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Alexandria Releases Its Development Vision For Old Power Plant Site

Satellite image of the former coal-firing power plant and future development site on Alexandria's waterfront

The site of the shuttered Potomac River Generating Station on the Alexandria waterfront now has a way forward to development.

A 21-member committee released an update to the Old Town North Small Area plan, the first since 1992, to set guidelines for development of the 20-acre parcel, which would connect Old Town to the Potomac. The plan calls for extending the street grid into the acreage left by the plant once it is demolished, plentiful open and green space, and heavy incentives for art spaces, the Washington Business Journal reports.

After the shutdown of the NRG Energy-operated plant in 2012, owner Pepco divided the 25-acre lot to preserve the five acres of its still-operating switching yard and parking lot, with the rest to be sold to NRG for redevelopment. The plan set the scale of development at 2.1M SF, with 20% to 50% nonresidential use.

The Small Area plan also covers some area nearby, and recommended other sites for redevelopment, suggesting the area could add 3M SF in the 25-year time frame. The committee recommended the area be developed in a coordinated effort to preserve the aesthetics and culture of Old Town.

Before any development can begin, however, NRG needs to complete its ongoing, multi-year process of decontaminating the land and groundwater under the plant. That means it could be years before construction in the area begins in earnest.