Monday, May 19, 2014

Stadium Deal Near?

Capital Business reports that sources indicate the city is closing in on a deal for the proposed DC United stadium in Buzzard Point and that the DC Council will likely receive the terms of the agreement in a legislative package later this week…which is only five months later than the Council was anticipated to vote on the deal, according to the term sheet signed by the Mayor and the team back in July 2013. From the article: 
A hang-up in the discussions has been how to replace an original provision in which the District would have shared in any profits the team made. After vetting the profit-sharing provision with members of the D.C. Council, City Administrator Allen Lew, the District’s chief negotiator for D.C. Mayor Vincent C. Gray (D), agreed with the team to replace it with a combination of sales tax payments and a future $2 surcharge on tickets. 

A recent Southwest...The Little Quadrant That Could unscientific poll stated that 80% of respondents approved the deal, which calls for the District to spend up to $150 million for land acquisition and infrastructure improvements while the team spends $150 to build the stadium. Agreements have been made with Akridge and Pepco regarding their parcels in the stadium’s footprint, but negotiations continue with Kastles’ owner Mark Ein, who with Super Salvage, controls land in the northern end of the site. If an agreement cannot be made, then according to the article, the city is prepared to use eminent domain. Akridge owns most of the land needed for the stadium, which will be located at 2nd and R streets while Pepco’s parcel is located on the eastern side of the site. A land swap has been negotiated with Akridge involving the Reeves Center at 14th and U streets, NW. Presumably, the Pepco site is a cash deal, although details should be forthcoming soon once legislation is introduced in the Council. 

Earlier rendering of Waterfront Substation

On a related note, Pepco representatives came to the monthly ANC 6D meeting last week to provide an update on their plans to build a new Waterfront Substation north of the stadium site and 1st and Q streets to replace the one in the decommissioned Buzzard Point Plant at Half and V streets. Originally, the façade of the substation was designed by CORE Architects to look like an office building and mimicked the brick architecture of Fort McNair, but after receiving feedback from the community and the Office of Planning, the utility company has decided to rework the design. The new design uses a variety of forms around the building, with more of a residential feeling on the north side near the existing community with brick veneer and a vegetative wall - the historic James C. Dent House is on the northwest corner of the site and will remain intact. The south side faces a planned plaza as a part of the soccer stadium development and will have more of a commercial look with light screens and the use of concrete. The existing buildings on the site (Lyon Bakery and Ana Towing) will be demolished later this year. Construction of phase one of the substation will be complete in 2016. A second phase is planned on the south side of the site to increase capacity at the substation in the future, although the façade of the entire site will be completed during the first phase. 

Renderings courtesy of Gensler and Pepco

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