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Capital Business
Posted at 10:20 AM ET, 07/25/2012

David Ball to resign as Union Station Redevelopment Corp. president, saying new leadership needed to guide overhaul plan

A view of Union Station in Washington, D.C. (Jeffrey MacMillan - JEFFREY MACMILLAN)
David S. Ball will be leaving his post as president of Union Station Redevelopment Corp., the nonprofit organization that manages Union Station.

Victor Hoskins, District deputy mayor for planning and economic development, who represents Mayor Vincent C. Gray on the organization’s governing board, said that Ball was resigning and the board had begun a nationwide search for his replacement.

He would not say whether Ball, who has come under fire from some elected leaders, had resigned on his own accord or under pressure from the board.

“He has decided to resign,” Hoskins said.

After the news broke, Ball issued a one-page statement on the organization’s Web site saying he planned to step down at the end of the year, following 28 years with the organization.

Ball wrote that the release of Amtrak’s bold plan to overhaul Union Station necessitated changes.

“During this period we will also be exploring to what extent USRC, itself, needs to adapt to continue playing its critical role in the Station,” Ball wrote. “I am happy to report that, as we begin this decades-long process of building our new 21st Century Station, all stakeholders are looking to USRC for leadership in coordinating the redevelopment. Clearly there will have to be changes in organization and personnel to meet this challenge.”

Ball has led the organization since 1994 and is overseeing a slew of short-term improvements being made at the station presently or set to begin shortly. The organization is expected to create its own long-term master plan following Amtrak’s.

But Ball came under fire in recent years in part because of a 2007 deal in which the organization leased the retail space in the station to New York-based Ashkenazy Acquisition.

After the D.C. government began taxing those retail operations, Ball’s organization declined to pay the taxes and, after failing to get the D.C. Council to pass legislation forgoing the payments, sued the city.

House Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D), who has asked the federal government to audit the Union Station Redevelopment Corp. and has criticized its management in the past, said she was aware that Ball would be leaving but did not know the details of his departure.

“I was not in on the inner workings of that,” she said.

Follow Jonathan O’Connell on Twitter: @oconnellpostbiz

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By  |  10:20 AM ET, 07/25/2012

Tags:  David Ball, Union Station, Amtrak, Union Station Redevelopment Corporation, Vincent C. Gray, Victor Hoskins, Eleanor Holmes Norton

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