hours of the pool season (generally the weekend after Labor Day) are devoted to neighborhood dogsswimming, retrieving, playing, diving, etc. One father, just back from a long and not inexpensive trip to Great Wolf Lodge in Williamsburg, noted that for sheer entertainment value, “dogs in the pool” was better than anything he, or his still in diapers toddler, had seen. Simple pleasures indeed.

Stability seems to be a key word here. Only ten homes were sold in the past 12 months in Potomac Greens and prices ranged from a low of $655,000 to a high of $1.1 million for an end unit. The nine homes currently on the market have an average asking price of $844,000. Two, three and four bedroom units run from almost 1700 sq. ft. in size to just over 3400 sq. ft.

Old Town Greens saw 19 sales in the same time period with an average price of $581,505. Four active listings with an average price tag of $753,375 include a two bedroom at 1,216 sq. ft. and a four bedroom unit with 3,122 sq. ft.

If you want to know more about this community or are interested in seeing any of these properties, please call me at 703.927.4554.

Thanks for stopping by,

Michael

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