The City of Alexandria has agreed to purchase part of the land and development rights on waterfront property owned by restauranteur Kristos Kiriakow. At same time, Kiriakow has agreed to construct an office building no more than three stories high on the remaining portion of the site.
The agreements end months of wrangling in a conflict between private ownership and public intentions.
Under the agreement, Kiriakow will sell the city 17,250 square feet of his property near Union and Queen streets for $450,000. Included in the purchase price are five feet of vertical development rights, starting at the 45-foot-high mark. That means Kiriakow must limit to three stories, or 45 feet, any building on the remaining 27,750 square feet of land he owns, according to Kiriakow's lawyer, Harry P. Hart.
For more than a decade Kiriakow, who owns the Charcoal House and Kristos Steak House in Alexandria, has owned the land on the city's increasingly valuable waterfront. The parcel currently is valued at $1.08 million.
Kiriakow's recent plans to develop the property were rejected by the City Council, which feared the large restaurant he wanted to open in a four-story building would aggravate congestion in the area.
Last month, the council approved the compromise plan. Although he now has permission to construct an office building, Kiriakow still must ask a special-use permit for the proposed restaurant.
According to city official Michele Vans, the city will use part of its property to continue its walkway beside the Potomac River.