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Old Dominion Boat Club Strikes Deal With City Of Alexandria

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The parking lot at the foot of King Street will change hands, under the agreement.
Michael Pope/WAMU
The parking lot at the foot of King Street will change hands, under the agreement.

In Virginia, the long-simmering dispute between the Old Dominion Boat Club and the city of Alexandria may be heading to a conclusion. And it may not involve the use of eminent domain.

Members of the Old Dominion Boat Club are taking the deal. That's the outcome of a vote that took place over three days, leading to a potential compromise between the club and the city. The club will get a new spot at the foot of Prince Street and $5 million. The city will get a new public plaza at the foot of King Street.

"We've struck a deal which, at least as far as the term sheet part of it is concerned, is acceptable to the membership," says Richard Banchoff, president of the Boat Club. Banchoff says he would have preferred to stay at the club's current location, but a majority of members voted to take the city's offer and move.

This means the city can move forward with its plan to put a public plaza called Fitzgerald Park at the foot of King Street, a key location at the center of the waterfront.

"The bottom line for me and for I hope everyone is that it's a win-win-win situation," says Alexandria Mayor Bill Euille, who celebrated the phone call with "some Chinese food and a Corona."

Lawyers still have to hammer out a final contract, which must be approved by members of the Boat Club and the City Council. But, for now, it looks like city officials won't have to follow through with their threat of taking the land using the power of eminent domain.

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