DC proposal would convert coal plant to green mixed-use neighborhood

August 26, 2011 |
Drew Ballensky

A $450-million plan to transform the site of a 60-year-old coal-fired power plant into a sustainable mixed-use community, called “Potomac River Green,” was unveiled this month by the American Clean Skies Foundation (ACSF), a Washington, DC-based non-profit.

Developed after a year of work by a team of architects, urban planners, financial advisers and utility consultants, the proposal includes:

  • 89,600 sf of office space; 114,500 sf of retail and restaurants
  • 467 multi-family and 96 townhouse units
  • Office space with a Clean Energy Enterprise Center to incubate alternative energy and new technology businesses
  • An Energy Museum featuring 21st-century technologies
  • A 125-room boutique hotel
  • A compressed natural gas (CNG) and fast-charge electric car refueling station for government, commercial fleets, and individual vehicles
  • Enhanced access to water taxis and mass transit

Crushed brick from the plant would be used in the concrete for paths, streets and gardens. Brick and steel framing from plant would be used in the commercial property. All construction would be LEED-certified.

The Alexandria, VA plant is more than 60 years old, lacks critical emission controls, operates at 20 percent capacity, and is no longer critical for electric reliability. 

Drew Ballensky | Reconstruction Blog

Drew Ballensky is general manager of Duro-Last Roofing, Inc.’s central U.S. facility in Iowa and company spokesman for Duro-Last’s cool roofing, sustainability and architectural education programs. He is past-president of the Chemical Fabrics and Film Association and chairman of CFFA’s Vinyl Roofing Division. Drew earned his bachelor’s degree in industrial technology from the University of Northern Iowa and master’s degree in business administration from Florida State University.
Drew has over 29 years experience in business and industry in various engineering and managerial capacities. He has worked in the U.S. and Canadian operations for a major international manufacturer of pre-engineered steel buildings, was a financial analyst with a major athletic apparel manufacturer and was an owner of a general contracting company.

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