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Capital Business
Posted at 11:57 AM ET, 12/11/2012

Gray offers grants to Walter Reed merchants, others

D.C. Mayor Vincent C. Gray announced Monday that he would make $400,000 in grants available for assistance to four corridors, including those on either side of the former Walter Reed hospital, where the tremendous drop in workers in the area has hurt sales.

Small businesses along Georgia Avenue and 7th Street Northwest (which border Walter Reed) as well as Nannie Helen Burroughs Avenue Northeast and Pennsylvania Avenue Southeast are eligible. Grants can be as much as $85,000 and can fund improvements like facade upgrades.

Walter Reed is also one of the only plots of property in the District large enough to potentially accommodate a consolidated headquarters for the Federal Bureau of Investigation, which the General Services Administration is moving to relocate out of the J. Edgar Hoover building.

Gray said his administration has not begun contemplating where the FBI might be relocated within the District. “We haven’t had that discussion,” he said.

When asked whether the FBI ought to remain in the city, something Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.) considers a priority, Gray turned the discussion to...the Redskins, who play at FedEx Field in Landover.

“[The FBI] is in the city, it certainly will continue to create a certain level of business in the city. But you know if it were outside the city we’d love to have it over in Landover,” Gray said, smiling. “We’d love to have the Redskins back.”

The idea to somehow swap the FBI for the Redskins seems logistically difficult for numerous reasons, particularly given that the District doesn’t make location decisions for the FBI (that would be GSA) and Prince George’s County Executive Rushern L. Baker III doesn’t make location decisions for the Redskins (that would be Dan Snyder).

Gray and Council member Jack Evans (D-Ward 2) both pine for the Redskins to return to town.

“We’ve had no serious discussions at this point,” Gray said in response to a question about a possible swap. “All we know is we’ve had discussions about the Redskins coming back that have been going on for years.”

Follow Jonathan O’Connell on Twitter: @oconnellpostbiz

By  |  11:57 AM ET, 12/11/2012

Tags:  Vincent C. Gray, Rushern Baker, Jack Evans, Federal Bureau of Investigation, General Services Administration, Redskins

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