ALEXANDRIA, Va. (DC News Now) — Opening days normally generate a lot of anticipation and excitement, and for a lot of Metro riders, this should be a pretty big one.
People were able to begin to using Potomac Yard Station, located between Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport and Braddock Road stations, on Friday. The station serves Metro’s Blue and Yellow lines.
The location in Alexandria is considered the fastest growing area of the city.
Work to tie-in the station and new tracks with the rest of the Metrorail system ended in November 2022. Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) said the station provides walkable access to transportation systems for people in Alexandria’s northeast area and that it should generate billions of dollars in private sector investment over the long term and eventually support 26,000 new jobs and 13,000 new residents.
The Potomac Yard Station is the 98th one in the Metrorail system.
The hopes are that with the new Metro station, an economic boom will soon follow – as will the growth of the Potomac Yard neighborhood.
“You look at places like NoMA and Navy Yard 15, 20 years ago, or McLean or Tyson’s – look at them today,” said WMATA General Manager Randy Clarke. “This has a chance to be like that as well.”
Apartments are already across the street from the new stop, and a shopping center and grocery store are also nearby.
“I’m excited,” said Potomac Yard resident Michael Riege. “I can walk to the Metro now. Yeah, I’m looking forward to the future.”
Pieces of the area’s future are still best-shown in renderings. That’s best exemplified by images on fences outside of construction sites.
“I personally would love to see this be a really great mixed-use residential-retail type of area,” said Eros Gao, who took the new rail trip for the first time Friday morning.
The next big project is the Virginia Tech Innovation Campus – a space for computer science and engineering graduate students. It’s set to open in 2024.
The other hope is that the Metro stop brings people to Alexandria, even if they work elsewhere. Tons of jobs are coming to neighboring Arlington when Amazon’s HQ2 is build. There are also hopes another major employer will be next to join the region.
“Some of those 13,000 [projected] new residents are going to be FBI agents going to the new FBI headquarters in Springfield, Virginia,” said Sen. Mark Warner. Right now, the FBI is deciding between that location, and one in Prince George’s County, Maryland.