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Georgetown University, Federal City Council Throw Their Weight Behind Georgetown-Rosslyn Gondola

by Nena Perry-Brown

Rendering of the proposed gondola. Click to enlarge.

Amazon's selection of Northern Virginia for its second headquarters last month renewed interest in a host of transportation and infrastructural projects in the immediate area, from the CC2DCA pedestrian bridge to the Long Bridge. But what about the proposed aerial Georgetown-to-Rosslyn gondola?

The Washington Post op-ed co-written by Monumental Sports' Ted Leonsis, JBG Smith CEO Matt Kelly and Virginia politician Tom Davis is not the only push stakeholders have made in recent weeks to renew momentum behind the gondola. Today, the Georgetown BID is releasing the list of parties participating in the inaugural Georgetown-Rosslyn Gondola Coalition.

And earlier this month, Georgetown University (GU) and the Federal City Council (FC2) sent a joint letter to DC Council Chair Phil Mendelson encouraging the DC Council to pursue securing land in Georgetown via a public-private partnership to create a transit hub which could host the gondola — and potentially serve as a future site for a Georgetown Metro station.

"We join our voices today to draw your attention to an important and urgent opportunity for our city—the securing of land near the foot of Key Bridge for a future access tunnel shaft for planned Metrorail service through Georgetown as part of Metro's separated Blue Line strategy," the letter, signed by former mayor and FC2 CEO Tony Williams and GU president John DeGioia, states. "We understand that private development at the site is imminent, but we believe that the land has a higher and better public use. Not only would it serve as an access point for Metrorail construction, the site can be used in the interim to bolster bike and circulator operations, and could serve a future gondola station until the new Blue Line can be built."

The site in question is likely the former Exxon station and future condo project at 3601 M Street NW (map), which a feasibility study identified as the ideal location for a gondola landing. The development team behind the condo project has received approval for the project and has acquired permits for some work at the site, but not building permits.

It will be interesting to see whether the letter will compel additional political interest in the project and an intervention at the Hillside Residences site in the coming year.

This article originally published at http://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/georgetown-university-federal-city-council-throw-their-weight-behind-george/14800

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