Tonight Mayor Vincent C. Gray (D) and D.C. Council members will stand in front of a big crowd and discuss what they want to happen on the vast Reservation 13 parcel, aka Hill East.
The need for the meeting was heightened, if not demanded, by reports that city officials have eyed a portion of the 67 acres — the most desirable portion, in fact — for a Washington Redskins headquarters and practice facility.
But if you’re expecting a big announcement tonight, don’t count on it.
The Wilson Building wags I’ve spoken to expect Gray & Co. to ease concerns that there is some sort of Redskins fait accompli here and emphasize that there’s been no commitment, only discussions.
To wit, note Gray spokesman Pedro Ribeiro’s comments today to Roll Call: “He’s going to go to the community and say, ‘I think a lot of folks are worried about something that in fact does not exist.’”
But he also leaves the door open to something being worked out down the road: “A training facility is not a mutually exclusive thing. ... [It] can be a part of an economic development package for that area, depending on how we put it into the mix.”
Neighboring residents, however, might not be so hot on the idea of a Redskins facility being anywhere near “the mix,” given the time and effort that went into devising a master plan for the parcel that made no accommodation for pro sports facilities.
So, in other words, Gray’s taking a pretty big risk here just by showing up.
The meeting gets underway at 7 p.m.; doors open at 6:30 p.m. Photo ID is required to enter the Armory.