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Power plant redesign plans head to Alexandria City Council

The former GenOn power plant is a closed-off stretch of urban decay, but new plans headed to the City Council paint a picture of the area as a new mixed-use community.

The plans have been a long time in the making and still have a ways to go, with deconstruction not scheduled to start until next year. A coordinated development district
conceptual design (CDD) being presented to the City Council at a meeting (docket item 12) on Tuesday, Feb. 22, outlines what the new development could look like when all the pieces come together.

The plans show around 2.1 million square feet of new development at the site with a mix of residential, retails, arts spaces and more. The new development is also positioned as the crown jewel of an Arts and Cultural District in Old Town North approved in 2018.

Key recommendations in the new power plant plans, image via City of Alexandria

The new space is designed to be flexible, but with more of an emphasis on residential development, though that breakdown is still murky this early in the development process. A chart in the presentation to City Council indicates the development will be 4o-80% residential and 20-60% retail.

The development plans also included information about the scale of the new development. The buildings will taper in height slightly towards the edges of the development, but most of the blocks in the new development will be 15 or 16 stories high. That scale requires approval for bonus density, which is where the arts and affordable housing contributions factor in. The presentation says the development will have public art anchors and on-site affordable housing.

Plans also call for greater connectivity to the waterfront, though developers face the unenviable task of working with the National Park Service to try to secure an agreement to cooperate on development along the Mount Vernon Trail.

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