Alexandria has assets with which The Wharf and National Harbor cannot compete: history and historic infrastructure. These assets must be maximized not overwhelmed, diminished or hidden. Competition means recognizing and developing your best and unique attributes and not trying to beat the competition at their own game. The “hipness” of The Wharf and National Harbor and their ability to maximize those assets cannot be denied. Alexandria cannot have it both ways. Overemphasis on hip will diminish historic attraction. That is not to say that Alexandria should become a museum; it is not without nightlife and “vibrant” attraction now. Unfortunately City Council has developed a reputation for listening to developers first to the exclusion of local small business and ordinary citizens. This new council has the responsibility and opportunity to change the way council has done business. We wait with hope if not confidence.
David A. Norcross