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Thursday town hall will cover impact of Washington/Wizards arena on Alexandria businesses

Rendering of outdoor plaza at Monumental Arena development (image courtesy of JBG SMITH)

The impact that the proposed Washington Wizards/Capitals arena at Potomac Yard will have on local businesses will be discussed in a virtual town hall meeting this week.

Stephanie Landrum, CEO of the Alexandria Economic Development Partnership (AEDP), will speak about the ramifications in a Zoom meeting at noon on Thursday (Jan. 21).

Reception of the news that the multi-billion dollar arena and entertainment district is coming to Potomac Yard has been tepid at best. While an AEDP report states that the development will result in 30,000 new jobs, the city is contending with a number of challenges before the deal can be sealed.

Last week, a group of residents from the Coalition to Stop the Arena at Potomac Yard rallied in protest outside the Potomac Yard Metro station — next door to the proposed development. Concerns ranged from the project’s transportation and financial impacts to parking and quality of life.

“An entertainment district is projected to generate roughly 2.5 times the economic output of what would otherwise be built based on current development plans,” according to an AEDP impact analysis.

Metro General Manager Randy Clarke also said that the newly opened Potomac Yard Metro station can’t handle arena-size crowds and will need an upgrade. In an effort to encourage alternative transportation to events at the proposed district, Mayor Justin Wilson says there will be minimal parking at the completed site, prompting some concern that neighboring communities will be affected by spillover parking.

Landrum recently said that the fate of the Target store at 3101 Richmond Highway in Potomac Yard is undetermined,  but that it is one of the most frequent questions she gets regarding the development.

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