Post Content

JUST IN: Virginia House of Delegates passes Potomac Yard arena bill

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

(Updated at 9 p.m.) Virginia’s House of Delegates voted to pass the arena bill 59-40, sending the proposal to an uncertain future in the Senate.

Earlier this week, the Democrat-controlled Virginia Senate voted not to table the bill on the arena’s stadium authority for a hearing.

The proposal to build a new arena at Potomac Yard for the Washington Wizards and Washington Capitals has met with a mixed reception.

“I’m pleased that the House of Delegates has allowed the community conversation on the potential of this economic development opportunity to continue” Alexandria Mayor Justin Wilson told ALXnow. “I look forward to further engagement with legislators in RIchmond and residents of Alexandria.”

Many local leaders say the proposal would be a boon for Alexandria’s economy and development plans for Potomac Yard, while other Alexandria representatives and protestors against the arena highlighted concerns that the new arena would create more traffic than either the local roads or Metro station can handle, among other concerns.

Alexandria Delegate Elizabeth Bennett-Parker announced today that she would vote against the Potomac Yard arena legislation.

Bennett-Parker said that the bill to create the Virginia Sports and Entertainment Authority and Financing Fund “currently falls disproportionately on our residents,” who will see residential property tax increases. She also said that the transportation funds needed to bring the $2 billion entertainment district to Potomac Yard by 2028 have not been defined.

“Despite the Governor’s recently released transportation study, there remain a lot of concerns and questions,” Bennett-Parker wrote in an email. “Besides the effects of the proposal on Route 1 and surrounding roads, and the critical, long-term investment needed for WMATA regardless of this proposal, it is unclear what the Commonwealth is actually committing to in terms of transportation funds.”

Bennett-Parker, a former vice mayor of Alexandria, said that she has been “continually frustrated” by Governor Glenn Youngkin’s administration’s lack of forthcomingness.

“The Administration has failed to share important details and failed to give good-faith guarantees for workers and worker protections,” she wrote. “Given the significant impacts the proposed entertainment district would have on our community, I cannot in good faith vote for this without more information on the financing of the project, a more sustained commitment to WMATA funding, state-funded transportation improvements to mitigate its effects, protections for workers, displacement protections for Arlandria residents, and appropriate representation of Alexandrians on the Authority.”

Bennett-Parker also joined her former colleagues by stating that the city needs more representation on the proposed 15-member Virginia Stadium Authority board. The House version of the bill would have three members on the board from Alexandria.

“That is unacceptable for a project that would so dramatically affect our community,” Bennett-Parker wrote.

Monumental Sports and Entertainment, owners of the Capitals and Wizards, put out a release celebrating the vote in the House of Delegates.

““We are so encouraged by the bipartisan support for this monumental opportunity to create jobs and generate revenue that will benefit the city, the region, and the entire Commonwealth of Virginia,” said Monumental’s Chief Administrative Officer Monica Dixon. “This is a big step forward in the process, but we know it is not the last step. We believe this is the right project for Alexandria, for Virginia, and for our fans, players, coaches, and employees. We look forward to working with the leadership, members, and staff of the Virginia Senate to answer their questions and earn their support for this transformative economic opportunity.”

One of the groups opposing the new arena, the Coalition to Stop the Arena at Potomac Yard, said despite the vote they still believe the momentum is against the arena.

“It has been exactly two months since Governor Youngkin and Ted Leonsis stood on stage in Alexandria to announce this project,” Potomac Yard resident and co-founder of the Coalition, Adrien Lopez, said in a release. “Despite a lot of flashy presentations and social media posts, serious questions have piled up and opposition is growing. We believe this idea is fatally flawed and the Senate should pursue other important matters before the Commonwealth.”

Governor Glenn Youngkin wants to break ground on the project by next year, which means a swift turnaround with approved legislation in both houses of the General Assembly. On Monday, however, Virginia President Pro Tempore Sen. L. Louise Lucas (D-18) tweeted that the bill is not on the Senate Finance and Appropriations docket because it is “not ready for prime time.”

James Cullum and Vernon Miles contributed to this story

Recent Stories

It’s going to be windy today in and around Alexandria. The National Weather Service says that conditions will be clear, with wind gusts this afternoon up to 50 miles per…

(Updated at 8 p.m.) More than 2,200 West End residents are without power after a transformer fire in the area of Seminary Road and N. Beauregard Street, according to Dominion Energy….

It was quite a week in Alexandria. It seems that nearly all of Monday’s news was overshadowed by the eclipse. Hundreds of bespectacled residents turned out at Ben Brenaman Park…

The Planning Commission didn’t have much by way of criticism for the proposed redevelopment of Vulcan Materials, but it opened the floodgates for Commissioners to dunk on the state of…

There’s a reason Well-Paid Maids has hundreds of positive reviews from happy clients in the D.C. area.

The home cleaning company pays cleaners — who are W-2 employees — a living wage starting at $24 an hour. Plus, cleaners are offered benefits, including insurance, 24 paid days off a year, 100% employer-paid commuting costs and more.

Lexi Grant, an operations manager at Well-Paid Maids, said it best: “People deserve their work to be respected and recognized. When that happens, you love what you do, and you create the best results.”

Read More

Submit your own Community Post here.

Are you feeling overwhelmed by life’s challenges? Do stress and anxiety seem to dominate your thoughts? At Peaceful Mind Solutions, we understand that navigating mental health can be daunting, but you don’t have to do it alone.

Our team of compassionate therapists is here to guide you on your journey toward inner peace and emotional well-being. With a client-centered approach, we tailor our therapy sessions to meet your unique needs and goals. Whether you’re struggling with depression, coping with trauma, or simply seeking personal growth, we provide a safe and supportive space for healing and growth.

Embark on a path of self-discovery with our comprehensive range of therapy services, including cognitive-behavioral therapy, mindfulness practices, and holistic approaches. Our experienced therapists are dedicated to helping you cultivate resilience, develop coping skills, and foster a greater sense of self-awareness.

Read More

Submit your own Community Post here.

Del Ray Kitchen Confidential Design Tour

Please join us for Del Ray Kitchen Confidential – a walking tour of recently renovated kitchens in Del Ray with the experts who make the magic happen! FA Design Build owner Rob Menefee and Design Consultant Melissa Fielding walk us

Celtic Corridor in Concert at the Lyceum

Billy McComiskey, on button accordion, National Endowment for the Arts Heritage Award winner, All-Ireland Award winner, who has played with the Irish groups The Irish Tradition, Trian, and Green Fields of America. Billy’s playing is highly regarded as are his

×

Subscribe to our mailing list