Groundbreaking ceremonies will be held tomorrow for the new Trailways bus terminal at the corner of First and L streets NE. The 26,000-square-foot facility will cost about $8 million and is expected to be operational by spring of 1984.
Trailways Inc. President Harry J. Lesko said the move from the bus line's location at 1200 I St. NW came at the request of the city in its efforts to concentrate transportation services in the neighborhood surrounding Union Station. Greyhound Lines Inc. announced in 1981 that it would move its downtown terminal to that area.
"The city has been seeking a transportation center where travelers and commuters could easily obtain multi-modal service," Lesko said. "The city designated the new site as a prime Trailways location which is easily accessible to train Union Station and subway service throughout the city and via mass transit to National Airport."
The development will be accomplished by a land swap between Watergate Development Inc. of McLean and Trailways, according to Trailways Senior Vice President Ted Knappen. Watergate will develop the new site, and then trade it for the I Street site, along with an additional cash payment as a result of rising land values near the convention center. Knappen declined to give the amount of the cash payment.
Watergate, which also developed the Watergate residential and office complex, bought the 71,217-square-foot tract of land for $1,139,000 from the Redevelopment Land Agency.
With the new Washington Convention Center nearby, the bus line's I Street location would be better suited to other types of development, Knappen said. The new Trailways location will benefit both the city's plans and the bus line, he said, and "is excellent from a traffic-pattern standpoint," due to its proximity to New York Avenue and the Southeast Freeway. The First and L streets site also is closer to a Trailways' maintenance facility on Brentwood Road NE, he said.
Greyhound will relocate its terminal to 90 K St. NE, one block southwest of the new Trailways' site, from its present location at 1110 New York Ave. NW.
The new Trailways brick and concrete facility will have parking facilities, a secured waiting area, restaurant service and a package express window. Trailways will operate 68 schedules each day and employ about 57 people at the new terminal.
The terminal is being built by George Hyman Construction Co. and Tyroc Construction Corp. Crocker National Bank of San Francisco is providing construction financing for the new terminal and land-acquisition financing for the land underlying the existing terminal.
Trailways, which has operated at the I Street NW location since the early 1950s, is a privately held company owned and operated by New Trails Inc. of Dallas. Trailways operates about 1,800 buses nationwide, serving 15,000 towns, cities and communities. New Trails also owns Trailways Food Services Inc., American Coach Sales and Eagle International Inc. and Trailways Manufacturing Inc. of Texas, both producers of Eagle model buses.