News

While City Council usually has the final say over big decisions, much of the city’s future starts taking shape in Alexandria’s boards and commissions. After two years of those meetings going online and recorded for public viewing, many of them are starting to go offline again.

The Waterfront Commission, for example, has been where many of the details about flooding in Old Town have been hashed out. The 7:30 a.m. meetings have historically had fairly light public attendance. With the start of the pandemic those meetings were recorded and published online until last month, when the group stopped recording meetings.


News

The city of Alexandria is getting ready to drop $102 million to fix flooding along the waterfront.

A proposal by the Waterfront Commission’s Flood Mitigation Committee, pitched to the Waterfront Commission at their April 19 meeting, outlined the potential pump stations, underground stormwater detention chambers, and streetscape and other stormwater infrastructure improvements for the ongoing efforts to implement the Waterfront Small Area Plan.


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Almost exactly four years after archeologists recovered three 18th-century ships from under the Old Town Waterfront, Alexandria is planning on sending at least two of them back to Davy Jones’ Locker.

Three ships were discovered under the Robinson Landing construction site in March 2018. While the most intact of the trio was sent to Texas A&M for study and will get a new Torpedo Factory exhibit next month, the other two have sat in water tanks in the DASH bus barn. At a meeting of the Waterfront Commission, City Archaeologist Eleanor Breen said that sometime this year the city will start moving the ships out of their 12×24-foot tanks and out to Ben Brenman Pond (4800 Brenman Park Drive).


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The City of Alexandria is still mulling over what to do with the Torpedo Factory, but one way of paying for the expensive additions could lie in a program started under FDR.

At a meeting of the Waterfront Commission, representatives from the Alexandria Economic Development Partnership (AEDP) outlined one potential path to financing the Torpedo Factory overhaul as part of a “public real estate entity.”


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Alexandria could be converting another block of King Street to a pedestrian-only zone this spring.

At a meeting of the Waterfront Commission earlier this week, city staff presented both plans for a pilot to close the waterfront end of King Street and examined the future of the 100 block of King Street, which has been permanently closed and converted into a pedestrian zone.


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After taking some flack for not having the financial impacts at-hand; Diane Ruggiero, director of the Office of the Arts, returned to the Waterfront Commission on Monday with pricing for modernizing the Torpedo Factory.

Julian Gonsalves, assistant city manager for public/private partnerships, talked through the cost estimates for the Torpedo Factory overhaul. Continuing as-is, with relatively minor building repairs funded over time with artist space being left mostly untouched, was priced at $16 million.


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The Torpedo Factory plan took a direct hit from the Waterfront Commission as Commissioners criticized staff for a rushed timeline that gives little room for public and commission feedback.

Plans are in the works to potentially overhaul the structure of the Torpedo Factory, with options like new cafe space on the first floor or artistic changes like a new glassblowing studio all being considered. But at a Waterfront Commission meeting earlier this week, the group unanimously voted to sent a letter to the City Council warning about the inadequate time given to considering public feedback at the end of the process.


News

The foot of King Street flooded with water is a dramatic visual that comes up nearly every time there’s flooding in Alexandria, but the city is facing some sticker shock for a long-planned fix.

At a meeting of the Waterfront Commission Flood Mitigation Committee this week, city staff presented a variety of plans that could help combat flooding on the waterfront, from a pair of cost-conscious options to options that put focus more on results than staying within budget.


News

The city is looking to make its scooter pilot program permanent, but hopefully with some changes that make them less intrusive for local pedestrians and residents.

Victoria Caudullo, shared mobility planner for the City of Alexandria, spoke to the Waterfront Commission this week to discuss some of the ambitions and limitations of the scooter program moving forward.


News

Sheriff Dana Lawhorne to receive Lifetime Valor Award — “In recognition of his retirement, we are pleased to honor Sheriff Dana Lawhorne with a Lifetime Valor Award at this year’s Valor Awards. Join us virtually, on June 22nd, to honor Sheriff Lawhorne’s 43 years of law enforcement service to Alexandria.” [Chamber ALX]

West End Business Association hosting 1 p.m. conversation with Mayor — “Take this opportunity to ask questions and connect with Mayor Justin Wilson about how he would continue to serve the city of Alexandria.” [WEBA]


News

A waterfront building at the very end of King Street could be getting a new rooftop restaurant.

The building at 101 N. Union Street, home to Vola’s Dockside Grill and Hi-Tide Lounge — and known more by locals as where Jamey Turner usually sets up his iconic glass harp — could soon be refitted to add an accessible roof with a new restaurant.


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