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Mayor Lauds New Madison Street Development as 'Uplifting'

New project at 500 Madison St. will include a Harris Teeter grocery store, affordable housing improvements and other public contributions.

Development and city officials gathered Wednesday for a ground-breaking ceremony at the Old Town site that soon will house a , including rental units and a full-service grocery store.

The 51,500-square-foot site at 500 Madison St. will include 175 rental units in a new building called The Kingsley and a Harris Teeter grocery, among other amenities.

“Old Town is magic,” said Robert Buchanan, principal at developer Buchanan Partners. “A lot of people were pleased to be involved.”

He noted that Harris Teeter’s presence on the site marks the first time since the 1960s that a full-service grocer agreed to move into Old Town.

Construction begins Thursday, Buchanan said, and is scheduled for completion in early 2014.

Mayor Bill Euille told the 100 or so event attendees standing in the dirt field that the development of the mixed-use property will continue to “enhance the quality life and uplift the lives of other people.”

Euille noted that he’s a lifelong Alexandria resident, born in public housing just a few blocks away, and said that developments like the Kingsley complex will aid in revitalizing the area and bringing about other, positive changes.

“Thank you for investing capital,” said City Councilman Frank Fannon at the event, held on the construction site. “We have the lowest commercial tax rate in the region. …This project also brings jobs.”

Developers for the project are contributing $600,000 for affordable housing, an enhanced Montgomery Park, new bus stop, public art and a Capital Bikeshare station, among other things.

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