Monday, April 25, 2016

D.C. United Stadium Demolition Ceremony

An official demolition ceremony was held this morning at the site of the future D.C. United Stadium in Buzzard Point. Speakers at the event included Mayor Muriel Bowser, DC Council Chair Phil Mendelson, Ward 6 Council Member Charles Allen, D.C. United owner Jason Levien and others. Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development Brian Kenner stated during his remarks that the stadium project will provide 1,000 construction and permanent jobs, as well as help generate $1 billion in economic activity once Buzzard Point reaches buildout. It’s anticipated that approximately 1 million visitors will come to the stadium per year once it is built – construction will get underway this fall with completion by the start of the 2018 MLS season. This summer, a Community Workforce Coordinator will be hired to help connect Ward 6 residents to construction jobs at this project. Later, a Hospitality and Pre-Apprenticeship Coordinators will also be hired.

Ward 6 CM Allen gives remarks.
Mayor Bowser gives remarks.

A large crowd gathers for demo event.

The 96'ers were in attendance.

I couldn't get to the front row fast enough for the obligatory photo-op.

The District is responsible for horizontal development of the site, including razing existing buildings, utility work, and environmental remediation while D.C. United will build the stadium. There were a few protesters outside of the demolition event, many in face masks, with signs – one sign said “Protect out health, our children, our lives from contamination.” The Buzzard Point area is heavily polluted due to its primarily industrial past. The stadium, along with construction from the new Waterfront Pepco substation directly north of the stadium site, the new Frederick Douglass Memorial Bridge, and other sites in Buzzard Point which may be developed in the near future, will require extensive remediation and may cause a lot of dust to form in the neighborhood. In fact, there was what appeared to be an air quality control machine at the event.

Protesters citing environmental issues.
Air quality control machine.

After the speeches, the Mayor donned a hard hat and started demolishing a metal-clad building at 2nd and S streets. Below is a video of Mayor Bowser doing some demo work. Levien and Allen also got their turn at the helm.

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