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Interest Group Hopes to Send Waterfront Hotel Plans Back to City Council

Board of Architectural Review OK'd design plans 3-2; Alexandria City Council approved the hotel plans in a 6-0 vote in January.

Friends of the Alexandria Waterfront has fought against development of the hotel proposed for Union Street in Alexandria. RUST|ORLING Architecture rendering
Friends of the Alexandria Waterfront has fought against development of the hotel proposed for Union Street in Alexandria. RUST|ORLING Architecture rendering

An Old Town Alexandria interest group is hoping to put the brakes on approval of the design of a new waterfront hotel in the city.

Friends of the Alexandria Waterfront (FAW) announced Tuesday that it hopes to appeal a recent decision by the Board of Architectural Review for Alexandria's Old and Historic District.

The group is circulating a petition appealing to the Alexandria City Council the approval by the board of the design and appearance of a proposed hotel at Duke and South Union Streets in Old Town Alexandria.  

The proposed hotel would be built by Carr Hospitality, the owner of the Willard Hotel in Washington and several hotel properties in Alexandria.

The BAR narrowly approved the design recently by a 3 to 2 vote. BAR chairman Tom Hulfish abstained and BAR member Wayne Neale recused himself for professional reasons. The "ayes" were: Chip Carlin, Oscar Fitzgerald and John Von Senden. The "nays" were: Peter Smeallie and Christine Roberts.

Despite numerous design modifications, the hotel is, according to FAW: "still hugely unpopular with Old Town residents, both because of its design as well as its excessive height, size, and mass — it simply would be too large relative to nearby buildings, and especially to the just-proposed redevelopment of the south Robinson Terminal property across Duke Street from the hotel," Friends of Alexandria Waterfront stated in its news release.

Additionally, the proposal by the developers of the Robinson Terminal property to raise the level of their site by more than two feet, to reduce the likelihood of flooding on that property, "should trigger reconsideration of the manner in which the site of the proposed Carr hotel is redeveloped," they noted.

Under Alexandria's zoning ordinance, a petition signed by at least 25 property owners in Alexandria's Old and Historic District, which encompasses most of Old Town, will force the Alexandria City Council to reconsider the decision by the BAR, FAW said. 

FAW says the petition must be filed with the City by Wednesday, April 2. The group is confident that more than enough property owners will sign the petition, they noted.


Scooby's Doo March 26, 2014 at 09:59 AM
In other news, the sun will set in the west this evening.
Doug March 26, 2014 at 10:25 AM
Does the petition demand that a museum about ship building be erected on that property? I can't keep all of these articles about the reasons for a FAW protest straight. Reason #142.....
oldtowner March 26, 2014 at 09:19 PM
sheesh.....some folks never give up......let's get on with it!

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