Alexandria Mayor William D. Euille (D) named six citizens and one council member to the Alexandria Waterfront Plan Work Group.
The group is charged with forming a consensus plan for the city’s multimillion-dollar waterfront after the highly contested plans were presented by city planners this year.
“These are community meetings that are open to the public,” Euille said. “We want every stakeholder group, every property owner, everyone who has an interest on this can attend and will be heard,” he said.
The six voting members of the work group are Christopher Ballard, a principal at McWilliams Ballard real estate and marketing firm; Bert Ely of Ely and Co., a financial policy consulting firm; Melinda “Mindy” Lyle, president of Connections Marketing Associates LLC; Elliot Rhodeside, principal at Rhodeside & Harwell, an urban planning and landscape design firm; Nate Macek, a transportation consultant representing the city’s Waterfront Committee; David Olinger, a Realtor representing the Old Town Civic Association; and retired U.S. Army Lt. Gen. Bob Wood, a former senior strategic planner. Council member Paul Smedberg (D) will serve as a non-voting convener of the group.
“We are optimistic, cautiously optimistic, that this group will explore things we are already exploring diligently,” said Andrew Macdonald, one of the organizers of the Citizens for an Alternative Alexandria Waterfront Plan.
The original $51 million plan for the three-mile stretch from Daingerfield Island Park to Jones Point Park would consist of three key redevelopment properties, which could include boutique hotels, to pay for parks and other amenities. Two of the three redevelopment sites are owned by Robinson Terminal Warehouse, a subsidiary of The Washington Post Co.
The Post Co. filed, and later withdrew, a lawsuit in 2008 against the city for cutting back the company’s redevelopment options. The Post Co. was working with the city to restore those options, which were set in a 1983 federal settlement agreement.
The third site is Cummings-Turner Properties in the 200 block of South Union Street.
City planners also presented a $220 million plan that featured more parks and museums and fewer new buildings and hotels.