PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY, VA. (July 31, 2014) – Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe today joined a host of federal, state, local and railroad officials at the Potomac Shores master-planned community in the groundbreaking for a new Virginia Railway Express (VRE) station in Potomac Shores. The station is expected to open in 2017.
“A robust, effective transportation system is key to ensuring that Virginia can compete in a 21st Century economy,” said Governor McAuliffe. “This means investing not only in road improvements, but also rail and mass transit, which is why today’s groundbreaking is a critical part of my transportation agenda. The new Potomac Shores VRE station will be a vital link in the region’s commuter rail network, and it is a great example of the Commonwealth working together with private partners.”
Situated on the banks of the Potomac River in Prince William County, Potomac Shores is a 1,920-acre master-planned community being developed by SunCal, one of the largest real estate development companies in the U.S. that specializes in large-scale, mixed-use master-planned communities.
Potomac Shores is a waterfront community that is being designed as a transit-oriented development (TOD) due to its convenient access to the on-site VRE station and a variety of planned transportation options. Located in the community’s town center, the station will sit along a bluff-top promenade overlooking the Potomac River. Commuters will take an elevator or stairs down to the boarding platforms to catch northbound or southbound VRE trains on the tracks below.
“When our company acquired this property in 2011, one of our priorities was to create a transit-oriented development,” said Eddie Byrne, Vice President of Project Management for Potomac Shores. “We made some adjustments to the previous plans, and the County’s 2013 approval of a zoning amendment and special use permit allows us to concentrate various uses in the town center. But above all, this is a TOD community because of the inclusion of the VRE station in the town center.”
The town center’s TOD design will help create a compact, walkable community that is centered on the rail station, thereby allowing for less dependence on automobiles.
VRE has been the driving force in the efforts to bring the rail improvements to Northern Virginia. Making the new rail stop possible was the Federal Railroad Administration’s 2012 authorization of $74.8 million to build 11 miles of a third track from Stafford County to Prince William County, thereby reaching Potomac Shores. The state invested $15 million and SunCal is contributing $20 million towards the design and construction of the Potomac Shores station in this public-private partnership.
“Prince William County has been working closely with VRE, CSX and SunCal to bring this new rail station to our county,” said Maureen Caddigan, Potomac District Supervisor, Prince William County. “It’s an ongoing effort that has taken many years, and we are extremely pleased that the project has reached this major milestone toward becoming a reality.”
VRE and CSX Transportation recently reached an agreement that permits the addition of the Potomac Shores station. The design and planning process for the new station is presently underway, with the design review by VRE, CSX and Prince William County expected to be completed by late 2015. After a bid is selected, the start of construction is anticipated to begin in the fourth quarter of 2015, with the opening of the station planned for 2017.
“This is a great day for Cherry Hill Peninsula and all of Prince William County,” said Hilda M. Barg, former Prince William County Supervisor and lifelong native of the land where Potomac Shores is located. “I’ve lived here all my life and I’m glad to see that this new station will soon be serving people throughout Northern Virginia for many decades to come.”
About Potomac Shores
Potomac Shores covers 1,920 acres and features nearly two miles of shoreline, 1,000 acres of preserved hardwood forests and streams, traditional Virginia Tidewater architectural designs and a new Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course. The community will offer a town center, a planned marina and waterfront village, a resort hotel, the new rail station and a corporate campus. It will also feature a private 10,000-square-foot recreation center, two public schools, more than a dozen sports fields and courts, 10 miles of trails and over 3,800 residences. For more information, visit www.potomacshores.com.
SunCal acquires, entitles and develops major residential properties and commercial developments. The company creates distinctive master-planned and mixed-use communities that emphasize quality of life, environmental sensitivity and recreational opportunities. SunCal is one of the largest real estate development companies in the U.S. that specializes in large-scale, mixed-use master-planned communities, and has offices in Irvine, Calif.; Northern California; New York City; Washington, D.C.; Las Vegas; Denver; Austin, Texas; Savannah, Ga.; and Melbourne, Fla. For more information, visit www.suncal.com.