Residents and Business Working Together for Community Betterment
TICKLE YOUR TASTE BUDS AT TASTE OF OLD TOWN NORTH, MAY 17
The Old Town North Community Partnership invites you to our Third Annual Taste of Old Town North event in Montgomery Park. Plan to join us Thursday, May 17, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., to sample delicacies from neighborhood restaurants, listen to music, and talk with your neighbors (rain date May 24). Participating restaurants include:
- A La Lucia
- Burrito Grill
- Fin & Hoof
- Thailand Royal
- Trader Joe’s
- Villa d’Este
Special thanks to the following sponsors enabling us to offer this event FREE of charge to you: Montgomery Center, New Target, Holladay Corporation/Abingdon Row, and Sport & Health.
MIRANT UPDATE: RAMPING UP ENERGY PRODUCTION FOR NOW
In April, the City of Alexandria was dealt two setbacks from the courts in its efforts to tame the Mirant Power Plant. The Virginia Supreme Court upheld an Alexandria Circuit Court ruling that the City could not use zoning laws to force the plant to close within seven years. Also, the U.S. District Court approved the consent decree entered into by the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality permitting Mirant to increase its production at the Alexandria plant in exchange for reducing emissions elsewhere in the region.
What happens next? Planned outages by PEPCO continuing through June 21 mean that Mirant will increase its output as directed by a Department of Energy Order, possibly triggering emission exceedences. Residents are encouraged to contact the Alexandria Health Department with comments, concerns, or personal experiences by completing the online form at www.alexhealth.org, as well as e-mailing their information to firstname.lastname@example.org. Meanwhile, the City is examining its options.
The Department of Environmental Quality will hold a hearing on May 22 from 4 to 9 p.m. at the Holiday Inn at 2460 Eisenhower Avenue. Citizens may also voice their concerns to the DEQ by e-mail (Air Quality Division Director Jim Sydnor, email@example.com) or by mail: 629 East Main Street, Richmond, VA 23219.
OTN MEMBERS GET INSIDE SCOOP ON ECONOMIC AND LAND USE MATTERS
Acting Director of the Alexandria Economic Development Partnership (AEDP) Stephanie Landrum briefed about 35 members at our March 22 meeting on the latest in retail, land use, and other matters of interest to our neighborhood. Here’s what we learned:
- The City plans to use the former Health Department building on St. Asaph Street as office space for its employees, at least for now.
- A previous solicitation of a developer for the Bus Barn did not yield an offer acceptable to Metro.
- The City has informed the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board that it prefers to retain the Giant supermarket on the ABC block. A new solicitation for the ABC parcel was issued and offers have been narrowed down.
- AEDP is aware of our interest in retail, particularly hardware and drug stores, and is watching for opportunities. In the meantime, our retail spaces are occupied and seem healthy.
- Citywide, the office vacancy rate is over 10%. With the recent relocation of Pentagon Federal Credit Union to Eisenhower Avenue, the large office building on Canal Center is being marketed as condominium office space. Preferred Office has opened an Executive Suite operation in the office building at 500 Montgomery Street.
WATERFRONT SURVEY RESULTS NOW AVAILABLE
In preparation for the upcoming waterfront planning effort being undertaken by the City’s Planning Department, the Old Town Civic Association conducted a thoughtful and comprehensive survey of its members’ attitudes and ideas about the waterfront earlier this year. The results of the survey are now available online at www.oldtowncivic.org. The OTCA has also scheduled two waterfront walks to gather suggestions. To participate in the walk along our part of the waterfront, meet at the Torpedo Factory docks on Saturday, May 12, at 10 a.m.
HELP REDUCE OZONE POLLUTION
This summer, leave your car at home and ride public transit on bad air quality days. From May 1 through September 15, you can ride the bus for free on Code Orange or Code Red days. The air quality forecast is available from your local radio or TV station and online at www.ridefreenova.org.
OTHER OTN NEWS-IN- BRIEF
- Gaylord Hotels held its topping off ceremony at National Harbor on April 24. Construction is on track for a grand opening in April 2008. Gaylord will be hiring hundreds of workers in the hospitality industry beginning early 2008. With the announcement of Sheldon Suga as General Manager, the hotel moves from construction to reality in the next few months. Mr. Suga has relocated from the Orlando FL area to Alexandria to oversee the final phases of construction, interior fit-up, staffing, and pre-opening activities.
- John Varghese of our very own Sheraton Suites is on tap to become the next president of the Alexandria Convention and Visitors Association.
- The Abingdon Row project is actively being marketed. Located at Royal and First Streets, it offers condominium units starting at $364,900 for a one bedroom/one bath unit. The sales office is located at 802 N. Fairfax Street. Amenities include garage parking, landscaped courtyard, secure access, rooftop terrace, and high quality interior finishes.
- The 610 Montgomery Café has opened, offering Italian coffee drinks, gelato, and light fare.
- The Braddock Metro Area Plan is temporarily on hold, pending resolution of issues related to affordable housing and traffic on Route 1.
CAN’T-MISS SUMMER EVENTS IN OLD TOWN NORTH
- Oronoco Bay Park
- June 16-17 Weekend: Attend the 27th Annual Red Cross Waterfront Festival, billed as the largest outdoor fundraising event on the East Coast, with musical entertainment, food vendors, children’s events, arts and crafts sales, and fireworks. Festival officials expect up to 35,000 patrons on Saturday night alone. Proceeds make up 20-25% of the Red Cross Alexandria Chapter’s annual budget.
- Saturday, July 7, 6 to 10 p.m.: Don’t miss the City’s 258th birthday celebration. This special event features the Alexandria Symphony Orchestra and a Grand Finale Fireworks display. Call 703-883-4686 for more information. Rain date is July 8.
- Montgomery Park
- Thursday, May 17, 5:30-7:30 p.m.: Taste of Old Town North! (see article on reverse)
- Wednesday, June 20, 7 to 8 p.m.: Enjoy this free outdoor concert featuring the sweet, soulful harmonies (think Simon and Garfunkel) of Cletus Kennelly and Lori Kelley, courtesy of OTNCP. Then come back for our second free concert on …
- Wednesday, July 18, 7 to 8 p.m.: Featuring JC & the Hepcats-the hepest, swingin’ roots based band around! Make plans now to attend both concerts. With our attractive new gazebo providing shade, the park will be more comfortable in the summer heat.
- Through June 3: Now playing, “The Musical of Musicals”. Check performance times and buy tickets online, www.metrostage.org.
YOU BELONG ON OUR MAILING LIST!
To receive notices of community events or information of general interest, please send your contact information, including e-mail address, to:
Old Town North Community Partnership
300 Montgomery Street, 2nd floor (MRE)
Alexandria, Virginia 22314
Or send an e-mail with your information to firstname.lastname@example.org.