Housing Complex

City Misses Another Deadline for D.C. United Deal

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"The District will have until January 1, 2014, to: (i) obtain site control of the Stadium Site ...; and (ii) obtain the necessary legal approvals from the Council of the District of Columbia and, if required, the United States Congress to proceed with the transaction."

So reads the term sheet signed by Mayor Vince Gray and D.C. United co-owner Jason Levien in July. Jan. 1 has come and gone, and the city still hasn't orchestrated the necessary land swaps with the developer Akridge and the other landholders at Buzzard Point to assemble the site needed for the team to build its planned soccer stadium.

What does that mean for the deal? Here's what the term sheet says: "In the event that the District has not achieved both of these objectives by January 1, 2014, DC United may exit the transaction."

Now, there's no indication that the soccer team has any intention of walking away from the deal over a missed deadline. Tony Robinson, spokesman for City Administrator Allen Lew, who hammered out the preliminary deal with D.C. United, says in an email that "negotiations are ongoing."

But it's not the first deadline the city's missed on the stadium deal. D.C. and Akridge were supposed to reach a deal on a swap for the Frank D. Reeves Municipal Center at 14th and U streets NW by Nov. 1 and submit it to the Council by Nov. 15. That did not happen. Instead, Lew has been informally presenting an incomplete deal to members of the Council, leaving at least one councilmember, Ward 3's Mary Cheh, speculating that maybe Lew was giving these status updates because of concerns over the missed deadlines.

Last week, representatives of the Department of General Services informed the Advisory Neighborhood Commission for the area around the Reeves Center that the city had missed its Jan. 1 deadline. Neighbors have become increasingly active in trying to pressure the city into limiting the uses of a new mixed-use building on the Reeves site. The assumption is that Akridge would likely build a high-end residential building, since similar buildings have been sprouting up in the neighborhood and demand remains high. But both Ward 1 Councilmember Jim Graham and one of his challengers in this April's primary, Brianne Nadeau, have advocated for an office building instead, in order to increase the daytime population of the nightlife hotspot.

Rendering via the Office of the City Administrator

  • E. Masquinongy

    It is going to take a real push from the Mayor to get this deal done. The missed deadlines are a symptom of the larger disease, lack of interest.

    Does Grey have the energy? He's got to get re-elected, and everyone will be pointing to the unfinished streetcars.

    I am betting no.

  • Capital City Records Panhandler

    One has to laugh as months ago at a DHCD meeting over the Big K lot Marion B got up and mentioned & rambled about this as though the ink was just drying & construction of the new stadium would kick-start econ development in Anacostia. Huh, broski? Talk about being in that vortex, son.

  • Mo Money

    The government may have been overly optimistic in the term sheet, but this is a complex real estate transaction. I don't mind the Mayor taking his time to get it right. You wouldn't want the District to get the short end of the stick, just because it was trying to meet an arbitrary deadline. I don't see the delay as negative or an indication of inaction by the Mayor. I view the delay as strength and commitment by the Mayor to get the best deal for the District.

  • double income no money

    @Mo: I'll bet this will cause few soccer fans will change their votes for mayor. On the other hand, the non-soccer fans see only giveaway. No wonder Mr. Grey is uninspired.

  • Mario L

    If this was for the Washington Redskins, man the City, the Mayor would be moving rocks themselves to get the Redskins back to DC. MAJOR LEAGUE SOCCER? No. He is just playing with us. DC if you do want a DCU Stadium, do it!!! Make a commitment and stick with it! - DC United fan

  • SW

    I wish DC and the Redskins would build a brand new, cutting edge, green stadium somewhere in Ward 8 close to the water. Would boost much needed life into the Ward. But it's just a dream yall...

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  • Yoyo

    This article is unusually negative. For example, it talks about missing the Jan. 1st deadline for the council to approve the proposal along with other missed deadlines but fails to mention after a month delay, they finally got the final proposal to the DC council around the holidays. Since they were on recess and they were supposed to have a month to look over it, they obviously aren't going to be voting on it this week.

  • Alf

    "I'll bet this will cause few soccer fans will change their votes for mayor. On the other hand, the non-soccer fans see only giveaway. No wonder Mr. Grey is uninspired."

    I wonder how many of the most devoted soccer fans are DC voters. In fact, I wonder how many are even US citizens. Gray has political (and legal) worries, but this is not one of them.

  • Gallegoscot

    "I wonder how many of the most devoted soccer fans are DC voters. In fact, I wonder how many are even US citizens. Gray has political (and legal) worries, but this is not one of them."

    Alf, thanks for your bigoted remarks. As a citizen and soccer fan living in DC since 1991, you can keep such small minded thoughts to yourself. I assume you already live in Virginia. As for voting, last election I would have voted against Fenty for screwing up Poplar Point, until it came down to him and Gray. Next election I'm not so sure, the devil you know might be better than the alternative yet again.

  • Frank

    I don't care if some arbitrary deadlines are missed. Its a complicated deal! Get a life.

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