ALEXANDRIA, VA-Since last month’s announcement that the Caps and Wizards are moving to Alexandria, reaction has been mixed. Business owners and city officials are excited about the move because of how it will positively effect the local economy. A report by HR&A Advisors indicates the development will create 29,000 jobs.
But many residents, especially those in Del Ray, have expressed concern. As reported in The Washington Post on Dec. 28, there are questions about arena construction, cost, parking, and the potential disruption caused by gameday crowds. At the time, Mayor Justin Wilson responded to queries by saying, “We are working on it.”
Given that the relocation of the teams is not expected until 2028, there is a long way to go in the process. The building of the arena and surrounding entertainment complex still has to be approved by the Virginia General Assembly and Alexandria City Council. On Monday night (Jan. 8), Del. Elizabeth Bennett-Parker attended a virtual town hall with the Del Ray Citizens Association. While discussing the $2.2 billion plan for the massive complex, she said, “I don’t think this is a done deal.”
The City of Alexandria is well aware of the apprehension of residents and has scheduled meetings in the coming weeks to hear from the community. Other informational events are planned as well. Below is list from a Jan. 9 Alexandria eNews bulletin.
Weekly Virtual Listening Series | Starting Thursday, January 18, the City of Alexandria will hold weekly virtual listening sessions on Thursday nights from 7-8 p.m., covering topics, including:
- Financial proposal and economic impact: January 18, 2024
- Schools, housing and other community benefits: January 25, 2024
- Transportation and traffic management: February 1, 2024
- Small business and economic opportunity: February 8, 2024
City Council Town Hall | On Saturday, January 27, City Council will host a Town Hall at 9:30 a.m. that will include a short presentation on the project as well as Councilmembers answering submitted community questions, concerns, and feedback.
Civic and Business Organization Briefings | The City will work with Civic and business organizations to coordinate project presentations and listening sessions to gather community input.
Pop-up Events | In the coming weeks, the city will share details on pop-up events at high-traffic areas such as Farmers Markets to answer questions and take comments.
Site Tours | The project team will announce additional details for pre-scheduled site tours to view and understand the area being developed as part of the proposal.
Staff Liaisons| The city will announce staff liaisons who are assigned to neighborhoods to facilitate day-to-day contact and ongoing engagement.
To view a full schedule of events, visit alexandriaecon.org/why-alexandria/featured-projects/monumentalalx.
The city began sharing bi-weekly public updates yesterday (Jan 9.). These will continue until the end of March during City Council legislative meetings. After March 26, updates will be provided as needed.