Mayor Vincent C. Gray (D) recently sat down for a lengthy interview with Washington Business Journal’s Michael Neibauer. In a blog note, the Nei-man presents it as a nice counterpoint to the lousy headlines that the Gray administration has struggled to overcome since March (so nice, in fact, that Gray’s communications office sent it out to its media contacts).
And the news is, by and large, good. Gray’s economic development deputies have been going about their business, which is, of course, business — mostly real estate development.
There’s a couple of newsbits in there: The Shops at Dakota Crossing, the Costco-hosting big box development near Fort Lincoln, is expected to break ground by year’s end. A Wal-Mart for the Skyland site in Ward 7 is still in play. And Gray said out loud that long-planned large-scale development projects at Hill East, Poplar Point and Buzzard Point aren’t short-term or even medium-term priorities for his administration.
”We looked at the priorities we established, we looked at the projects which could be moved along in the short term and we tried to work on those things,” Gray said.
He also delivered a not-so-subtle poke at his predecessor, Adrian M. Fenty, who spent his administration — particularly the months prior to his 2010 primary loss — cutting as many ribbons as humanly possible.
Gray notes that not all of those slashed ribbons have transformed into bricks and mortar — specifically mentioning the Kenilworth-Parkside Recreation Center and CityMarket at O development.
“The deal wasn’t even close to done,” Gray said of the latter deal. “There’s no way that groundbreaking could have represented a real effort to move forward at that point. There’s nothing illusory about what we do.”