“Obviously we love soccer, and we love D.C. United, but I want to hear more about what the deal entails,” she said. “What’s more important is that the residents of the District of Columbia get a good deal.”
The term sheet signed Thursday by Gray and Jason Levien, D.C. United’s managing partner, provides an outline of how the deal will move forward, leaving many details to be hashed out later.
The city agrees to acquire and clear the land for the stadium, costing an estimated $140 million to $150 million, leasing it to the team for $1 a year over the “useful life” of the facility. The team agrees to build the stadium and assume all other costs of the project at a price not set out in the term sheet; the team has said it expects to spend $150 million. Payment of taxes and fees to the city is subject to a complex revenue sharing agreement that would be finalized in a later contract.
The deal sets out an ambitious timeline, starting with the city agreeing to assemble the land no later than Jan. 1 and have the site ready for construction by March 2015. The stadium is required to be “substantially complete and ready for commercial operation” by Jan. 1, 2017. Each of the milestone dates can be changed by the mutual consent of the city and the team.
Gray called the agreement “a very creative plan” that allows the city to finance the land acquisition and infrastructure costs without tapping the city’s limited borrowing capacity. He said he hopes to have legislation enabling the various land swaps, street closings and tax consideration submitted to the council by year’s end.
The term sheet is between the team and the city and, aside from setting a cost target of $100 million, does not address the city’s efforts to secure the land.
In addition to the Reeves Center swap with Akridge, City Administrator Allen Y.Lew would have to secure two other land deals for its agreement with United to stick, and neither is complete. Investor Mark D. Ein and Pepco own significant plots and have yet to reach deals to sell them.
Pepco, the electricity supplier for the District and suburban Maryland, owns about 45 percent of the needed land, where it operates a substation. Thomas H. Graham, Pepco region president, has said he was in “preliminary” discussions about relinquishing the site.
Ein said he was approached recently about a swap for industrial properties he controls along S Street SW. “If there’s a way to do something and it’s fair, then I’m open to it,” he said Thursday.
Neither Ein nor city officials would specify which city properties could be swapped. But Lew mentioned Thursday that the city is seeking to redevelop the Henry J. Daly Building, the police headquarters at 400 Indiana Ave. NW.
Tim Craig, Steven Goff and Jonathan O’Connell contributed to this report.