Potomac Yard station

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Potomac Yard
WMATA Metro Logo.svg WMATA Blue.svg WMATA Yellow.svg rapid transit station
Future Potomac Yard.jpg
The sign in this park indicates that it occupies a potential site for the future Potomac Yard Metro station
LocationAlexandria, VA
Owned byWashington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority
  • WMATA Blue.svg
  • WMATA Yellow.svg
Platforms2 side platforms
ConnectionsBus transport Metrobus
Bus transport DASH
Bus transport Metroway
Structure typeat-grade
Disabled accessYes
Other information
Station codeC11
Opening2021 (2021) (projected)
Preceding station WMATA Metro Logo.svg Washington Metro Following station
From 2021
Braddock Road Blue Line National Airport
Braddock Road
toward Huntington
Yellow Line National Airport

Potomac Yard is a planned Washington Metro station in Alexandria, Virginia, United States. The station will be operated by the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA), serving both the Blue and Yellow Lines, and is expected to open in 2021.[1][2] The station will be located at Alexandria's planned 7,500,000 square feet (700,000 m2) Potomac Yard mixed-use development bounded by Richmond Highway (U.S. Route 1) and the George Washington Memorial Parkway.[1][3] Upon its completion, Potomac Yard will be the second infill station to be added to the Washington Metro system, after NoMa–Gallaudet U in 2004.[2][4] Potomac Yard is being constructed on the site of the former rail yard of the same name.



The eponymous Potomac Yard in 1973

Plans to construct a Washington Metro station between the Braddock Road and Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport stations on the Blue and Yellow Lines have been proposed since the 300-acre Potomac Yard retail and residential redevelopment began in the late 1990s with the construction of the Potomac Yard Shopping Center.[2] The area of Metrorail at Potomac Yard was originally constructed in a way to allow for a future station.[5]

In June 2008, Alexandria's Planning Commission approved higher-density projects at a town center near the proposed Potomac Yard station site.[5] The first official public meeting on the prospect of the Potomac Yard station was held on February 19, 2009 between Alexandria city officials and the Metrorail Station Feasibility Work Group in Alexandria City Hall.[2][4]

On June 12, 2010, the Alexandria City Council voted to rezone the 69-acre North Potomac Yard area in an effort to convert the 600,000-square-foot (56,000 m2) big-box Potomac Yard Shopping Center into a 7,500,000 square feet (700,000 m2) mixed-use development centered around the proposed station.[6] Prior to the construction of the Potomac Yard station, the rezoning of North Potomac Yard will allow for 1,400,000 square feet (130,000 m2) of new development with the second phase to allow for 3,700,000 square feet (340,000 m2) of development during the station's construction.[6] Once the station is operational, the development's final build-out will take place.[6]

Estimated costs and financing[edit]

The estimation of costs for the construction of the Potomac Yard station increased from $150 million in February 2009 to a cost of $240 million in December 2010.[1][2][4][6] Funding for the station's construction costs is to be partly provided by the city of Alexandria and the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority with the bulk of the funding coming from property owners in close proximity to the station.[2] CPYR, the owner of the Potomac Yard Shopping Center, will contribute $81 million, and the city of Alexandria will float about $275 million in bonds to pay for its portion.[6] The addition of the station to the Blue and Yellow Lines will cost roughly $500,000 in fiscal 2010 dollars to operate annually.[6] Alexandria city officials proposed two special tax districts that would supplement developer CPYR's contributions and tax increment financing to cover the cost of the $240 million Metro station and its debt service, totaling an estimated $496.6 million.[7]

On December 18, 2010, the Alexandria City Council unanimously approved a package that funded a large portion of the construction and operations of the proposed Potomac Yard station through the creation of the city's first special tax district.[1][8] In order to fund the proposed $240 million construction cost of the Potomac Yard station, the Alexandria City Council approved a 20-cent special tax district for the Potomac Yard development.[1][8] The projected cost to build the Potomac Yard station and the debt servicing paid over a 30-year period will be approximately $500 million.[1] The 20-cent special tax district approved by the council is scheduled to take effect January 1, 2011 on developments within Potomac Yard[1] and will generate about $500,000 a year in new tax revenues.[8] The revenue from the tax district will be added to developer contributions and a soft tax increment financing area to pay bond debt financing over a 30-year period.[1]

A second tax district within Alexandria's Potomac Greens neighborhood had been proposed by the Alexandria City Council to aid in funding the Potomac Yard station's construction cost.[1][7] Residents within the proposed tax district would have been taxed (after the station opened) 10 cents per $100 of assessed property value, generating approximately $185,000 a year.[1] Alexandria city officials removed Potomac Greens from the second tax district in May 2011.[9]

In January 2015, the city of Alexandria was lent $50 million from the Virginia state government toward the new station, which will cost between $209–264 million.[10] In July 2016, the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority approved $66 million for the station.[11]

Station site[edit]

The City of Alexandria considered four alternatives for the site of the station:[12]

  • Alternative A: At-grade, with side platforms between the CSX railroad tracks and the north end of the Potomac Greens neighborhood. Cost of $209 million.
  • Alternative B: At-grade, with side platforms between the George Washington Parkway and the CSX tracks, north of Potomac Greens and east of the existing Potomac Yard Retail Center and CSX right-of-way. Cost of $268 million.
  • Alternative B-CSX: At the site of the Regal Potomac Yard movie theater. Cost of $351 million.
  • Alternative D: Elevated, with a center platform west of the CSX right-of-way, near the existing Potomac Yard retail center. Cost of $493 million.

In April 2015, the city recommended Alternative B, because it was the option that would result in the most dense development.[13] The City Council voted on the selection in May. As part of building the station, the city will receive 0.16 acres (650 m2) of land along the George Washington Parkway from the National Park Service, and in exchange transfer 13.56 acres (5.49 ha) of city parkland to the federal government and spend $12 million to improve the Mount Vernon Trail and Daingerfield Island. The station will have two pedestrian bridges over CSX tracks to the future development, and one pedestrian bridge to Potomac Greens and Old Town Greens. Funding will come from a local tax district, tax revenue from new development, $69 million from the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority, and $50 million from a developer.[13]

Finalized plans[edit]

The Potomac Yard project planners had completed scoping and alternatives in 2011, and were to have completed a draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) by the end of 2013.[14] Due to delays, the final EIS was not released until June 2016.[15] The station, as originally planned, was supposed to open by 2016,[1] but by January 2015 it was delayed until 2018.[10] In November 2016 the National Park Service and Federal Highway Administration issued a Record of Decision in favor of the station's construction.[16]

The WMATA board accepted the station into the system and endorsed the site choice in December 2015.[17] As of December 2015, the station was expected to open in 2020.[17] As of 2017, the station was expected to be open in 2021.[18]

In April 2018, city officials in Alexandria said the station opening might be as late as 2022.[19] Alexandria officials also raised the total cost of the station by $52 million, citing higher costs for labor and building materials.[19] Because of this cost increase, the Potomac Yard station's proposed southern entrance at Glebe Road was canceled.[20] However, after the construction of Amazon HQ2 was announced for the area in November 2018, the southern entrance was restored. The secondary entrance would be completed in 2026 and cost an extra $50 million.[21]

Station layout (planned)[edit]

Platform level
Side platform, not yet constructed
Westbound WMATA Blue.svg does not stop here (Braddock Road)
WMATA Yellow.svg does not stop here (Braddock Road)
Eastbound WMATA Blue.svg does not stop here (Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport)
WMATA Yellow.svg does not stop here (Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport)
Side platform, not yet constructed
M Mezzanine One-way faregates, ticket machines, station agent
G Street Level Exit/ Entrance


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Goodman, Christy (December 23, 2010), "Potomac Yard Metro funding approved", The Washington Post, retrieved December 28, 2010
  2. ^ a b c d e f Tuss, Adam (February 17, 2009), "Metro at Potomac Yard?", WTOP-FM, retrieved December 30, 2010
  3. ^ Potomac Yards Scoping Book
  4. ^ a b c Associated Press (February 17, 2009), "Alexandria looks into building new Metro station", News & Messenger, archived from the original on July 27, 2011, retrieved December 30, 2010
  5. ^ a b Sun, Lena H. (June 6, 2008), "New Push For Metro Station in Alexandria", The Washington Post, retrieved December 30, 2010
  6. ^ a b c d e f Krouse, Sarah (June 14, 2010), "Alexandria to rezone Potomac Yard around new Metro stop", Washington Business Journal, retrieved December 30, 2010
  7. ^ a b Goodman, Christy (December 9, 2010), "Tax district opposition continues", The Washington Post, retrieved December 30, 2010
  8. ^ a b c Giles, Ben (December 21, 2010), "Alexandria approves new source for Metro funds", The Washington Examiner, archived from the original on July 22, 2011, retrieved December 30, 2010
  9. ^ Goodman, Christy (May 26, 2011), "Potomac Greens neighborhood excluded from special tax district", The Washington Post, retrieved June 5, 2011
  10. ^ a b Patricia Sullivan (January 14, 2015). "Alexandria gets $50 million state loan for Potomac Yard Metrorail station". Washington Post. Retrieved January 15, 2015.
  11. ^ Lazo, Luz (July 19, 2016). "Alexandria gets $66 million toward construction of Potomac Yard Metro". Washington Post. Retrieved July 20, 2016.
  12. ^ Lazo, Luz (May 24, 2014). "Four potential sites for Alexandria's Potomac Yard Metro station". The Washington Post. Retrieved May 10, 2015.
  13. ^ a b Lazo, Luz (April 27, 2015). "And the Potomac Yard Metro station site will be…". The Washington Post. Retrieved May 10, 2015.
  14. ^ "Potomac Yard Metrorail Station EIS".
  15. ^ "Potomac Yard Metrorail Station Planning". City of Alexandria. Retrieved November 3, 2016.
  16. ^ Lazo, Luz (November 1, 2016), "Alexandria gets federal clearance to build Potomac Yard Metro station", The Washington Post, retrieved November 4, 2016
  17. ^ a b Lazo, Luz (December 22, 2015). "Metro adds the proposed Potomac Yard station to its rail system". Washington Post. Retrieved December 22, 2015.
  18. ^ Lazo, Luz (August 31, 2017), "Potomac Yard Metro station delayed again, now likely to open in 2021", The Washington Post, retrieved August 31, 2017
  19. ^ a b Lazo, Luz (April 6, 2018). "Potomac Yard Metro station is over budget and behind schedule". The Washington Post. Retrieved April 6, 2018.
  20. ^ "Entrance cut from planned Potomac Yard Metro station". WTOP. May 7, 2018. Retrieved February 19, 2019.
  21. ^ "Potomac Yard Metro entrance to be restored as part of Amazon deal". WTOP. November 14, 2018. Retrieved February 19, 2019.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 38°49′47″N 77°02′50″W / 38.8296°N 77.0473°W / 38.8296; -77.0473