M.E. Swing Coffee Roasters is moving from the West End to Del Ray.
Swing’s Coffee received approval from Alexandria City Council on Saturday to move into the located at 501 E. Monroe Ave.
Swing’s will turn part of the space into a cafe.
The company has roasted beans in the Washington, DC area for almost a century and, since 1994, has operated out of a roastery on S. Pickett Street.
The will be for coffee roasting, storage, wholesale distribution and office space. The floor plan also includes a coffee cupping room for wholesale customers to test and sample various roasted coffees.
The cafe, which will face E. Monroe Avenue, is also expected to sell premium chocolates and baked goods from local producers.
Mayor Bill Euille and members of council said they were happy to fill the vacant commercial space, but some had concerns about growing parking difficulties in the immediate area.
The building at 501 E. Monroe Ave. is built on the entirety of the parcel, so no off-street parking is available on site for Swing’s 13 employees.
In the short term, the company will lease Dominion-owned space for parking immediately to the east of the facility.
Eventually the space will be used for a . Large residential development will also go in closer to the Monroe Avenue Bridge, putting an additional strain on parking. Communications firm and parking tends to fill up when the fields at are in use.
“This is going to be a congested area,” said Barbara Ross, the city’s deputy chief of Planning and Zoning. “It’s all good [uses], but parking is going to be an issue.”
Euille, who is on the advisory board at the , said he would take it upon himself to see if it were possible for Swing’s employees to use part of the health facility’s lot.
Councilman Rob Krupicka asked city staff to look into creating more on-street parking along Monore and Leslie avenues to accommodate a growing demand.
“I do see as Potomac Yard develops and as more people use the nearby parcels, there’s going to be more demand here,” Vice Mayor Kerry Donley said. “I don’t want to say it’s a burden because in some respects a parking problem is a good problem to have because it says there is vitality and people are coming to the area. But it will be a burden that the owner has to deal with [in the long term].”
Attorney David Chamowitz, who represented Swing’s Coffee at Saturday’s hearing, said employees will not be in the area after 5 p.m. during the work week. The cafe will be the only part of the facility staffed on weekends.
“I don’t expect we’re going to be a heavy burden during times of conflict,” Chamowitz said.
Chamowitz also said Swing’s would look into adding a bike rack to the facility at the request of the Del Ray Citizens Association.