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New Development Proposed on King Street
On the outskirts of Old Town Alexandria, architect Michael Winstanley, has proposed to design and construct an eight-story condominium building. The condominium will stand two blocks away from the metro and behind six old town homes at 1604-1614 King Street. The design consists of eight stories of exterior glass to project a new, unique and modern look in the city.
Pending Alexandria’s design decisions, the eight-story condominium may have an impact on the redevelopment of the old town homes to create a cohesive design for the particular site. Alexandrians are on edge to learn that the traditional aesthetics of Old Town Alexandria may become too modernized based on Winstanley’s new proposed design of the condominium. Since learning of the new developments on King Street, the owner of the “Washington-Style” townhomes feels that other proposed ideas should be highly considered while coming up with new redevelopment options, although they would prefer to remove them altogether. Not only does the design concern Alexandrians, but the eight-story condominium will require retaining five of the six town homes in order to construct the 56-unit condo and build three levels of underground parking.
The question has been posed, is this development too modern for Old Town?
One homeowner, Kiley Larson, expresses that it is the character and historical sites and buildings that draw individuals to Old Town Alexandria. She explains that the aesthetics of the new development contrasts what Old Town currently represents. Another homeowner, Jim Melton, states that the building will “overshadow” the community, making it difficult to view the sun.
Although Winstanley and Dechantal, a family trust that acquired the townhomes in 1986, are willing to completely tear down and rebuild the sixth townhome, they would prefer to replace it and use it as an entryway leading into a courtyard. The proposal has only been announced in December 2016 and due to the opposition of neighboring communities and residents, there is still no certainty of the architect and the city’s final agreement in the demolition project of the six townhomes.