Leaders in Alexandria are moving forward with a zoning change that could allow a new hotel on the waterfront.
Even though the controversial waterfront plan is still tied up in the courts, City Council members are poised to pursue the change, which could reshape Old Town for decades to come.
All of the legal challenges revolve around whether or not a supermajority was needed to pass the plan. But now that Democrats have ousted the two Republicans who stood in opposition, council members have that supermajority of support.
During the campaign, all the current members said they would vote for the plan except one, giving supporters the votes for which they've been waiting.
When asked if he could name any specific developers that have expressed an interest in the waterfront, City Manager Rashad Young first said no, he could not.
"It is common knowledge that there is a hotel developer that is looking to develop a hotel at the waterfront," he says.
He's referring to Carr Hospitality, which has already submitted plans for a 120-room hotel. The 1960s warehouse currently on the property is 70,000 square feet, but the zoning change would allow 190,000 square feet.
Mayor Bill Euille says now is the time to move forward. "If we don't move the process forward, you know what? There may not ever be expressed interest, because prospective developers or investors may not want to do anything."
Many neighbors in Old Town say that is too big and dense for the neighborhood.