Developer: Cash, Not Additional Land, Would Go to District in Reeves Center Swap
I reported yesterday that the city could stand to make a healthy profit on a land swap involving the Frank D. Reeves Municipal Center as part of the deal for a new D.C. United stadium. The proposed deal would have the District trade the aging government office building at 14th and U streets NW to the developer Akridge for a parcel Akridge owns on the site where the soccer stadium would be built. But the Reeves Center is worth quite a bit more than the Akridge parcel, meaning that Akridge might have to chip in something extra to even out the deal.
What might that something extra be? Akridge Vice President David Tuchmann says cash is an option. An administration source suggested that Akridge might instead give the city one or more additional parcels of land it owns, but Tuchmann says that won't happen. (Akridge owns two parcels adjacent to the one on the stadium site at Buzzard Point, as well as many other properties throughout the city.)
Which, once again, leaves the question of how much money the District should be getting as part of the swap. According to the latest city assessments, the Reeves Center is worth $108.5 million, with a proposed 2014 value of $128.5 million, while the Akridge parcel is worth just $8 million. Of course, a good chunk of the Reeves Center's value comes from the building itself—the assessment lists the "improvements" at $87 million and the land at just $21 million. But with the 14th and U corridors among the hottest development areas in the city, no one really expects the Reeves Center land to be valued at just $21 million when an independent valuation is conducted. The estimates I've heard from administration sources range from $50 million to $100 million.
Tuchmann declines to provide specifics on the nature of the development Akridge would build at the Reeves Center site, but Akridge President Matthew Klein told the Washington Post it would be a mixed-use project that would include housing—no surprise in an area that can't seem to get enough luxury apartments and condos.
Update 3:10 p.m.: Reader/tweeter @ruSERIOUSINGme points out that while the Akridge property is assessed at $8 million, it sold for around $17.5 million in 2005, so Akridge is presumably hoping for a higher valuation than $8 million. Of course, why it's being taxed at $8 million if it's worth more than twice that is another matter.
Rendering of a possible new mixed-use building on the Reeves Center site courtesy of the Office of the City Administrator