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 potomacyardmetro.com.
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 email@example.com or 703.746.3965.
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This news release is available at http://www.alexandriava.gov/news_display.aspx?id=82149 .
Where are we in the EIS process?
The schedule to complete the EIS can be found here.
The Potomac Yard Metro Station infographic can be downloaded here (PDF).
Why do we need a Metrorail Station at Potomac Yard?
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
- Maximizing the number of people taking
transit to and from the Potomac Yard area by providing direct access to
- 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
- Providing a vibrant destination for all
Alexandrians with a mix of uses, including significant shopping and public
- 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?
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
What are the different alternatives
being evaluated for the Potomac Yard Metrorail Station?
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.
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).
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.
How does the Potomac Yard Metrorail
station represent a major economic development opportunity for the City?
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
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
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.
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
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
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.
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,
- Previous Meeting Presentations
- To request a meeting in your neighborhood, please contact Lee
Farmer, Project Manager, at firstname.lastname@example.org, or 703-746-4146
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: email@example.com