The Alexandria Roller Rink, a city block-size concrete barn where as many as 600 teen-agers a night skate to the top tunes, will soon be demolished if developers' plans to build a $45 million hotel-office complex get city approval.
Development Resources Inc. said that it recently purchased the rink site at 807 N. St. Asaph St. for about $4 million and plans to construct a 248-room Embassy Suites Hotel and an eight-story office building in its place.
On April 10, the Board of Zoning Appeals will hear the company's request for a parking variance, and in early May the Planning Commission will vote on the building plan.
"It's been there since I was a child, and now they want to tear it down," said Patricia A. Hodge about the rink, which is more than 35 years old. "The kids won't have anywhere else to go."
Unlike Hodge, who lives in the public housing units called the Berg, residents of the nearby luxury condominiums are delighted the rink is finally closing.
"It's noisy," said one resident of the Port Royal condominiums. "I don't want to get into any arguments saying this, but the kids are loud and I think an office complex would look a lot better than that rink."
Three years ago complaining residents had the city curtail the rink's late-night hours because teen-agers would bang car doors as they left at 3:30 a.m. The rink now closes at 2 a.m. on weekends.
"Just like any place, we have our problems," said Susan Fischer, a roller rink employe. "But there is nothing in this area for kids -- only adults."
The Chamber of Commerce, noting a current shortage of hotel rooms, welcomes the new development, and so far there has been no opposition on the City Council.
Because of the short supply of parking in Old Town, Development Resources' toughest task seems to be obtaining a parking variance to allow 445 parking spaces instead of 665.
DRI President Gregory Fazakerley described the proposed complex as two buildings connected by a 10-story atrium. A 385-seat restaurant-lounge is also included in the plans. "The skin of the building will be brick," Fazakerly said, " . . . It'll have a traditional flair to it."
If the variance question is resolved and the site plan approved without delay, DRI officers predict the rink will be a memory by the end of summer. The new hotel, they say, could open in about two years.