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Hilco Buys Shuttered Alexandria Power Plant, Plans Redevelopment

The Potomac River Generating Station in Alexandria

A 20-acre Alexandria power plant that closed down eight years ago is on the precipice of a major redevelopment. 

Hilco Redevelopment Partners has acquired the Potomac River Generating Station from Pepco and plans to redevelop the site into a mixed-use project, it announced Monday. The developer has experience redeveloping large, former heavy industrial sites in the mid-Atlantic, and is taking that formula to a key location between Old Town and Arlington.

The 71-year-old, coal-fired power plant was decommissioned in 2012. It sits along the Mount Vernon Trail and the Potomac River in Old Town North. Pepco will continue to operate an electrical substation on a portion of the site, with the remainder available for development. 

The neighborhood already has multiple developments underway, and Alexandria in 2017 passed the Old Town North Small Area Plan, which envisioned a mixed-use development for the power plant site.

A map showing the Potomac River Generating station and its proximity to other Northern Virginia landmarks.

Hilco hasn't detailed the size and makeup of its redevelopment plans, but it said it aims to build a series of commercial and residential uses, and it plans to work with the city and the community before beginning construction. 

"We are thrilled to have the chance to re-envision this former industrial site in a manner that is consistent with the Old Town North Small Area Plan and provides for new uses such as housing, commercial office, dining and retail, and public open space along the Potomac River, and we look forward to working with local officials and stakeholders on the vision," Hilco Senior Vice President Melissa Schrock said in a release. 

Alexandria Mayor Justin Wilson expressed support for the redevelopment of the site, and he said he looks forward to working with Hilco on its plans. 

"The redevelopment of this site is a long time coming, and I expect that Hilco Redevelopment Partners will pursue an environmentally sustainable, economically vibrant mixed-used development that provides housing and neighborhood amenities in Old Town North," Wilson said in a release. 

The project is not Hilco's first major redevelopment of an industrial site in the mid-Atlantic.

The developer in 2012 acquired a 3,100-acre former steel mill in Baltimore, rebranded it as Tradepoint Atlantic, and has built millions of square feet of industrial buildings, landing tenants such as Amazon, Under Armour and FedEx.

In June, Hilco acquired a 1,300-acre oil refinery in Southwest Philadelphia. It told Bisnow last week it plans to invest billions of dollars and develop between 13M SF and 15M SF of industrial buildings on the site.