Intrigued by the possibility of D.C. United building a stadium at Buzzard Point, I headed to the ripe-for-development, nine-acre property in Southwest Washington on Wednesday for a first-hand look.
From Capitol Hill, I traveled down South Capitol Street, past Nationals Park, and, just before reaching the Douglass Bridge, made a right on Potomac Avenue. The freshness of the ballpark faded amid tractor-trailers, dump trucks, a building supply company and industrial sites. You’d never know you’re a mile or two from monuments, museums and memorials, the Capitol and the Mall. It’s not a dangerous area, just dusty.
I cut across R Street for a block and made a left, proceeding south on 2nd Street. On the west side, behind tall gates, is the National Defense University, a government institution that includes the National War College. (Team marketing opportunities are countless: “Meet Perry Kitchen and Ethan White, the National Defense!” “Make Goals, Not War!”)
To my left is the property for a potential stadium, a series of surface parking lots owned by the Akridge development firm. The scruffy land spans about three blocks.
The southern edge ends at V Street. Unless you’re planning to trespass into U.S. Coast Guard headquarters, you must make a left on V or a right into the parking lot for James Creek Marina, a National Park Service facility with 297 slips on the Anacostia River, a short cruise to the entry of Washington Channel and the Potomac River. (I envision water taxis transporting singing supporters from Alexandria to the new stadium!)
After driving a block along V Street, I made a left onto 1st Street, which is flanked by the Akridge site and a power plant that is scheduled to shut down next year.
The distance to the closest Metro stations -- Waterfront-SEU (near Arena Stage) and Navy Yard (beyond Nationals Park) on the Green Line — is not ideal: Each is more than three-quarters of a mile by foot.
United officials have declined to comment about the Buzzard Point site, but city officials and Akridge representatives have raised the possibility.
Akridge created a Web site to advertise the property. Take a look, let us know what you think about a United stadium project there.