King Street Retail Analysis and Strategy, 2009

2005 and 2009 King Street Retail Studies

Page updated on Dec 9, 2015 at 4:36 PM

2009 King Street Retail Analysis

BackgroundKing St

In June 2009, the City retained Gibbs Planning Group (GPG) to conduct an independent analysis of King Street’s urban characteristics and City policies as they relate to the Old Town Commercial District. The broad purpose of the study was to identify the challenges and opportunities to increase Old Town’s commerce without compromising the quality of life for its surrounding neighborhoods or its historical heritage. The 2009 King Street Retail Analysis, prepared by Gibbs Planning Group addressed the following topics:

  • Strengths, opportunities and concerns regarding Old Town’s commerce
    from the point of view of community groups, organizations, residents, workers and City staff;
  • General trends and opportunities for Old Town’s business sales and growth;
  • Major strengths and opportunities of Old Town retailers and restaurants;
  • How Old Town’s built environment (streetscape, parking and waterfront, etc.) impacts Old Town’s commerce;
  • Potential modifications to City policy and ordinances, including parking, security, signage, maintenance and building approvals that would have a positive effect on King Street’s commerce;
  • Potential growth for retail and restaurant expenditures for the next five years; and
  • Impact of the new King Street Trolley and opportunities for improvement to expand Old Town’s commerce.
Meetings, Presentations, and Documents Archive
  • June 2009 Workshop for Business Owners - presented by Bob Gibbs of Gibbs Planning Group, Inc. 
  • June 2009 Joint City Council/Planning Commission work session
  • March 2009 King Street Retail Forum, presented by Bob Gibbs of Gibbs Planning Group Inc.
    Presentation (This is a 12 megabyte PDF file and may take time to download to your computer. The new window may remain blank until the entire file has downloaded)

2005 King Street Retail Strategy


A strategic planning effort for King Street's "historic retail district" from the King Street Metro Station to the waterfront examined ways to keep this vital retail sector competitive in the face of burgeoning regional competition. The City's Department of Planning and Zoning - working with an advisory committee composed of local businesses, citizens, and representatives from business and civic groups - identified potential opportunities, evaluated market constraints, and recommended actions to maintain King Street as a vibrant retail center. The goal has been to ensure that King Street continues to function as Alexandria's "Main Street" for residents and visitors alike.

The Retail Strategy sought to build upon the many positive attributes of this important historic street/district and to recommend programs that will allow and encourage the retail district to meet the needs of its patrons in a lively and desirable urban environment. The characteristics of the King Street retail area are quite diverse, including the office-oriented Metro station area, the independent retailers serving primarily Alexandria residents, and the tourist-oriented waterfront area. The length and diversity of the street as a retail corridor necessitated a broad approach to the planning process and resulted in a comprehensive set of recommendations ranging from land use and zoning to parking, transit and urban design. Also included in the Strategy were recommendations on how to most effectively implement the suggested actions.

Meetings, Presentations, and Documents Archive