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Orange Files Suit Against Cropp on Stadium Tiff
Oct 31, 2005 1:20 PM
The Associated Press is reporting
that council member Vincent Orange has filed suit in DC Superior Court against council chair Linda Cropp, alleging that she overstepped her authority when she called off a roundtable meeting
Orange had scheduled for today on the new baseball stadium
ownership issue. Wheeee!! UPDATE:
Here's more, from the Washington Business Journal.
Anacostia Community Boathouse Association Receives Grant
Oct 31, 2005 1:04 PM
The Anacostia Community Boathouse Association has received $300,000 from DDOT to turn a building between the spans of the 11th Street Bridge into a community center, reports the November Hill Rag.The center will "will serve as an information center and rest stop along the Anacostia Riverwalk trail, provide meeting areas for use by DDOT and other community groups, and provide much-needed facilities to hundreds of rowing and paddlesport enthusiasts who now use the river regularly." If you haven't seen the flurry of boating activity that launches onto the Anacostia from this spot, get yourself to the foot of 11th Street and take a peek.
Oct 29, 2005 5:01 PM
It's Photo Updates
day, and I've added a pile of them--look for the
icon to see my latest photos on these pages: DOT HQ
, Capper Seniors
, Capitol Hill Tower
, Canal Park
, 20 M Street
, East End
, M Street
, Marine B.E.Q.
, and New Jersey Avenue,
and even one if you dig enough on South Capitol Street
New Restaurant on 8th
Oct 29, 2005 4:28 PM
If you haven't seen it yet, Chicken Tortilla
has opened at 8th and L (see photo on my East End page
), serving charbroiled rotisserie chicken. It's open M-F 10-7, and 11-4 on Saturdays.
New Page for New Capper Community Center
Oct 28, 2005 11:12 PM
New page alert! I've added a page on the New Capper Community Center that will be built at 5th and K Streets, with some great renderings of the design of the new building (thanks go to architects Torti Gallas CHK for passing them along). The 28,500 sq ft facility will include daycare for 66 children, a rec center, a computer lab, a gym, a game room, and meeting/classrooms. This building is included in the vote on Capper/Carrollsburg planned by ANC 6D on Nov. 14 as well as the zoning hearing on Dec. 19.
WashTimes Citizen Forum on Stadium
Oct 27, 2005 10:58 AM
Today I attended a Citizen's Forum
discussing the new baseball stadium
and waterfront development put on by the Washington Times
--panelists were Linda Cropp, Sharon Ambrose, Stephen Green (Director of Development in the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development), Bob Peck of the DC Board of Trade, Barbara Lang of the DC Chamber of Commerce, and Franklin Haney, who is one of the bidders on both the Nationals and the "master developer" slot for the Ballpark District
. No real news coming out of it--Linda Cropp reiterated that she will be bringing technical amendments on Nov. 1 to the stadium financing plan to fix some issues, which will prevent the financing from be reopened. There wasn't much time for questions from the citizens portion of the forum, but those who did speak (who were mostly ANC commissioners) pressed the panel on issues regarding minority businesses getting part of the stadium/development pie, affordable housing, relocation of residents and businesses in the stadium footprint, and more. The WashTimes
says it will publish a transcript of the forum within the next week or so. UPDATE:
Here is the WashTimes's article (not the transcript): "Cropp Vows Ballpark on Anacostia
Team Bidder Offers to Pay Cost Overruns
Oct 27, 2005 10:47 AM
Franklin Haney, who is bidding to become the owner of the Nationals, has told city officials (according to the Post in "Bidder Would Pay Overruns") that he would pay potential cost overruns up to $200 million on the new baseball stadium--and in return, "We would hope to be awarded the development rights to be awarded in the Ballpark District." (Haney submitted one of the nine proposals in response to the Anacostia Waterfront Corporation's Request for Expressions of Interest.) Haney, who has developed properties such as the Portals in Southwest, has not been considered one of the frontrunners in the jockeying to buy the Nats. The hope is that an owner will be chosen so that MLB can vote to approve at its by Nov. 15 meeting.
Article on DOT HQ Construction
Oct 26, 2005 11:34 AM
To get us off the all-baseball-all-the-time track, here's a nice piece from Mid-Atlantic Construction magazine about the construction of the new DOT HQ. Occupancy is planned for January, 2007, and at that time the Southwest Plaza should also open, which includes the renovation of a nearby historic brick building that once housed a large electrical transformer into an 11,000-sq.-ft. restaurant and retail center (scroll down my DOT page to see pictures, since you can no longer see this building from M Street).
Oct 26, 2005 11:22 AM
It isn't just the White Sox being in the World Series
that's holding up the lease negotiations between the city and MLB over the new baseball stadium
--it's worries over hurricanes and terrorism
(according to the WashTimes
), and whether the city should be guaranteed a rent payment under those circumstances.
Oct 25, 2005 9:39 PM
The DC government has filed court papers to seize the properties of 16 landowners
in the footprint of the new baseball stadium
, according to Wednesday's Post
. The owners have 20 days to challenge the constitutionality of the takeover; if the courts do not block the city's takeover, the properties must be vacated within three months, and juries may ultimately have to decide what the owners get paid if no agreements can be reached. Seven other owners have agreed to sell their land.
Oct 23, 2005 6:39 PM
I've added a graphic to my Capper/Carrollsburg
page that shows the general outline of the plans for the area. (I realized that while I
know what's going where, and have mentioned it from time to time on my site, perhaps not everyone
can read my mind and so might prefer an easy-to-read image that lays out the concepts of this 33-acre revitalization, rather than having to sift through piles of zoning documents or waiting for EYA to add a real "Site Plan
" link to their Capitol Quarter
page.) I also added a similar graphic and some detail to the Ballpark District
page, while we wait to find out what the AWC has up its sleeve.
Oct 22, 2005 11:26 AM
It's become a busy time, with all sorts of Near Southeast-related events coming up, so I've created a Calendar of Events
on the Near Southeast home page (at right, under the map) to better keep track of what's on the docket.
Oct 22, 2005 10:40 AM
Nine bids to become the "master developer" that will oversee the mixed-use development of the roughly 13 acres of land
surrounding the new baseball stadium
have been received by the Anacostia Waterfront Corporation in response to its Request for Expressions of Interest for Ballpark District Development
, from the following companies: Monument Realty
and Federal Realty Investment Trust
, LNR Property Corp.
, Trammell Crow Residential
, Triden Development Group LLC, Forest City Enterprises Inc.
and Western Development Corp., the Franklin L. Haney Co., and the DSG Capital Group
. The Post
's "Firms Bid on Land by Stadium
" and the WashTimes's "Group Pitches 'Ballpark District
'" both contain details on some of the bids. The AWC is hoping to select the lead developer by early December.
Oct 22, 2005 10:29 AM
Only one of the 23 land owners in the footprint of the new baseball stadium
has agreed to accept the city's offer for their property, according to "Stadium Property Owners Balking
" in Saturday's Post
. From the article: "To gain control of the land for the $535 million stadium project, the D.C. attorney general's office will go to D.C. Superior Court as early as Monday to begin eminent domain proceedings to seize the properties that have not been sold. By going to court, D.C. officials plan to control the entire 21-acre stadium site within 90 days, they said. That will put them on schedule to clear the land, remediate minor environmental contamination and complete the Washington Nationals' ballpark by Major League Baseball's March 2008 deadline." Some of the landowners are complaining that the city is doing nothing to help them relocate, although other owners have said they feel the city is dealing with them in good faith. Again from the article: "[U]nder the "quick take" provision in the eminent domain law, the District will assume title to the properties once it deposits the money into a court-controlled account. Unless a judge stops the action on constitutional grounds, owners will have 90 days to vacate, and a jury eventually will determine the sale price unless an agreement is reached. As long as the city can show that the stadium will serve a significant public purpose, the court will allow the takeover, land use lawyers said." To see the 2005 assessed values for the properties, along with what the city has offered, see my Stadium Offers
Oct 21, 2005 2:22 PM
I've made some major changes to my Florida Rock
page, with much more detailed information about this planned 5.8-acre mixed-use project along the Anacostia River. Also included are some fabulous renderings of what the development will look like. Many thanks go to Davis Buckley Architects
for providing me with the information and images. ANC 6D will be voting on the project at its November 14 meeting, and the second-stage PUD will be before the DC Zoning Commission on Dec. 8
Great Streets Initiative Workshops
Oct 21, 2005 1:09 PM
As part of the Great Streets Initiatve
, the District Department of Transportation will be holding public workshops to help plan and design over $100 million in transportation for seven corridors, including South Capitol Street
. The workshop that will include South Capitol Street (along with MLK Jr. Avenue and Minnesota Avenue) will be held Wednesday, October 26
at 6 pm at Thurgood Marshall Academy.
Oct 21, 2005 1:03 PM
This is not the sort of thing I normally would post about here, but I've been giggling about it all morning, so.... I dreamt last night that I was driving around Near Southeast, and suddenly at N Street I saw a big brick building that I knew hadn't been there just a few days earlier. I went to investigate, and it was a "model" of the new baseball stadium
, about three stories high and two blocks long, that the city had built so that residents could get a feel for what the new stadium was going to look like. It was a Camden Yards-looking design (so of course I told everyone in earshot "no, the architects have said they'd be using glass and stone as their major materials!"), and there were tons of people milling around looking at it, getting very excited about seeing the "real" stadium built. If I had to ask Dr. Freud, I think he'd tell me that I'm at the end of my rope waiting for the design to be unveiled!
Oct 21, 2005 10:46 AM
News from Zoning Commission land: at Monday's meeting, the text amendment to the Capitol Gateway Overlay about the stadium was finally approved. As soon as it gets posted in the DC Municipal Regulations, I'll post it here, although in the meantime you can read the text of the amendment from the July 29 DC Register. In other DCOZ news, there will be a hearing on Dec. 19 on Capper/Carrollsburg, to consider Phase I Final Approval and modifications to the consolidated and prelimary PUD. Phase I final approval references the land between 3rd and 4th and K and M Streets, where they are proposing to build 91 3- to 4-story residential units (note that the existing private homes in these blocks will not be demolished); this application also addresses the plans to build a new community center on 5th Street between K and L Streets. At the ANC 6D meeting on Oct. 17, it was indicated that the breakdown of the 91 units would be: 51 units would be 3-4 bedroom townhouses sold at market rate or moderate (80%-120% median income), 11 would be section 8 ownership units, and 29 would be public housing rental units. These units are in addition to the ones already in the pipeline for the blocks between 4th and 5th and Virginia and M--there will be a total of 208 market-rate townhouse units in these first two phases. The community center will include a daycare facility for 66 children, a rec center, a computer lab, a gym, a game room, and meeting/classrooms. AND 6D will be voting on this at their Nov. 14 meeting.
11th Street Bridges EIS Newsletter
Oct 21, 2005 10:44 AM
The 11th Street Bridges Environmental Impact Statement project has released its first newsletter, which contains a lot of really useful information about what exactly the project is, and how it's going to work. There will be two more public scoping meetings on Dec. 13 and 14. The newsletter also notes that construction on new ramps could begin as early as Fall 2007.
Oct 18, 2005 3:23 PM
DC Council Chair Linda Cropp has signaled that she will block any attempts at significant alternations to the baseball stadium financing package, reports Tuesday's Post. She will introduce as "technical" the amendments necessary to amend the financing package on Nov. 1, which limits the amount of changes that can be made. While councilmembers such as David Catania, Kwame Brown, and Vincent Orange have hinted that they would like to reopen the financing package, the article notes that two council members who voted against the package last year--Kathy Patterson and Adrian Fenty--have indicated they would probably vote to approve the amendments. Says Patterson: "The District is at some risk of not being taken seriously as a government if we renege on the deal we have. That said, we negotiated a lousy deal."
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