Friday, April 17, 2009

Potomac Yard Metro Alternative Analysis

Earlier this week, Alexandria's Potomac Yard Metro Station Feasibility Work Group was presented with an analysis of various options for the location of a potential future Metro station.

As we discussed here and here, the site of the area currently reserved for Metro is at odds with the ideal proximity of any new station to existing or future development. Moving the rail lines closer to Route 1 would incur a higher cost, but would also have to deal with the impacts to the wetlands areas along the Potomac River as well as FAA height limitations required for nearby National Airport.

Some of the alternatives envisioned are already deemed totally unfeasible because of existing development that has come online in the last few years. And the costs differences between the others are fairly substantial.

The presentation lays out the alternatives fairly nicely. It's clear that there are trade-offs to be considered and costs to be borne. But it still remains to be seen whether any of the levels of development will be deemed acceptable by the community in order to provide the developer subsidies necessary to build any of it.


Tom Veil said...

Why are you only considering alternatives just north of the reserved location? The spot just south of the location looks even better, because it could support development on both the inland and riverfront sides of the track.

Nick Partee said...

The problem is there are FAA restrictions on building height for landbays south and east. The current Potomac Yard shopping center could be redeveloped at a much greater density and therefore moving the metro north and west maximizes the density that could be served by the new station. Plans for southern landbays in that area are for increasingly shorter buildings and townhouses. It will likely take a lot of developer money to actually get this built, and high density development might be profitable enough for developers to contribute the lion's share. Here's the city's initial analysis on metro alternatives.