Beverley Park isn’t the only Alexandria Park looking at major redevelopment. The park at the end of King Street, appropriately named “King Street Park,” could be seeing a temporary boost before Waterfront redevelopment transforms the area. Currently the site hosts a small anchor monument and a bench, but expansion into two nearby sites could turn the park into the missing link between the northern and southern parts of the Alexandria waterfront.
“We’re looking at ways to improve that space until the ultimate plan is realized [around] 2024,” said Tony Gammon, Acting Deputy Director for the Department of Project Implementation. “For the interim, we want to open the [Old Dominion Boat Club] space up to the public as soon as we can with low cost infrastructure for the next seven or eight years.”
Gammon says there are three distinct spaces in the immediate vicinity that the city is looking at utilizing, the park itself, the Old Dominion Boat Club building site, and the parking lot to the south.
“The goal is to take the walls and fences down around the lot and use low cost treatments to make it pedestrian friendly,” said Gammon. “We want to provide a pedestrian connection between the marina and [the rest of] the waterfront. We want to start to reinforce the idea of the waterfront.”
In total, Gammon says the new park would be approximately the size of Market Square outside of City Hall.
“It’s quite a bit of space, with quite a lot of opportunity,” said Gammon. “We need to keep the King Street Park green space intact, or make it even bigger.”
Currently, Gammon says the only thing delaying the park is the boat club, and says that they won’t begin work on the King Street Park space until the boat club begins construction at the Beachcomber site.The budget for the park, including the demolition and surface restoration that would be required as part of the Waterfront plan regardless of park expansion, is $1 million.
Gammon says the feedback from the public has been generally positive.
“People like the idea of opening up the space and creating a park there,” said Gammon. “There isn’t even a sidewalk along the Strand, it really disconnects the two areas.”