Federal City Council
Ashkenazy Acquisition Corporation
Evolution continues as station leaders plan for the future
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Steady growth and the future vision for Washington Union Station remains in the forefront as the Union Station Redevelopment Corporation (USRC), Amtrak, Ashkenazy Acquisition Corporation (AAC), and the Federal City Council come together to celebrate the 25th Anniversary of the station’s grand reopening.
On Sept. 29, 1988, Washington Union Station reopened its doors with a gala celebration after a three-year transformative rehabilitation project. A collaborative public/private partnership funded the $160 million project per 1981 congressional legislation to restore the station to its historic grandeur. At the time, the project was considered the largest, most complex, public/private restoration project ever to be completed in the United States. Key improvements included: the creation of a mezzanine level within the Concourse, which provided expanded retail; the addition of dedicated areas for Amtrak seating and signage; restoration of the floors in the West, East, and Main Halls and exterior walls, doors, and windows; upgrades to the exterior lighting; the addition of two escalators connecting the ground level and mezzanine level outside the Main Hall; and the addition of an elevator providing accessibility to all three levels of the station.
“The redevelopment of Union Station reinforced both the public and private sector’s perception of the historic station as an iconic gateway to the nation’s capital,” said Union Station President and CEO Beverley Swaim-Staley. “It’s that impression that defines the continued interest to preserve the landmark, celebrate its accomplishments today, and plan for the future.”
“This collaborative rehabilitation project provided Amtrak with a home for its national corporate headquarters, served as the catalyst for neighborhood development, and helped spark a renaissance of national passenger rail service,” said Amtrak President and CEO Joe Boardman. “Since the station’s reopening, Amtrak ridership in Washington, D.C., has more than doubled and we continue to see record growth.”
Today, the bustling retail and multi-modal facility serves over 32 million visitors annually, and station partners continue to focus on enhancements. Recent renovations include improving vehicular and pedestrian circulation on Columbus Plaza, expanding the intercity bus terminal, rehabilitating the historic Main Hall, and introducing new modes of transportation resources.
In 2012, Amtrak and private developer, Akridge, released the Washington Union Station Master Plan in partnership with USRC, the commuter railroads, and other local stakeholders. The plan sets forth a new vision to again revitalize the station through a multi-phased approach, to gain increased passenger and rail capacity, add new station amenities and transit-oriented mixeduse development above the tracks. While work continues to refine the plan, early action items focus on passenger waiting areas and concourse expansion.
About Union Station Redevelopment Corporation (USRC)
Union Station Redevelopment Corporation (USRC) was established in 1983 as a non-profit organization charged with overseeing Washington Union Station’s restoration and renaissance as a multi-modal transportation center and a retail/entertainment center while preserving its significant historic character. Today, USRC continues to oversee Union Station as a premier world class inter-modal facility meeting the needs of more than 100,000 people who stream through the station daily. The USRC generates its revenue through operation of the parking garage and management of the developer’s lease.
Amtrak is America’s Railroad®, the nation’s intercity passenger rail service and its high-speed rail operator. A record 31.2 million passengers traveled on Amtrak in FY 2012 on more than 300 daily trains – at speeds up to 150 mph (241 kph) – that connect 46 states, the District of Columbia and three Canadian Provinces. Amtrak operates intercity trains in partnership with 15 states and contracts with 13 commuter rail agencies to provide a variety of services. Enjoy the journey® at Amtrak.com or call 800-USA-RAIL for schedules, fares and more information. Join us on facebook.com/Amtrak and follow us at twitter.com/Amtrak.
About Ashkenazy Acquisition Corporation
Headquartered in New York City, Ashkenazy Acquisition Corporation is a private real estate investment firm focusing on retail and office assets. Ashkenazy Acquisition has acquired over 13 million square feet of retail, office and residential properties, located throughout the United States and Canada. With a portfolio containing more than 100 buildings valued at approximately $5 billion, Ashkenazy Acquisition has a superior performance history in purchasing and managing premier assets.