The location of a proposed Metro station at Potomac Yard in Alexandria is now in doubt.
For years, city leaders have been planning to build a new Metro station on the Blue and Yellow lines between National Airport and the Braddock Road station. City planners have identified a site behind the Target store on Route One, although the National Park Service is raising concerns about that location violating a scenic easement because it's visible from the George Washington Parkway.
Now Deputy Alexandria City Manager Mark Jinks says moving the site to the east to address concerns would cost an additional $83 million and delay the project three years. But that's not all.
"I would suspect it's probably going to be north of $50 million in tax impacts, so we are going to be well over $100 million," he says.
Alexandria Councilman Tim Lovain says that means city leaders are likely to abandon that location altogether and select a separate site to the south at the edge of a residential development known as Potomac Greens. Councilman Paul Smedberg says that would be a mistake.
"One could then argue should be even build this station at all if it's going to be sitting in the middle of a residential development," he says.
Even when a site is selected, the city will be struggling to pay for it. Depending on the design and location, it could cost anywhere from $200 million to $460 million — a price tag that is certain to violate the city's debt ceiling for several years as it finances the station.