Mayor Gray announced today in a press release that the city has reached final business terms with DC United to build a new 20,000 – 25,000-seat soccer stadium in Buzzard Point at 2nd and R streets. The announcement comes ten months after the city signed a term sheet with DC United. Currently, the city controls 88 percent of the stadium site and “has also brokered an agreement in principle for acquisition of the final parcels for full possession of the required land for the stadium,” according to the press release.
“This is a major step forward for economic development in the District of Columbia,” said Mayor Gray in a prepared statement. “The new soccer stadium will be the connector between developing areas around our baseball stadium and the new Wharf development along our Southwest Waterfront. The new soccer stadium is the final catalyst for what is certain to become one of the most vibrant and sustainable sports and retail districts in America.”
Some of the components of the deal include a land swap with Akridge – the city will offer the Reeves Building at 14th and U streets, NW in exchange for a portion of the stadium site. Akridge originally planned a secure office campus ideally for a federal tenant on their three-block long, nine-acre site, which was being marketed as 100 V Street. The developer will retain the southern two blocks of the site and will more than likely build a mixed-use project oriented to an entertainment district rather than a federal enclave, although that is pure speculation at this point. A new Reeves complex will be built in Anacostia that will be completed in three years. The city will also acquire land owned by Pepco in the stadium footprint and in turn, Pepco will buy city-owned land at 1st and K streets, NW, where they will be required to build a new substation. This substation is in addition to the one Pepco has planned in Buzzard Point at 1st and Q streets. Details on the sale of the other parcels needed for the stadium have not been finalized yet.
The city will spend a maximum of $150 million for land acquisition and infrastructure, while DC United will pay an estimated $150 million to build the stadium. Additional uses will be built adjacent to the actual stadium within the footprint, presumably a hotel, team offices, and some retail. The land will be leased by the team for 30 years (up to 40 years if renewed) at a subsidized rate of $1 per year, but the ancillary uses portion of the site can be renewed for a longer term provided the team pays market rent during that additional term. Property and sales taxes will be phased in during the life of the ground lease, as well as a $2 ticket surcharge.
Community benefits negotiated between the city and team include the following:
- 51 percent of jobs at the soccer stadium (ticket takers, guest services, ushers, food service, etc.) would go to District residents;
- 50 percent of all development-related contracts (e.g. design, construction, etc.) would to go to Certified Business Enterprise (CBE) businesses with 35 percent to small and 20 percent to disadvantaged business enterprises; and
- 35 percent of all stadium operation contracts (i.e. janitorial, food service, security, etc.) to go to CBE businesses.
These community benefits are generic and benefit the entire city, but the Winning Goal Coalition, which includes the CBCC, SWNA, and others are working to negotiate a Community Benefits Agreement that benefits the residents of ANC 6D and specifically, those who live closest to the stadium site. Legislation was sent to the DC Council for approval (the original term sheet called for DC Council approval by January 2014). It remains to be seen whether this deal gets changed some more once the Council gets involved. If approved, the stadium would be ready in time for the 2017 season.
Meanwhile, a 32,300 square-foot parcel with eight lots just to the east of the stadium site is being marketed for sale by Jackson Prentice Real Estate Services. The cluster of warehouse buildings on the 1800 block of Half Street include Ziegfeld’s/Secrets, home to a drag revue and male strip club. Z/S relocated once before to make way for Nationals Park and it appears that it will need to move again once this site is redeveloped. A ninth lot on the site is not included in the sale, so the site includes two parcels of unequal size.
|Nats Park from Water Street (rear of 1800 block of Half Street)|
Renderings courtesy of Gensler