Slowly but surely, the remake of the waterfront in Alexandria is moving forward. The boutique hotel at 220 S. Union might begin to rise next year. The folks at Robinson Terminal South have moved to their facility in Springfield. Blackwall Hitch just released their renderings for a makeover of the food court behind the Torpedo Factory.
Last night, the City held its fourth Community Meeting at the United Way Worldwide Mary Gates Center at 701 N. Fairfax Street.
"Old Faithful," the flood waters that occasionally cover the foot of King and the Strand, and have historically crept as far inland as Lee Street, could be a thing of the past. Flood mitigation would require pumps to be installed.
Cyclists would not be allowed to use the waterfront path. One larger rack near the core would be set up on the east side of Mai Tai Restaurant 6 King Street), currently used for a half dozen or so restricted car parking spaces.
Jack Mackie, a consultant for the City, showed best practices in terms of art and history. One possibility that could please history buffs is the outlining of the original shoreline. Specific businesses or industries could be honored.
After the main presentation, attendees broke out into work sessions. I took part in the one that focused in the King to Duke Street portion. We agreed that Alternative C is an improvement over A and B in terms of scale and character.
Founders Park is a jewel that just needs some tweaking with the riprap and worn down areas along the waterfront that could be improved with concrete steps.
Oronoco Park would be re-graded to create more of an even and amphitheatre like setting. A more direct path would run from the end of Union Street, crossing over the water on the southern corner.
Rivergate Park would also see a more direct path by the Rowing Club, an improvement over the routing now. A couple of residents who live there expressed concerns over parking at the foot of Madison. A kayak launch would be built.
The Waterfront Plan is still a couple of years from reaching its final stages. One city representative said the entire process could be finished by the end of 2015.