WHAT’S NEW IN OLD TOWN NORTH?
First of all, it’s 2006, and we wish all our readers a happy and fulfilling year.
Residents are beginning to move in at Liberty Row, the condominiums at 635 First Street. To date, 23 out of the 63 units have settled. Chatham Square on Pitt Street has also gotten many new residents.
A new business has opened at 801 N. Royal Street in the Montgomery Center, Michael’s Wine Connection, attached to A La Lucia Restaurant. The store features wine tasting events every Friday evening. It stocks great wines and wonderful food products. Its hours are 11 am until 7:30 pm Tuesday through Thursday, and 11 am to 9:30 pm Friday and Saturday.
A 32-seat Thai restaurant was approved for 320 Montgomery Street and is under construction. The owner is Phil McCombie, who also owns the coffee shop in Montgomery Center. Hours will be 11 am to 9 pm.
Our Montgomery Park Plan has received approval from the Planning Commission and is scheduled for City Council review and approval on January 21. Construction of improvements is expected to start this spring.
Lonnie Rich, whose office, Rich Greenberg, Rosenthal & Costle is located on North Fairfax Street, takes on the Chairmanship of the Alexandria Chamber of Commerce, also located on North Fairfax Street.
Alan Voorhees, chairman of the Old Town North Urban Design Advisory Committee, passed away in December. He was internationally renowned as the founder of the transportation and planning consulting firm of Alan Voorhees and Associates, and was an entrepreneur in a number of fields.
Next month’s newsletter will provide an update on development projects proposed for our neighborhood.
Metrostage to open new production January 18
MetroStage at 1202 North Royal, our own professional theater, is producing Two Queens, One Castle, billed as a soulful, rousing gospel, R&B, jazz, and pop musical. Explore life’s complexities (career, motherhood, marriage, family, church). Don’t miss this exciting new production.
The final production of this season, Becoming George, about the life of writer George Sand, will debut on April 19. For tickets or information, call 703-548-9044, www.metrostage.org.
MONROE AVENUE BRIDGE SLATED FOR DEMOLITION, REROUTING
As part of the plan for Potomac Yard approved in 1999, and following a City Council public hearing in 2003, the Monroe Avenue Bridge will be torn down and replaced with a smaller new bridge that provides a straighter alignment for Route 1. The plans for the new bridge were unveiled in December at a community meeting attended by close to 300 people. Additional community meetings were held on January 5 and January 11. Construction is due to begin soon.
Four options are being considered for re-linking Monroe Avenue with Route 1 after construction, and another four options are being proposed for pedestrian access. The Planning Commission and City Council will hold a joint work session on January 24, and public hearings in February.
The City’s Transportation and Environmental Services Department is working on ways to route traffic during temporary closures of Slaters Lane during construction. We will provide links on our web site to this information as it becomes available. Additional information is also available on www.potomacyardalexandria.com and on the City’s web site, www.alexandriava.gov.
The Urban Forestry Committee is holding an open house to receive community input on an Urban Forestry Plan for the City on January 18 at the Lee Center, 1108 Jefferson Street, 7:30 pm. Marian Clarke, resident of Alexandria House and a Board Member of OTNCP is active on the Urban Forestry Committee and has led tree-planting efforts in our neighborhood. Speaking of urban forestry, did you know that Alexandria House maintains the park at Madison and Fairfax Streets, and OTNCP maintains Montgomery Park?
OTNCP meets on January 25 at 7:30 pm at 300 Montgomery Street, 2nd floor. Old Town North residents, business owners, and employees are welcome to attend the meetings.
In the context of the Braddock Road Area Plan effort, six project proposals for the area west of Washington Street are to be discussed on January 26 at 7 pm at the Charles Houston Recreation Center. The projects are:
- The Madison, 800 N. Henry Street (this is the project that proposed to include a Harris Teeter grocery store)
- Fayette Plaza, 1219 First Street
- 600 N. Fayette Street
- Tony’s Auto, 1112 First Street
- Charles Houston Recreation Center renovations
- Braddock Metro Plaza Condominiums, 1261 Madison St
Further information is available from the Planning Department’s Steve Milone, 703-838-4666.
In March, OTNCP will hold its annual meeting to provide information about our community and upcoming events. Date and location will be announced in our next newsletter.
The 2nd annual Taste of Old Town North will be held on May 18 in Montgomery Park. Last year’s event attracted more than 600 people and featured food samples from eight local restaurants. We are looking for volunteers to work on our committee planning the event: call Bruce Machanic at 703-836-8066 to volunteer or for more information.
The 400th Anniversary Celebration of the founding of Jamestown is coming up. Alexandria will be one of the stops for the ship Godspeed in early June. The Parks and Recreation Department is proposing that related historical and family-oriented activities be held at Founders Park, near our neighborhood.
SNOW DAY REMINDERS
The City Code states that business owners and homeowners are responsible for clearing sidewalks abutting their properties within 24 hours after a snow storm. City emergency crews will clear public streets within 12 to 72 hours depending on the amount of snow. But… not all streets are public streets. Many are now owned by homeowners associations and are cleared privately. For information on your particular situation, call T&ES at 703-838-4488, consult www.alexandriava.gov, or watch Comcast Cable Channel 70 after a snow event.
CITY COUNCIL ELECTIONS… soon
Alexandria’s Mayor and six City Council members are elected for three-year terms. All Council members serve at-large. The next election is scheduled for May 2, 2006. This year, nine Democrats have declared their candidacy for City Council seats. The Democratic Party has decided to hold a caucus on February 4 to select their six candidates who will move forward to campaign for election in May. The Republican Party has not yet announced its slate. For further information on local elections, please consult the Registrar of Voters web site, www.alexandriavoter.org. For information on the Democratic caucus, go to www.alexdems.org.
SIGN UP FOR OLD TOWN NORTH COMMUNITY PARTNERSHIP MAILING LIST
Please send an email with your contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Or complete and mail the form below to Old Town North Community Partnership, c/o Montgomery Center, 300 Montgomery Street, Alexandria, Virginia 22314.