Hilco to Transform Northern Virginia Coal Site Into Mixed-Use Development

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Hilco Redevelopment Partners has acquired the 20-acre site of the former Potomac River Generating Station site in Alexandria, Va., from Potomac Electric Power Company, with plans to turn it into a mixed-use development.

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The price was not disclosed due to a non-disclosure agreement. As part of the deal, Pepco will retain a property interest in a portion of the site, where it will continue to own and operate an electrical substation. 

“We’re excited for the opportunity to redevelop the old Potomac River Generating Station site,” Gary C. Epstein, executive vice president and chief marketing officer of Hilco Redevelopment parent Hilco Global, told Commercial Observer. “Hilco Redevelopment Partners is uniquely suited to clean up and transform these types of unused industrial sites into environmentally friendly developments that best serve the local community. We envision a mixed-use development that provides housing, includes new dining and retail options, creates jobs, and, importantly, improves public open space along the Potomac waterfront and the Mount Vernon Trail.” 

Located in Alexandria’s Old Town North neighborhood, along the Mount Vernon Trail and Potomac River, the site was decommissioned in 2012 and remains one of the largest industrial sites in Alexandria.

In the coming months, Hilco Global will work further with all of the key stakeholders in Old Town North and the City of Alexandria to ensure the clean-up and redevelopment of this site, transforming it into something that it says will benefit the entire community. However, Epstein noted the project is very complex and could take several years from start to finish.

“To be clear, we have a vision and an approach for each property, but we don’t do it alone,” he said. “We work closely with city leaders and residents to incorporate details that make each site authentic to the city while respecting its history. And we do this by aggressively remediating each site to the current environmental standards, usually recycling nearly 100 percent of old materials on-site to reduce our environmental footprint.”

This was a private transaction negotiated between Hilco Redevelopment Partners and Pepco. There were no brokers on either side.

Hilco Redevelopment Partners is constantly in the market looking for these types of opportunities, Epstein said, which helps the company fulfill its vision of transforming complex, challenged, and often, dirty sites into new uses.  

“Our people are working in cities across the nation looking for and finding antiquated and unused manufacturing facilities, coal power plants, oil refineries, steel mills, etc., that have been shuttered (sometimes, for years), and we have the expertise to remediate them and to reimagine them in order to boost local economies, create jobs and build stronger communities,” Epstein said.

For example, in 2012, the company purchased the former 3,300-acre Bethlehem Steel facility in Baltimore and transformed it into Tradepoint Atlantic, a multi-modal logistics facility. Overall, Hilco owns five former coal-burning power plants.