The power of buildings and organic commerce…


More on Delaware in coming posts.  

See that light gray building to the left?  I was recently in Alexandria, VA.  I knew this area on the Potomac waterfront was slated for substantial “tourist and quality of life” changes.  I figured that building’s days were numbered so I had to check it out.


Alexandria Marine Service and Sales has been in business for 64 years. The locally-owned store sells new and used boat engine parts and also fixes outboard engines. The shop is located right on the Old Town waterfront. The Potomac river flows right behind the building.   A beautiful and rustic setting.


Check out the width of those walls.  I hope they continue to use this building with the waterfront development.  It would be tragic to see this solid structure come down.


I wish we could learn to re-develop neat areas like this without losing places like this.  It is so organic.


Service yard where motors are (or perhaps sadly were) brought in.  It will likely be a great project that Alexandria has planned with cool restaurants and a boutique hotel, but can’t we leave a little room for authentic businesses that have nothing to do with tourism?


I know, I know, the real estate is too valuable.  OK.  Just saying.  However, a business like this gives the area a sense of authenticity that is missing with many re-developments.


Enjoy this “organic” business structure while you can and try to capture them when you see a little jewel like this.  Sadly, I think a warehouse a couple of blocks away that still receives boxcars off the CSX is also slated to be “re-developed.”


The three green dots show boxcars in 2014 in downtown Alexandria just a couple of blocks from Alexandria Marine.


Street view.  Green dot shows box car spotted at Robinson Terminal #1.  Again, the waterfront redevelopment will likely be a very popular project with many benefits.  I just wish we could save a little of the organic quality of our living spaces.  Buildings that help people make a living unrelated to tourism can be special in their own way.  We need to get development professionals to be more sensitive to this.



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