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Alexandria Gets A First Look At Waterfront Hotel Proposal

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Carr Hospitality has created a concept plan for a new hotel on the waterfront, shown here in black and white adjacent to an existing building on Strand Street in Old Town.
 
Courtesy of Alexandria Department of Planning and Zoning
  Carr Hospitality has created a concept plan for a new hotel on the waterfront, shown here in black and white adjacent to an existing building on Strand Street in Old Town.  

Legal challenges to the Alexandria's waterfront plan are under attack in the courts, but one developer is moving forward with plans anyway.

The Alexandria Board of Architectural Review is set to consider a proposal tonight for 120-room hotel on the waterfront from Carr Hospitality, even though current zoning does not allow hotels. Carr, the group behind the D.C.'s Willard Intercontinental and a new boutique hotel project at the Southwest Waterfront, has proposed a hotel called the Hotel Indigo for Strand Street in Old Town.

The session will be an opportunity for neighbors to voice their concerns about the proposal, says Mayor Bill Euille.

"It's my understanding that this a work session to talk about the request to build a hotel and the particulars about it, and it affords an opportunity to talk about and respond to those types of questions," he says. 

Many questions are being asked in Old Town Alexandria, where neighbors are concerned that city officials are willing to entertain plans for zoning that does not yet exist. Earlier this year, members of the City Council approved a plan to allow hotels, but that plan has been caught up in court ever since, and the zoning has never been formally approved. 

Waterfront work group member Bert Ely is concerned that the process is moving too fast.

"Maybe they would be gambling they can jam something through the Planning Commission and council this fall," Ely says. "But, you know, right now, they don't have the zoning."

 Right now, three separate court actions related to the waterfront plan are moving forward; two from opponents and one from supporters.

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