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Royal Street Bus Barn Redevelopment Gets Rolling

A new commission will provide input on parameters and design standards before WMATA issues a request for proposals in June.

WMATA's bus barn facility is located between N. Royal and N. Pitt streets in Old Town Alexandria. (Photo credit: Drew Hansen)
WMATA's bus barn facility is located between N. Royal and N. Pitt streets in Old Town Alexandria. (Photo credit: Drew Hansen)

The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority is preparing to issue a request for proposals as it looks to sell its Royal Street bus barn property, bringing the promise of the redevelopment of an entire city block in Old Town Alexandria.

In July 2013, WMATA approved the future sale of the maintenance facility located between N. Royal and North Pitt streets. The transit agency broke ground on its new bus facility in Newington in October 2013.

Alexandria Mayor Bill Euille told Patch in May 2013 that the site could be a combination of townhomes and apartments, but that its future “will be determined by what is the best use and the highest value that Metro gets out of the property.”

Alexandria is forming a 12-person advisory committee to provide guidance to both WMATA and the city on the project. The committee, which will include city officials and nearby residents, will help draft parameters and design standards that will be included in the request for proposals WMATA plans to formally issue in June.

The first committee meeting is scheduled for 9 a.m. to noon Feb. 8 at a location to be determined. All committee meetings are open to the public. A larger community meeting concerning the bus barn will be held in the spring.

The north end of Old Town has several more projects underway or in the works. 

Construction of the 175-unit Kingsley apartments at 500 Madison Street is nearing completion. That structure includes a Harris Teeter grocery store, which is expected to open in summer or early fall 2014.

Plans to transform the old Alexandria Health Department property in the 500 block of N. Saint Asaph Street into residences is expected to enter the city’s approval process this winter. The city approved the sale of the surplus property this year to local developer Y-12 Investments for $5.23 million.

CAS Riegler Cos. recently paid $5.2 million for the International Association of Chiefs of Police building located at 515 N. Washington St. and plans to convert the five-story, 25,204-square-foot structure into for-sale residences.

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