Alexandria is currently conducting a final analysis of proposals to reinvigorate the Beachcomber building on the Alexandria waterfront, with an announcement on the final selection expected in coming weeks.
The city bought the land at 0 Prince St. in February 2006 for $1.135 million using the city’s Open Space Fund as part of an effort to consolidate and make land available for public use on the city’s waterfront.
In October 2012, Alexandria City Council approved the issuance of a request for proposals to lease and renovate the 3,360-square-foot structure.
Michael Stewart, division chief of administration with the city’s Department of General Services, the city is buckling down on a multifaceted review of the different submitted business models at this week's Waterfront Commission meeting.
“We’re looking at the economics of all the business plans we’ve received,” Stewart said. “Having a non-starter is the worst scenario.”
In 2012, members of City Council suggested a restaurant was likely the highest and best use of the space. The Beachcomber last housed an eatery in 1954. It is believed to have been the first, real non-industrial use on the waterfront.
Jeremy McPike, director of the Department of General Services, told councilmembers a year ago that there are cracks in the exterior walls of the building and some rotting wood in the balcony.
The city also owns one-third of the lot next to the Beachcomber.
The parking lot should "eventually become a park [according to the Waterfront small area plan]. ... In this RFP, there is no on-site parking. In an SUP process, applicant will have to link up with other garage owners” or seek shared parking, McPike said.
This article has been updated since it was originally posted.