By Michaela Gleeson | [email protected]
The King Street Corridor initiative, led by Visit Alexandria, is well underway with 80 percent of its $175,000 goal raised, the organization announced Thursday at its annual summer social. City Manager Mark Jinks has promised to match these funds. This will amount to a total of $300,000 devoted to improving King Street.
Visit Alexandria has achieved this with help from their 10 founding private sector partners: Alexandria Restaurant Partners, Carr Hospitality, Alexandria Hotel Association, EYA, Tall Ship Providence Foundation, Chadwicks Restaurant, Pizzeria Paradiso, Port City Brewing Company, Potomac Riverboat Company and Asana Partners.
The Department of Project Implementation, Department of Recreation, Parks and Cultural Activities, Office of Historic Alexandria and Transportation & Environmental Services Department have also lent their services as the city’s partners on this project.
The purpose of the King Street Corridor Initiative is three-pronged: enriching existing structures, scheduling events, and marketing to those who live out of town. This last goal is particularly important because, according to Visit Alexandria President Patricia Washington, 71 percent of Alexandria’s retail, meals and lodging tax revenue comes from people located outside of Alexandria.
The biggest component of the initiative is the King Street Park at the Waterfront, scheduled to open in fall 2018.The park aims to make Alexandria competitive with new waterfront attractions such as The Wharf, which recently debuted on the Washington D.C. waterfront.
Efforts to enhance the attraction of King Street can be seen in the installation of hanging planters and flower boxes above King Street establishments. The city also plans to more vigilantly maintain the street, with a focus on pedestrian traffic.
As for scheduled events, Visit Alexandria has planned for seasonal activities such as live music, art and history exhibits and a pop-up beer garden.