Wednesday, January 23, 2008

11/3/07: The Washington Post - Seven Developers Submit Plans for Poplar Point

Two Proposals Include a Soccer Stadium; D.C. United Did Not Participate In Competition

Talks between the city and D.C. United principal owner Victor B. MacFarlane over building a stadium fell through last summer.
Talks between the city and D.C. United principal owner Victor B. MacFarlane over building a stadium fell through last summer. (By Joel Richardson -- The Washington Post)

By David Nakamura
Washington Post Staff Writer

Saturday, November 3, 2007; Page B05

The D.C. government has received seven proposals from companies seeking to develop a 110-acre parcel along the Anacostia River, but none is from D.C. United, which has lobbied to build a stadium on the site.

Mayor Adrian M. Fenty (D) had set yesterday as the deadline for a formal competition for the right to develop the swath of barren parkland in Southeast Washington known as Poplar Point. The seven firms proposed a mix of housing, retail, offices and a hotel, along with the 70-acre park mandated by the federal government, a D.C. government official said.

Two of the firms proposed including a soccer stadium; both made the facility optional, said the source, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the selection process is ongoing. The official declined to identify which firms included a stadium in their proposals.

Several of the companies have strong local ties.

Archstone Smith, which is teaming with Madison Marquette, is a partner on redeveloping the old convention center site in downtown Washington. Clark Realty Capital, whose construction arm is building the Nationals' new baseball stadium, is based in Bethesda and has done projects in Fairfax County. Forest City Enterprises recently launched work on the Yards, one of the largest developments underway along the west side of the Anacostia River. And Mid-City Urban, partnering with General Growth and Doracon, is involved with developing the Capper/Carrollsburg mixed affordable housing complex in the District.

The other entrants are: City Interests, Urban City Ventures and Capital Area Regional Center Jobs Funds.

"We're very pleased with the responses we've gotten so far," said Sean Madigan, spokesman for Neil O. Albert, D.C. deputy mayor for economic development. "We marketed this as one of the last great urban waterfront projects, and the response really validates our vision."

D.C. United principal owner Victor B. MacFarlane had been negotiating informally with the city to build a 27,000-seat stadium, along with a mix of housing, offices and shops.

But Fenty pulled out of the talks in the summer and launched the competitive bidding process. Administration officials have called MacFarlane's plan too costly for the city, which was asked to pay for infrastructure.

MacFarlane has threatened to move the team to the suburbs if he fails to find a site for a stadium in the District.

Madigan said the city will ask developers to present their plans to the public after Nov. 26, and Fenty expects to select a developer by the end of December.

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