Sneak Peek: Alexandria’s Next Big Project
Across from Potomac Yards, near a future Metro stop, sits a 16-acre industrial park. In two years, though, you'll see a 1.5M SF mixed-use project that includes affordable housing and a large Central Park-style gathering place. (We can finally re-create scenes from Home Alone 2 without schlepping all the way to New York.)
StonebridgeCarras principal Kevin Cosimano (left, with project development manager Jeremy Lena) tells us the first phase of Oakville Triangle, on Blackstone Group’s only remaining property after selling most of its portfolio this year, is expected to break ground in early 2017. It will include 400 rental units, 115 for-sale condos, 10 townhomes, 110k SF of retail, a 130k SF hotel and 120k SF of office. Kevin says Oakville Triangle and Route 1 Corridor Plan approvals from the Alexandria City Council will hopefully come by the end of this year. The process started in January 2014.
The project will include affordable housing integrated into the complex rather than as a set-aside, Kevin says. StonebridgeCarras and Alexandria are still working on how many affordable units will be developed—the City has said it would like to see 60-70. Ideally there will be a mix of smaller units and larger ones for families, says Kevin.
A big focus now is traffic and making the area, which includes the car-heavy Route 1, more pedestrian-friendly. The plan incorporates bike lanes and new crosswalks. Another challenge is creating balance between the high-density mixed-use components and quiet among the Del Ray and Lynhaven residential neighborhoods. Kevin says taller buildings (100 feet) will be located closer to Route 1 and lower to 45 feet as the buildings move closer to residential. The townhomes front Mount Jefferson Park (above), which StonebridgeCarras will upgrade significantly.
Reston founder Bob Simon always preaches the effect plazas have in creating a sense of community. Kevin says the Oakville Triangle project will include a large piazza and green space (see rendering—which appears to be a Renoir) with a Central Park feel. It’s being designed away from cars, with no street curbs, making it easy to block off sections for events. The strategy also includes bringing more dining options to this part of Route 1, which sits between Old Town, Alexandria and Crystal City.