Greg Fazakerley, an Alexandria developer, has tied his expanding multimillion-dollar enterprise to the Metro subway system's King Street station.
"You would not have seen this development take place here if it were not for the Metro station," said Fazakerley, chairman of Development Resources Inc. "It was the catalyst that made it happen."
Since 1981, Fazakerley's company has completed four office complexes valued at nearly $50 million on Duke Street in Alexandria, a short distance from the Metro station. Construction will start this summer on a $60 million project nearby, he said.
Like other developers, Fazakerley, 38, has sought to cash in on the subway. More than $3 billion in office, hotel, retail and other commercial projects were started near Metro stations from 1980 to 1985, according to a study by the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments.
The subway offers quick access from Alexandria to National Airport and Capitol Hill, Fazakerley noted.
National associations that lobby Congress and entertain frequent out-of-town visitors have purchased most of his company's modest brick buildings, constructed around landscaped courtyards.
Such organizations pay less in Alexandria than they would for similar quarters in downtown Washington, Fazakerley said, and they are attracted by nearby Old Town's restaurants and shops.
Fazakerley's company was formed in 1964 as a residential developer and branched into commercial projects in the late 1970s, focusing on the area near the Metro station. His headquarters is atop his firm's largest complex, a group of four buildings on the former site of a car dealership at 1600 Duke St.
Three associations, including the National School Boards Association, bought the other buildings.
Not all has progressed as rapidly near the Metro station as Fazakerley wished. Restaurants, shops and hotels were slow to move into the area. "That has been a negative," he said, but he added that the trend "has now turned the corner."
Several restaurants are planned, including one in his headquarters building. At least two hotels are being considered, he said. "The foundation is there and it should take off.