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Old Posted Mar 29, 2010, 4:39 PM
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High-rises planned near Alexandria's Eisenhower Metro station (Washington Examiner)

High-rises planned near Alexandria's Eisenhower Metro station

By: Bill Myers
Examiner Staff Writer
March 28, 2010

http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/lo...-89295887.html


A private development company is set to announce a plan for a set of high-rise buildings that would transform Alexandria's skyline.

The Hoffman Co. is seeking approval to build three towers next to the Eisenhower Avenue Metro station. It would add more than 1.3 million square feet of residential space to the city, one of the region's tallest buildings and another 70,000 in retail, including a large Harris Teeter store, Alexandria development chief Gwen Wright said.

[IMG]http://media.washingtonexaminer.com/images/250*140/eisenhowertoned2.jpg[/IMG]
A rendering shows the view of the towers from the Beltway. (Courtesy Alexandria Department of Planning and Zoning)

The proposal calls for 140,000 square feet more than called for in the city's original master plan, but Hoffman officials have promised to add 55 affordable condominiums or apartments into the mix — the largest affordable housing contribution by a developer in Alexandria, Wright said.

It's part of an ambitious and widespread effort to move the suburbs up in the air. Planning chiefs believe that the future of city planning lies in densely packed, mixed-use high-rises, close to mass transit, where residents can walk to work, shop and play.

One of the planned towers would reach 370 feet, making it one of the tallest in the Washington area, Wright said.

If approved by the city council, the plan would require Alexandria and Metro officials to rework the nearby station, with a new bus loop and kiss n' ride. The statue of Dwight Eisenhower also would be moved from Holland Lane to the center of the three towers. The area will be called "Eisenhower Station Square," Wright said.

The work would cost taxpayers about $3 million, Wright said.

The plan is already getting a thumbs up from local development officials.

"It's something that's going to be a great statement for Alexandria's development," said Val Hawkins of the Alexandria Economic Development Partnership. "If you're coming along the Woodrow Wilson Bridge or coming up [Interstate] 495, it's going to be a really impressive skyline."

Wright stressed that, though the new tower would be among the tallest, it would be built in a valley, which means it would appear to be shorter than, say, the George Washington Masonic Memorial.

Hoffman officials didn't respond to requests for comment.

The plans are scheduled to be reviewed by the Alexandria planning committee on April 6 and the full city council on April 17.
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