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1,500-Space Garage Planned At Union Station Under Fire From Council, Neighboring Developer

Union Station Burnham Place
A rendering of Union Station with the the Burnham Place development atop the rail tracks.

A new 10-story parking garage planned as part of Union Station's redevelopment effort has come under fire from city officials and developers.

The National Capital Planning Commission Jan. 9 considered a plan to replace Union Station's parking structure with a new 10-story 1,575-space garage, and the body expressed concern over dedicating that much space to parking at a central transit hub, the Washington Business Journal reported

Among those opposed to the parking garage plan is Akridge, the developer that plans to build a 3M SF Burnham Place mixed-use project above Union Station's rail yard. The developer, which bought the air rights for the project in 2002, said the parking garage could impair its long-planned development. 

"The facility would stifle the creation of compatible open spaces and visually dominated views to and within the site," Akridge Vice President of Development David Tuchmann told the NCPC, according to the WBJ. "Consider the theoretical impact on City Center or The Wharf if these projects included a 2.6-acre, 100-foot-tall garage." 

D.C. Council members Charles Allen and Phil Mendelson also voiced skepticism about the number of parking spaces planned for the project. The planned parking garage is part of a major overhaul of Union Station being managed by the Federal Railroad Administration and the Union Station Redevelopment Corp. 

Akridge aims to move its Burnham Place project forward alongside the Union Station expansion. Its project would be supported by columns over the rail yard and would include direct access into the station. The development, designed by Shalom Baranes Associates, has been planned to include 1.5M SF of office space, over 1,300 residential units, 500 hotel rooms and 100K SF of retail.