Hotel Planned For Alexandria Waterfront Ignites Opposition

9:47 PM, Jul 25, 2012   |    comments
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ALEXANDRIA, Va.  (WUSA) - Alexandria's Waterfront will soon be changing, but there's a fight underway over what can be built. Three lawsuits over the plan have been filed and opponents are planning to speak out against a planned hotel.

Just south of where those Potomac river cruise boats park along the banks of Old Town, the city of Alexandria is considering a proposal to build a five story , 121 room hotel right on the water. But a group called friends of the Alexandria Waterfront is against it.

Bert Ely with Friends of the Alexandria Waterfront said, "It's just too big, too high, there's too much bulk. And it does not conform, in terms of its shape, to the Alexandria Waterfront plan that the city adopted last summer."

The developer is Carr Hospitality and the site is old the Cummings warehouse at 220 S. Union Street. While Alexandria's waterfront plan allows for hotels, the zoning would have to be changed, because current zoning does not allow for hotels.

"It's going to be a lot of traffic. I just think it's going to be too much for this community to bear. I'm mean we've got BRAC we've been dealing with up the street. But right here, even though it's right on the Potomac, and right next to D.C. it's still kind of quaint and homey. And it's going to rob us of that," said neighbor John Leonard.

Opponents also say Carr is not planning adequate parking facilities. But not all the neighbors are opposed to building a hotel on the waterfront. Some think it would be a nice addition to replace what they call an eyesore.

"I think it would add greatly to the beautification of the community. An open waterfront where all people can walk. I think a hotel, some shops...I think this place is ripe for it," said local Realtor Jonathon Kreiger. But Krieger, like the opponents, says he too would like to see the hotel scaled down.

We requested an interview with Carr Hospitality, but calls we made before noon today were never returned.

Company representatives are expected to be at the work session tonight, July 25, 2012,  which is from 7:30 to 9 pm in the Council Chamber at City Hall.

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