Greater Greater Washington

Gray administration holding up Reservation 13 for Redskins

Mayor Gray's office is stalling any progress on a plan to build a new mixed-use neighborhood that has widespread community support, because they'd rather turn over the land to the Washington Redskins for a practice facility that won't do anything for the community or DC.


Why would we possibly want this in DC? Photo by owillis on Flickr.

7 ANC commissioners met last night with Victor Hoskins, DC's Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development to discuss "Hill East," also known as Reservation 13. After a long process with thorough public participation, DC created a plan to build a "vibrant, mixed-use urban waterfront community" on 50 acres of the site.

Based on reports from ANC commissioner Brian Flahaven, it appears that vibrancy and tree-lined public streets are taking a back seat to large empty football field-sized spaces closed to the public:

The Mayor's Office is continuing to negotiate with Dan Snyder and the Washington Redskins to build a training facility at Reservation 13. Until the outcome of the negotiations is determined, any development plans for Reservation 13 remain on hold.

Commissioners strongly pushed back that the community must be involved in the decision about a training facility on the site and expressed frustration that the Mayor is not seeking feedback from residents. Deputy Mayor Hoskins said that his office is not involved in the negotiations. ...

The Deputy Mayor said his office should know whether the city will pursue a training facility or continue with the current development plans in 30 days. If plans for a training facility do not move forward, he said that the city would return to development plans approved by the community. ... The Deputy Mayor also said that any training facility proposal would have to be consistent with the zoning for the site. ...

All 9 Commissioners, representing Wards 6 & 7, agreed that Mayor Gray needs to come out to the community and explain how a potential training facility fits into the master development plan agreed to by residents.

It's possible to vaguely imagine a way that a practice facility could be part of a mixed-use neighborhood. For example, the Redskins could build practice fields and any necessary parking entirely underground, then put surface streets, parks, and buildings on top of them. Their offices could occupy a building with ground-floor retail that's open to the public.

Dan Snyder could build all of this entirely with his own money, in this very urban way. But does anyone seriously believe that is possible? This is the guy who tried to charge people just to walk into his stadium instead of paying huge parking fees. Would he actually want to design practice fields that fit into a good neighborhood landscape when he has a perfectly good, entirely private facility in Ashburn?

Maybe if the District built the whole thing and gave it to him for free, he'd accept the deal, but it would be a terrible bargain for taxpayers. If he paid money for it, why would he want to spend extra money just to essentially make the facility invisible and unobtrusive?

Certain city leaders seem to believe that bringing the Redskins to DC is worth virtually any cost simply for the civic pride involved in having an NFL team inside one's borders. We know Jack Evans has a massive blind spot for organized sports. He abhors spending government money on anything except sports facilities, where the sky's the limit. We know that Michael Brown doesn't know any better. We should expect better from Mayor Gray.

Correction: The original version of this article had a sentence about criticism of DMPED. However, since Hoskins said the negotiations are not coming from his office, this is not relevant. The sentence has been deleted.

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David Alpert is the founder and editor-in-chief of Greater Greater Washington. He worked as a Product Manager for Google for six years and has lived in the Boston, San Francisco, and New York metro areas in addition to Washington, DC. He now lives with his wife and daughter in Dupont Circle. 

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Time to Call the Mayor's office and lodge a protest. This obsession is totally out of place. Gray is the Mayor not a despot. Why is he trying so hard for the Redskins and apparently not interested in retaining DC United

by danmac on Feb 16, 2012 2:29 pm • linkreport

let the Redskins stay in Muraland.

Keep DC United!!

by mighty on Feb 16, 2012 2:32 pm • linkreport

No surprises here - how long have we been sounding the alarms about this? We need to stay extremely vigilant about this and make sure Evans, Gray and Brown don't make any sneaky back-room deals. I didn't see any mention of Tommy Wells in the article; we should push him to write a letter of support for the mixed-use development and against this abhorrent monomaniacal pipe-dream of theirs. Bringing the DC football team back in ANY way to DC-proper would be a terrible waste and missed-opportunity for the taxpaying citizens of this great city.

by Shipsa01 on Feb 16, 2012 2:33 pm • linkreport

You can't build a football practice field underground, unless it is very, very, deep underground. Unless of course you don't ever want to practice kicking or punting.

Now, one other point that you fail to make is that the Redskins conduct training camp, which is open to the public and draws decent crowds (several thousand per day for several weeks) at their facility and thus, if the facility were in DC, that would bring in people who presumably would spend some money here.

Not enough to justify this tilting at windmills by the council, but something none the less.

Two things that the DC government apparently doesn't realize:

1. The Redskins (ownership) are by all accounts perfectly happy with their practice facility in Ashburn and their stadium in Landover. They are making money hand over fist and are one of the most valuable sports franchises in the world. If the Redskins start winning again like they did in the 80's you could have the stadium on the moon and it would still sell out, and thousands would flock to training camp even if it were held in some far flung place like Dickinson College in PA.

2. Snyder has spent $0 on the current training facility. The Redskins are one of the only, if not the only team in the NFL without an indoor practice field. Most big-time college programs now have indoor fields, but the Redskins, if they have to practice indoors, go to the Dulles Sportsplex. So if Snyder isn't willing to spend to even get the current facility up to league (and college) minimums, why would he spend a cent moving the entire operation to DC?

by dcdriver on Feb 16, 2012 2:34 pm • linkreport

One Use (a training facility). To benefit One Person (Dan Snyder).

One City!

by Geoffrey Hatchard on Feb 16, 2012 2:38 pm • linkreport

Is there no way to convert a training facility to multi-use like verizon center?

And what's the reason they can't train on their already established playing field?

by cmc on Feb 16, 2012 2:43 pm • linkreport

I thought I misread the post, dcdriver, but a practice field underground is actually very hard for me to imagine too. An indoor facility is very easy to imagine (UVA will have one soon and Virginia Tech is about to build their second), but that's a large space to be underground. They would want the ceiling to be high enough for kicking.

by selxic on Feb 16, 2012 2:48 pm • linkreport

Making a deal with Mr. Snyder is a scary proposition. He has a very long documented history of being a jerk. I don't see a compelling reason for the city to pursue a deal with Mr. Snyder. He has can not be trusted to act in good faith. It is disappointing Gray is slowing other projects to even consider partnering with Mr. Snyder.

It is also troubling that the Grey administration seems to be working with MR. Snyder outside the public eye. Why the secrecy? At a minimum any deals with Mr. Snyder should be out in the open.

by michael on Feb 16, 2012 2:48 pm • linkreport

If Gray, Evans & Brown are so committed to the Redskins inside DC borders that nothing will stop them, they should look to building the facility on the PEPCO coal fired power-plant site off of Benning Road and DC-295.

The plant hasn't been operated to generate electricity in several years, and when it did operate, it badly polluted the air and water around it. It will inevitably need to be re-used as something else. The site is adjacent to metro orange/blue line, and a special event station could be developed as part of it. It is also adjacent to DC-295, which provides better car access to the site, which is important for fans who like to tailgate.

It's even got a catchy name just begging to be formalized: The Powerplant.

For those of us that are ambivalent about Redskins football, the site itself needs massive environmental remediation, and a public contribution to fix up the site would actually be of long term benefit to District residents whether they care about football or not. Opening up the site for pedestrian activity would also be helpful in connecting some of Anacostia Trail network to interesting, athletically oriented destinations. The site could double as a good staging area for things like footraces, charity walk & rides, and all manner of non-football related activity.

The key thing is to leverage the interest and money available for football to get something the city needs anyway, re-use of a dirty plant and site remediation.

The city needs the potential real-estate taxable value in Hill-East more than football facilities at that location. This is not true of the PEPCO plant.

by will on Feb 16, 2012 2:51 pm • linkreport

The only thing I've heard from the Mayor on this is the quote "I'm telling you, almost everywhere I go, people say, 'Bring them back, bring them back.' And I say, 'Well, we are working on it'"

As "everywhere" he goes is Tampa and not Hill East, I think he's absolutely telling the truth above.

by Tim Krepp on Feb 16, 2012 2:53 pm • linkreport

I definitely support community efforts to keep anything Redskin out of the District. Keeping the team mediocre as possible anyway possible only helps my team be better.

Keep up the good work!

by Ray on Feb 16, 2012 2:55 pm • linkreport

It's definitely possible to do something like this while adhering to good urbanist principles. Looking at their current set-up in Ashburn, they have four full fields as well as one smallish building (http://g.co/maps/c4pgg). Drop that to two full fields and put the offices/indoor facilities in a building with street-level retail and underground parking. And open the fields to the public when not in use by the Redskins. Something like that I think the residents could get behind.

However, when you look at the model of Tampa, there's three private fields surrounded by surface-level parking (http://g.co/maps/3s36z). Putting something like that in Resrvation 13 would be a disaster.

by Corey H. on Feb 16, 2012 2:58 pm • linkreport

FWIW, the following is what the team would ideally want.

by selxic on Feb 16, 2012 2:59 pm • linkreport

@will that's about the only good idea I've heard to bring the Skins back. It may be a colossal waste of public money, but if it's a colossal waste of public money that helps remediate an environmental nightmare upstream of where I live, I'd support that!

Of course, this also brings up the question as to why the Mayor is more concerned with bringing the Skins back than fixing environmental problems....

by Tim Krepp on Feb 16, 2012 3:01 pm • linkreport

This is one of the stupidest ideas, from a pretty stupid mayor, that I've heard.

Hogwash, care to comment?

by barry on Feb 16, 2012 3:09 pm • linkreport

@selxic, what's your source on knowing that the picture you posted is what the team would want? Please cite.

In general, I'm fascinated by the few folks who talk as if Dan Snyder would even entertain the ideas being suggested for an urbanist/walkable/accessible practice facility. If there's anything that guy has shown it's that he does things his way or the highway, and he'll pitch a fit and ruin anything he has to in order to get his way. Not someone our city should be doing anything with, and there's no way he'd set up something that would help or benefit this city in any way. He benefits himself, and himself only.

by Joe on Feb 16, 2012 3:19 pm • linkreport

@Joe: I'm not sure if you're serious. That picture is of the Ravens practice facility. I can't read Snyder's mind, sorry. The comment wasn't meant to be read as law.

by selxic on Feb 16, 2012 3:35 pm • linkreport

Ugh! What a stupid use of space right next to a Metro Station served by two lines. (Soon to be three lines, with all three providing a one-seat ride to most DC, Arlington and Fairfax employment centers and two provding a one-seat ride to two different airports.) Rather than use this land to create a mixed-use development that will leverage and capitalize on our investment in Metro and add residents, businesses and tax revenue and finally give my neighborhood access to businesses and services, Mayor Gray wants to give this incredibly valuable land to a billionaire sports owner. A billionaire sports owner who has a terrible track record, has alienated most if not all Redskins fans and will probably block all non-paid public access to this property and the riverfront park beyond it. (Will I have to pay Snyder to access the Metro Station each morning or to get to the bike trail?!?) Whatever benefit of the doubt I was giving Mayor Gray is gone. He is clearly a short-sighted and unimaginative "leader" who does not get that the District's competitive advantage is walkable, mixed-use neighborhoods served by transit, not monolithic, single-use projects surrounded by parking lots. Then again, he lives in one of the most suburban and automobile-dependent parts of the District, so perhaps it should be no surprise that he does not get it. Perhaps we could find a nice spot on Branch Avenue for the Redskins...

by rg on Feb 16, 2012 3:38 pm • linkreport

Good to see Snyder is investing in 1970's technology for this "indoor practice field." A bubble? Better than nothing I suppose, better than the Dulles Sportsplex, but nothing like what most NFL teams (and most BCS schools) have and what one of the most valuable franchises in the league (any league) could afford.

By the way, those air supported bubbles do very well in heavy snow and high winds...

by dcdriver on Feb 16, 2012 3:50 pm • linkreport

"that won't do anything for the community or DC"

that is according to an upper middle class white dude who lives in dupont. you cannot speak for the city or the neighborhood, david, as much as you would like to.

by Poofy on Feb 16, 2012 4:02 pm • linkreport

Ok, poofy, I'll take the bait. Please tell us: what will it do for the city?

by Shipsa01 on Feb 16, 2012 4:14 pm • linkreport

@Tim Krepp

Glad you like the concept. I was doing a little digging on GIS. If you include the DC owned trash transfer station to the North of PEPCO facility, the whole thing is approximately 88 acres, with the PEPCO facility on a single very large lot of about 80 acres. So even though it's controlled a heavyweight property owner, you'd only be dealing with them, not trying to assemble parcels. There are three electrical substations on the property, though I don't know if they are as critical to power distribution with the plant shuttered. PEPCO also seems to use the site for general operations (truck maintenance, storage yard, etc). There is a rail spur that goes directly to the site, no doubt for coal delivery, but also useful if you were to build a large steel stadium structure.

In addition to the existing orange & blue lines abutting the site at an above ground track, the future streetcar lines for Benning and for Minnesota are very close to the site. By 2020, this location will be exceedingly accessible by transit, car and bike trail.

You can see the side walls of the powerplant using Google Streetview from Anacostia Ave NE. It would be cool if they could be re-used in similar fashion to Camden Yards, even if only the west wall was kept.

The surrounding area is much more in need of economic revitalization than Hill East. Benning Rd adjacent to this property has a lot of forlorn looking businesses like taxi dispatchers and defunct night clubs, and Minnesota is constantly struggling to bring in higher value retail. Need I mention that this location is also in Ward 7...

by Will on Feb 16, 2012 4:23 pm • linkreport

someone with experience in these things, please start an online petition. everyone who reads GGW will sign it, and tons others will too.

by jkc on Feb 16, 2012 4:26 pm • linkreport

@Shipsa01:

Please tell us: what will it do for the city?

It will anger young myopic twits?

"Kulturkampf: It's Not Just For Red State Yahoos Anymore"

by oboe on Feb 16, 2012 4:38 pm • linkreport

Is the primary reason the Mayor and others are willing to go to great lengths to have the Redskins practice facility in DC, is that they think that greatly improve the prospects of the Skins someday returning to DC in a new stadium? The practice facility is going to take up a lot of land with minimal tax revenue to show for it. Ok, so it will make it easier for DC fans to see the open practice sessions, but Snyder is going to keep almost the revenue from that. If the theory is that because the practice facility is in DC, that might someday give the District a leg up on having the team build a new stadium in DC in 10-20 years, I don't see that happening regardless of where the practice facility is.

NFL teams tend to be very security conscious when it comes to their closed practice sessions in terms of keeping the cameras away, so other teams won't find out what plays they practiced. An controlled, somewhat isolated facility in Ashburn provides that. Would a practice facility in DC provide protection from long range lenses in taller buildings up to a mile or 2 away?

The fundamental flaw in this apparent move by the Mayor is that this is Dan Snyder they are dealing with. He won't be interested in any deal unless he and the team get to keep almost all the money generated.

by AlanF on Feb 16, 2012 4:45 pm • linkreport

@Poofy -- well, I live in on the Hill and I don't see any net benefit to it being built on Reservation 13. I don't claim to speak for anyone else, but other people I know aren't happy about it either.

by Kate W on Feb 16, 2012 4:48 pm • linkreport

So from what I understand, this article is based on what some ANC said about conversations he had with the mayor's office. Has any of this been fact checked? Or any other details provided? Either way, it sounds odd.

So the city is "holding up" Reservation 13 "talks" for 30 days until officials decide on whether the negotiations with Snyder bear fruit? Although I don't have a problem with at at all...it still sounds like an odd way of conducting city business.

Is this really the best information we're going to get until 30 days has expired? Still sounds odd.

If the antiRedskins crew like DAl et. al don't believe that Snyder will give up anything, then this really isn't a "negotiation" at all. Instead, it's a plan to simply gift the facility to Snyder. That, I would have a huge problem with.

I'm not opposed to the city negotiating with a potential "developer" before talking to residents. But this is still odd and I would hope more information is forthcoming before the 30 days are up.

Like next week.

by HogWash on Feb 16, 2012 4:48 pm • linkreport

@Poofy I live on Hill East, but I'm white. So do my views count?

by Tim Krepp on Feb 16, 2012 5:06 pm • linkreport

Am I the only one who finds it amusing that there's plans by the government to the send the Redskins to the Reservation (13)?

by George Preston Marshall on Feb 16, 2012 6:41 pm • linkreport

If Gray, Evans & Brown are so committed to the Redskins inside DC borders that nothing will stop them, they should look to building the facility on the PEPCO coal fired power-plant site off of Benning Road and DC-295.

This is such a terrific and innovative idea that I fear it doesn't have a chance in hell of being implemented. It's probably the only way that valuable waterfront property on the Anacostia River will ever be remediated into habitable use. That would be a huge win for DC and The Environment to get that site cleaned up.

by Falls Church on Feb 16, 2012 7:42 pm • linkreport

Protest email sent to Mayor Gray.

by Amber on Feb 16, 2012 11:27 pm • linkreport

C'mon, HogWash. We all need to protest and sign petitions against what is rumored to potentially being discussed. We, the people, need to let the DC government know we are not happy with what might be happening instead of what isn't happening.

@dcdriver: Are bubbles considered "permanent" structures? I didn't follow how they were able to build considering the flood plain in Ashburn. That was the reason the team got that land so easily, the offices were built where they were, and why they hadn't built for years.

by selxic on Feb 17, 2012 7:41 am • linkreport

@selxic, my question yesterday wasn't meant to be snarky, just wondering if you did have some inside information. Thanks for clarifying.

by Joe on Feb 17, 2012 8:08 am • linkreport

@selxic

The bubble at Redskins Park is on the other side of the building from the fields. It's not within the floodplain.

Also, I remember the rain storm that caused that flooding. You'll also remember that the grass fields there at Redskins Park were re-graded and have good drainage. The fields themselves did not flood.

by Alex B. on Feb 17, 2012 9:02 am • linkreport

Thanks, Alex B.. You're right.

by selxic on Feb 17, 2012 9:31 am • linkreport

[This comment has been deleted for violating the comment policy.]

by Shipsa01 on Feb 17, 2012 9:37 am • linkreport

@Selxic, I don't have a problem with citizen advocacy. In fact, I encourage it.

What I do have a problem jumping on a bandwagon based on scant information such as this. Everything about this story is odd/off and IMO meant to rouse a community that feeds on this stuff like the worst carnivore.

But I would much rather get more information about the gov't's secret negotiations with Snyder before I give Gray the smackdown.

For others, I understand that getting more information about the matter is second (likely 3rd) to protesting what Gray does. It's the Tea Party faction of the DC electorate.

by HogWash on Feb 17, 2012 10:06 am • linkreport

I agree 100% HogWash.

by selxic on Feb 17, 2012 10:13 am • linkreport

HogWash: Why don't you ask for more information and if you hear anything back, send it along or post it as a guest post?

I'm all for more information, but a bunch of elected ANC commissioners just met with administration officials and got information. We're reporting what they said. I don't think it's fair to dismiss it because it doesn't match your intuitive explanations.

DCist asked the administration for comment and in their article said that officials just confirmed talks were going on but said nothing more. So this seems to be the best information we have. I'd love to have more details and if someone can get them, great.

by David Alpert on Feb 17, 2012 10:14 am • linkreport

It's the Tea Party faction of the DC electorate.

Right, except our concerns are rational, internally consistent, and completely ideologically opposite to the Teabagger agenda.

Other than that, though, it's the Tea Party redux.

:)

by oboe on Feb 17, 2012 10:18 am • linkreport

[This comment has been deleted for violating the comment policy.]

by DJ Ren on Feb 17, 2012 10:30 am • linkreport

@David Alpert: Hogwash isn't dismissing anything. I read concern in his posts. We simply don't know anything of the discussions though and your very own post outlines a facility you can imagine if it were to happen. The entire issue is hinging on the unknown, fear-mongering and personal attacks at Snyder that would violate the sites commenting policy.

by selxic on Feb 17, 2012 10:32 am • linkreport

@DAl, HogWash: Why don't you ask for more information and if you hear anything back, send it along or post it as a guest post?

Because as a commenter, I don't think it's my job. If bloggers expected their community to research information (as a matter of practice) for them, then what's the point of running a blog.

If you read what I've said, I didn't dismiss the story. Instead, I said the secret negotiations were odd/off and questioned why the city would conduct business in this way. Yet, I still want MORE information about the negotiations itself and plainly stated that it should come sooner than the 30 days. *I suggested, like, next week*

I also suggested that Tommy St. Wells seems like the best person to reach out to for answers. Since I assumed you have him on speed dial, it's more than reasonable to think that you simply could have called him up and asked wth is going on with this. If anybody knows/or can find out, he can. You can do that much better than I.

BTW, I also don't think it's unreasonable to question your approach when you suggest that Jack Evans "abhors" spending money on anything but sports facilities. It's harsh, factually incorrect, and an unfair attack on his character.

by HogWash on Feb 17, 2012 10:38 am • linkreport

@Oboe, wassup buddy? It's Friiiiiiiiiiiiday!

Now come on, haven't you heard the Tea Party claim that they too are rational and consistent?

I mean who says, "I'm an irrational and inconsistent person."

:)

BTW, I'm giving a big ups to the cupcake shop on 8th Street in Barracks Row (at least I think it is). I've been there three x's and for the life of me, never remember it's name.

by HogWash on Feb 17, 2012 10:42 am • linkreport

Terrible, terrible idea for all the reasons noted above. This is valuable land for the city, not to be given away for a training facility that will provide little benefit to the community. Just look at what benefits Ashburn has received-nothing! What a craven, short-sighted decision by Vince Gray. Show me a petition and I'll sign it. Heck give me a petition to have Vince Gray recalled too and I'll sign that too.

by Hill East Resident on Feb 17, 2012 10:48 am • linkreport

@Hogwash: Res. 13 has been moved to Ward 7, so it is no longer in Mr. Wells's territory nor is it his business. It would be like Mary Cheh inquiring about it.

by goldfish on Feb 17, 2012 10:51 am • linkreport

@Goldfish, oh wow...thanks!

After reading several GGW articles discussing redistricting (even the redistricting game) and how Res 13 was a sticking point for some and how Hill East would stay in W6, I would've never thought that Res 13 was now in W7. I assumed it was stuck in the netherworld.

But thanks again though!

by HogWash on Feb 17, 2012 11:08 am • linkreport

@HogWash:

@Oboe, wassup buddy? It's Friiiiiiiiiiiiday!

...and sunny and 50! Could be a good day for an extended lunch.

Now come on, haven't you heard the Tea Party claim that they too are rational and consistent?

Of course! But the guy who's locked up for thinking he's Napoleon believes himeself to be rational as well.

I mean who says, "I'm an irrational and inconsistent person."

We can test consistency and rationality. Most of the mainstream arguments your read on GGW pass those tests. "Correctness" is a separate issue.

To your second comment: In their efforts to build a private country club for a group of 50 or so sporting millionaires, and the billionaire who employs them, Gray, Evans, and the rest are going to keep Councilmartyr Wells as far out of the picture as possible. The only way to bring this ill-considered folly to life is by revealing it as a fait accompli once the ink's dry on the agreement.

by oboe on Feb 17, 2012 11:23 am • linkreport

I am appalled by the suggestion that the 87 acre "Reservation 13 site", on prime waterfront property, with a view of the US Capitol, a site the immediate community on both sides of the Anacostia river, along with enlightened city leaders, and knowledgeable urban planners studied and discussed in public meetings for years, and for which they together developed an exciting plan that would leverage the enormous potential of this site to the highest and best benefit of the city -- should be given to the afficianados of a bunch of sweaty jock millionaires. What a short-sighted, not to say insulting to the community who worked so hard on the issue, bad idea!

by Sharon Ambrose on Feb 17, 2012 2:39 pm • linkreport

@Sharon Ambrose

What do you think of looking at the Benning Rd. Coal Fired Power Station as an alternate location? The 80 acre site needs remediation anyway, and the surrounding neighborhood is much more likely to get an economic development boost from the Skins presence than would be the case at Res 13.

Covering part of the PEPCO site with a stadium or parking lot could actually help in sequestering the poisoned soil while the toxins break down over time.

by Will on Feb 17, 2012 3:50 pm • linkreport

pro teams practice fields often are local college facilities. Given DC's many colleges and their lackluster football reps, I'm sure the Deadskins would find somewhere else to be welcome and still be in the District.

by Rich on Feb 17, 2012 6:26 pm • linkreport

@Rich

For training camp, yes. Pro teams often use colleges. For the season? No.

by Alex B. on Feb 17, 2012 6:38 pm • linkreport

DANIEL SNYDER [http://www.thesportsresume.com/mark-cuban-daniel-snyder-video/], the "Major League Entrepreneur" will find a way to prevail.

by George Bowser on Feb 17, 2012 6:48 pm • linkreport

@will

The Benning Road power plant site has terrific economic development potential, as well as serious remediation challenges. It is used only as a "back-up" power source and will almost certainly be shuttered near term. It could be a wonderful opportunity to provide a boost to the surrounding community. But not with a football stadium that would doubtless cost us a bundle. (I know well how these deals work having been heavily involved in the Nats park deal.-- which I still believe will proves to have been a good investment.) My preference would be for a mixed-use complex that would involve a research center built by one or several of our universities as a PILOT (payment in lieu of taxes) project. (PILOTS are a concept we have never seriously pursued.) Such a complex would be a great source of both entry level and professional jobs. Because the site is so large, it could also
accomodate both mixed income housing and local neighborhood small business opportunities, as well as parkland along the river. The proximity to a Metro Station makes it even more valuable. We need to be thoughtful stewards of the limited land mass over which we have so limited jurisdiction.

by Sharon Ambrose on Feb 17, 2012 11:20 pm • linkreport

Would the "mixed use" development, with its luxury condos and retail spaces that only chains can afford, really provide any more economic benefit than a practice field would?

by The Civic Center on Feb 18, 2012 8:55 am • linkreport

Umm yes. Tons and tons more.

by Shipsa01 on Feb 18, 2012 5:55 pm • linkreport

According to what I've read about a possible Redskins facility near Bowie, the Redskins are obligated by terms of the stadium deal to negotiate with Prince George's before seeking a move elsewhere. How are they negotiating with DC without breaching that agreement?

by Jon on Feb 19, 2012 2:43 pm • linkreport

Given the aroma surrounding the Skins and their despised owner, might I suggest trying to fit a new practice facility next to the Blue Plains Sewage Treatment Plant?

The plant is one of the few things in the District that consistently stinks as bad as the Skins.

by Mike S. on Feb 19, 2012 8:18 pm • linkreport

I find it oddly fitting and somehow karmic that the Redskins are negotiating for a parcel of land known as "Reservation 13."

by Jack Love on Feb 22, 2012 8:52 am • linkreport

@selxic @hogwash At Thursday's Committee of the Whole Oversight Hearing, Chair Kwame Brown disclosed Res 13 has been moved from office of Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development to City Administrator's office...that's how Gray & Evans make sure Res 13 is put on ice while they continue their high-level, super-double-secret negotiations with Snyder.

Incredible as it seems, the two of them actually are pursuing this really bad idea. It's not a rumor of a rumor.

And +1 Sharon Ambrose.

by Trulee Pist on Feb 27, 2012 2:26 am • linkreport

That still doesn't actually change much, Trulee Pist.

by selxic on Feb 27, 2012 7:20 am • linkreport

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