Alexandria Letter: Another Hotel?

Alexandria Letter: Another Hotel?

Letter to the Editor

To the Editor:

A proposed 6- or 7- story 124-room hotel Plan 1 has been submitted to Planning and Zoning on June of this year by developers to be built at 1617 and 1711 King Street in the Upper King street area, a few blocks from the King Street Metro station. In order for this proposed hotel to be built, the developers must comply to a list of comments and suggestions before the plan can move to Plan 2 then to a SUP, then council for rejection or approval.

The developers are proposing the destruction of two buildings at 1617, the Weeks and Mellish Naval Reserve building which is nearly 86 years old. The 1711 building houses an active first floor business for job training and recruitment as well as at least 60 bookkeepers and accountants on the second floor.

The proposed hotel will have a restaurant, an entrance lobby located on King Street, sidewalk dining, valet parking for residents, an underground garage for 64 vehicles and 42 for above ground parking vehicles, and it will take two full years to complete this project. The roof will contain some plants to add beauty to the top outside floor. The entrance from King Street into Harvard Street has been one-way only. The developers would like to make it a two-way entrance so that traffic can move to the alley so that hotel guests can park in the underground garage or on top of it. If accepted this will close the entrance section of Harvard street to those people who live at 100 Harvard above the corner Coffee Shop and to those loyal customers who come every morning for their coffee or tea since there will be no room for parking.

Harvard Street is historical with many beautiful big trees planted and owned by the city. With construction trucks coming and going for two years, many will be damaged, and perhaps destroyed. Major street traffic on King Street all day long will have problems detouring or slowing down getting through the area. Tourists walking through the area on the sidewalks will also be disturbed as well as waiting for the free trolley bus which has its stop on the other side of King Street in front of the Hampton Inn.

The proposed hotel if approved by the city adds six hotels within a three block area of the King Street metro area. I am aware that this city has the hotelitis condition desiring more and more income for its programs but another hotel in this Upper King Street area is totally ridiculous as well as destruction of a beautiful building and displacement of small businesses.

I am opposed to the proposed hotel as well as many residents of this immediate area who see no reason for it and have said: Why does the city need another hotel, why not an apartment building instead in that old building there?

Jim Melton