The Alexandria Chamber of Commerce has issued a fiery response to recently announced changes to the Potomac Yard Metro station.
The statement comes shortly after Manager Mark Jinks announced the city’s decision to alter the plan for the metro station on May 4 (memo can be viewed here). The most significant alteration to the plan was deleting the station’s planned southern entrance and the south station mezzanine.
The decision has sparked widespread frustration from residents since then. A Potomac Yard Implementation Work Group meeting was held on the changes Wednesday night. The Chamber released an official statement about the decision Thursday afternoon.
“The Chamber has long advocated the need to bring Metro to Potomac Yard. the new metro station is widely regarded as Alexandria’s highest priority economic development project, one that’s necessary to balance and grow our tax base,” The statement read. “The economic presence of Potomac Yard depends almost entirely on a well-designed, fully accessible metro station. Removing the southern entrance to the station will greatly diminish the benefits of the Potomac Yard Metro Station.”
The Chamber, in its statement, also said the changes suggested a breach of trust between the city and residents and developers.
“The proposed changes deletion diminish the economic impact of the new metro station, but they also represent a violation of trust with the businesses and residents who have already invested in Potomac Yard based on the promise of a fully functioning metro station,” The statement read. “To spring this on them now, when many already signed leases or begun construction, suggests a partner acting in bad faith.”
The Chamber concluded the statement by saying, while it was sensitive to the city’s need to complete the project in a timely manner, proceeding with the project with the suggested changes “would represent a lost development deletion opportunity that will be felt for years to come.”
The Chamber said it would pursue “remedies” to the changes at the local, state and federal level.