By Walter Clarke, board chairman, and John Long, president and CEO, Alexandria Chamber of Commerce
To the editor:
As part of the Alexandria Chamber of Commerce’s 2015 legislative agenda, the chamber’s board of directors identified the building of the Potomac Yard Metro station as its primary focus item for this legislative term. The Chamber of Commerce is extremely committed to bringing Metro to Potomac Yard and has been pleased with the progress the City of Alexandria has made to date. Given the chamber’s previous support, we formally endorse the staff-recommended position of locating the new Potomac Yard Metro station at Alternative B as soon as possible.
Alexandria must maximize the potential for commercial development in this area in order to meet its projected revenue numbers. Robust commercial development of Potomac Yard is critical in order to responsibly meet the obligations the city will incur as a result of building the station. Recent reports have indicated that a staggering 86 percent of new commercial development in the D.C. region is occurring within a quarter mile of a Metro station. If Alexandria is to make itself regionally and nationally competitive for significant future commercial real estate opportunities, building the Potomac Yard Metro and selecting Alternative B is the most logical course of action.
The Chamber also would like to endorse the current financing plan that has been proposed by the City of Alexandria. We encourage the city to continue to apply this financing strategy to future transportation projects around Alexandria and feel the common-sense financing strategy that has been developed for the Potomac Yard Metro station should be the model for these types of revenue-generating infrastructure investments in the future.
In closing, we would like to congratulate city leaders for their efforts to date to make the Potomac Yard Metro station a reality. This Metro station, which is an historic investment for Alexandria, will play a vital role in keeping Alexandria competitive for major commercial activity for years to come. We urge the City of Alexandria to choose the staff-recommended site of Alternative B as soon as possible and maintain the current financing strategy to pay for the station.