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Potomac River Generating Station Update 04/29/22

Potomac River Generating Station Isn't As Large As Perceived 

The development team behind the Potomac River Generating Station project has said the 2.15 million square feet of development in the Redevelopment plan won’t fit on the site without some changes. Constraints on the site have raised the issue that there may not be as much usable land as initially thought.

In a request for a Coordinated Development District (CDD) headed to the Planning Commission on June 23, an application from developer HRP Potomac, LLC requests new heights across the site due to unforeseen restrains on the site’s developable land.

“The [Old Town North Small Area Plan] envisioned 2.15 million square feet of development… on the site,” the application said. “The 2.15 million square feet of [gross floor area] was considered the appropriate amount of development necessary to transform [the Potomac River Generating Site] into a vibrant, mixed-use waterfront district delivering substantial public benefit…”

But the application says that ground-level restrictions, specifically with utility lines, easements, and more, were not known when those plans were first drawn up.

The application said that while the tax assessment records and a recent survey found that the actual development site was 33,954 square feet smaller than recorded. There are also height restrictions on large portions of the eastern boundary on the property. 

Furthermore, site constraints allow the physical development of 11.9 acres of the 18.8 acres. However, when factoring ground level restrictions, specifically with utility lines, easements, internal infrastructure, and the open space proposed,  only 7 or 8 acres of the 18.8-acre site is actually available for building development.”

The application said additional height is requested along with bonus density for more affordable housing and arts space.

“Given the realities of the actual site constraints, the 2.15 million square feet of [gross floor area] will not fit on the 11.9 acres of developable site area within the height limits contemplated in the [Old Town North Small Area Plan],” the application said. “This is especially true once square footage is further reduced due to building articulation and setting appropriate building widths efficient for marketable multifamily, office and retail space.”

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