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City of Alexandria, VA City of Alexandria, VA
Potomac Yard Development
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Page updated Mar 27, 2015 12:51 PM

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New Potomac Yard Metrorail Station

Many years of community planning have produced a vision for Potomac Yard, and a new Metrorail station along the Yellow and Blue lines is central to that vision. The City of Alexandria is undertaking an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the station, which evaluates the environmental impacts of several potential station locations and provides information to decision-makers regarding the costs and benefits of each of the alternatives. To learn more about the environmental review process, please visit

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      City of Alexandria Awarded $50 Million Loan Towards Construction of a New Potomac Yard Metrorail Station

      The Commonwealth Transportation Board has awarded the City of Alexandria a $50 million loan from the Virginia Transportation Infrastructure Bank (VTIB), for the City to construct a Metrorail station in the Potomac Yard area.  Governor Terry McAuliffe’s announcement of today’s award, which follows, details the importance of the new station and provides reaction from Governor Terry McAuliffe, Mayor William D. Euille, and state officials.

      The new station will be funded through a variety of sources -- including new tax revenue from development around the station and two new special tax districts – without the need for any additional local funds.  This means that most residents and businesses in Alexandria will not have to contribute to the station’s construction through local taxes.  Because the new tax revenue will be received over time but the station must be paid for when it is built, the City plans to issue General Obligation Bonds to finance construction. Today’s VTIB loan, which is close to the maximum available from the state fund, will lower the amount the City must borrow from other sources.

      “The Potomac Yard Metrorail Station project is one of the City’s highest priorities,” said Paul Smedberg, the member of Alexandria City Council who represented the City at today’s meeting of the Board in Richmond.  “Today’s action by the Commonwealth Transportation Board is recognition that the station will also be a key part of the region's transit network.”

      The 30-year loan locks in an interest rate of 2.17%, which is substantially lower than municipal bonds.  The loan also requires no interest or principal payments for four and one-half years after contract completion. This grace period is important to allow early development around the Metro station to begin to create new revenue prior to the City’s first repayments.

      The City’s loan application included an offer to accelerate repayment if revenue exceeds expectations.  Members of the Board took particular note of this innovative provision, which would allow the money lent to the City to be returned to the VTIB’s revolving fund 11 to 12 years earlier than originally planned.

      For media inquiries, please contact Craig T. Fifer, Director of Communications and Public Information, at or 703.746.3965.

      # # #

      This news release is available at .

      Where are we in the EIS process?

      2015 PY Metro Schedule

      The schedule to complete the EIS can be found here.


      Potomac Yard Metro Infographic Page1

      Potomac Yard Metro Infographic Page 2

      The Potomac Yard Metro Station infographic can be downloaded here (PDF).

      Why do we need a Metrorail Station at Potomac Yard?

      Building a new Metrorail station is central to the vision for the redevelopment of Potomac Yard as a smart-growth, walkable mixed-use community, with access to high-quality retail, entertainment, and parks. A new Metrorail station will help to accommodate the growing transportation demand in the Route 1 corridor. A Metrorail station in Potomac Yard will provide benefits to the community and region by:

      • Maximizing the number of people taking transit to and from the Potomac Yard area by providing direct access to Metrorail;
      • Removing thousands of cars from the Route 1 corridor every day;
      • Enabling a mix of uses in an environment where people can walk or bike to destinations in Potomac Yard for their daily needs;
      • Providing a vibrant destination for all Alexandrians with a mix of uses, including significant shopping and public parks;
      • Strengthening and diversifying the tax base to improve the long-term economic stability of the City.  

      How is the Potomac Yard Metrorail station to be financed?

      The Potomac Yard Metrorail station is planned to be financed by a combination of taxes generated from new development in Potomac Yard, a real estate tax levy surcharge on Potomac yard property, as well as grant monies from the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority.  

      Does the Potomac Yard Metrorail station require using tax monies raised in other areas of the City to pay for the proposed station?


      What are the different alternatives being evaluated for the Potomac Yard Metrorail Station?

      There are three different Build Alternatives and a No-Build Alternative for the Potomac Yard Metrorail station.

      • The No-Build Alternative includes the existing transportation network (including the CCPY Transitway) plus projects within the study area that will be expected in place by 2040, such as expansion of local transit services and completion of the multi-use trail from Four Mile Run to Braddock Road.
      • Alternative A is located generally within the existing Metrorail Reservation site at the north end of Potomac Greens. $209 million.
      • Alternative B is located north of Potomac Greens between the George Washington Memorial Parkway (GWMP) and the CSXT railroad tracks. $268 million.
        • Design Option B-CSX is a refinement of Alternative B. The station would be located north of Potomac Greens in-between the GWMP and the CSXT railroad tracks. The placement of the station would require the CSXT railroad tracks to be moved to the west in order to accommodate the relocated Blue/Yellow line WMATA tracks. $351 million.
      • Alternative D is located west of the CSXT railroad tracks near the existing Potomac Yard Shopping Center. $492 million.

      PY Alternatives ABD

      PY B-CSX

      How will the City fund the design and construction of the Potomac Yard Metrorail Station?

      The funding plan for the Metrorail station will use money generated by the redevelopment of Potomac Yard. These revenues are deposited into a pot called the “Potomac Yard Metrorail Station Fund” which can only be used for the design, construction, and financing of the Metrorail station. The fund includes developer contributions; revenue from two special tax districts in Potomac Yard; regional, state, and federal grants; and net new tax revenues in Potomac Yard (existing tax revenues and new revenues needed to support City and school public service demands from Potomac Yard development will go into the City’s General Fund).

      The City updates the bond rating agencies annually regarding this project, and they continue to give the City of Alexandria the best bond rating (AAA/Aaa). The City has recently updated the financial analysis for the Metrorail station. The analysis found that the City can finance both Alternative A and Alternative B with no funds diverted from the General Fund. Both alternatives also have a positive return on investment over the long term. In addition, the analysis found that the City will make a surplus after 30 years of debt service. This surplus will be used to pay for services throughout the City.

       Station Revenue Sources

      How does the Potomac Yard Metrorail station represent a major economic development opportunity for the City?

      A Metrorail station will attract more businesses and jobs to the City.  Over 80% of all office building construction in the DC Metropolitan area is taking place within ¼ mile of an existing Metrorail station.  Potomac Yard represents smart-growth transit oriented development in generating new tax revenue for the City.  When completed, Potomac Yard could add as much as 26,000 new jobs to the City which would represent over a 25% increase in the City’s employment base.  It is estimated that over about a 30 year period as much as some $888 million in net new tax revenue will be generated to be available to help fund services and capital investments citywide.  

      Why a Metrorail station in this location?

      Potomac Yard is a 235 acre site which was one of the largest freight rail yards on the East coast of the US until it closed in 1989. Given its acreage, location in the inner urban core of the DC metropolitan area, and adjacency to the Metrorail Blue and Yellow lines, building a Metrorail station at this site would help unlock and increase the economic development potential of Potomac Yard. Currently the 3.1 mile distance between the Braddock Road and Reagan National Airport Metrorail stations is the longest stretch of Metrorail line inside the Beltway without a station.  

      What is the National Environmental Policy Act?

      The National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA) requires federal agencies to undertake an assessment of the environmental effects of certain proposed projects prior to making decisions. The NEPA process is meant to help public officials make better informed decisions, and to enable community involvement with those decisions. The NEPA process is required for the Potomac Yard Metrorail Station process so that the project can be eligible for federal funding and because some of the alternatives may affect the George Washington Memorial Parkway.  

      What are the roles of the City, FTA, WMATA, and NPS in the NEPA process?

      • The City of Alexandria is the project sponsor and joint lead agency.
      • The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) is the lead federal agency, because the City will be seeking federal funding for a portion of the project.
      • The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) is a cooperating agency because they would operate the station once it is built.
      • The National Park Service (NPS) is a cooperating agency because of its role in administering the George Washington Memorial Parkway.  

      What is the public’s role in the NEPA process?

      Throughout the NEPA process, members of the public have provided oral and written feedback at public meetings and have also submitted written feedback through email and postal mail. Public feedback helped to shape the alternatives analyzed as part of the Draft EIS, and highlighted resource areas of particular concern to the community. The public has been engaged through:

      • Public meetings and community group meetings
      • Project newsletters
      • Project website (
      • Interaction with community organizations
      • The Potomac Yard Metrorail Implementation Group (PYMIG), which was created by the Alexandria City Council to assist in the EIS process. PYMIG members include representatives from City Council, various City commissions, and the public. Members of the public are also invited to attend PYMIG meetings and offer feedback.

      Once the Draft EIS is released, the public review period provides the opportunity for the public to read and comment on the results of the environmental analysis. Comments received during this period can help to identify changes to alternatives that may mitigate adverse effects. These changes may be incorporated into the Final EIS. During the review period, PYMIG will host a series of Community Education and Discussion Workshops where individuals can learn more about the EIS process and get more information about specific subject areas. A Public Hearing will also be held during the review period. After the public has had the opportunity to review and comment on the Draft EIS, City Council will choose a Preferred Alternative. This alternative will be carried into the Final EIS. The Final EIS will include further design and refinement of the Preferred Alternative and identify measures for avoiding, minimizing, or mitigating adverse impacts of the Preferred Alternative.  

      Community Outreach

      The community has been involved throughout the planning and EIS processes. City staff will continue to provide updates to various neighborhood and civic associations, commissions, boards, and Council.

      Potomac Yard Metrorail Implementation Work Group

      The Metrorail Station Feasibility Work Group was established in October 2008 and met over the course of a year and a half through February 2010. In order to ensure there is continuity between the previous initiatives and the implementation of the proposed Metrorail station, the Potomac Yard Metrorail Station Feasibility Work Group was re-convened as The Potomac Yard Metrorail Implementation Work Group (PYMIG). This group reviews EIS documentation, provides policy guidance to City and WMTA staff, analyzes station concept refinement, and considers funding issues related to the new Metrorail Station. Visit the Potomac Yard Metrorail Implementation Work Group page to review meeting agenda, presentations, and minutes.


      The Potomac Yard Metrorail Station EIS team wants to hear from you! If you have questions, suggestions, or comments - or if you would like to be added to the project e-mail list - please contact us at:  

      Additional Resources


      301 King Street, Room 2100
      Alexandria, VA 22314
      Fax: 703.838.6393

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