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From The Ground Up

Bob Gladstone Weighs In on Baseball, Redevelopment

By Dana Hedgpeth
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, November 29, 2004; Page E03

Over the past four decades, Bob Gladstone has been both a formal and informal adviser to city and business officials on projects ranging from the development of Pennsylvania Avenue to the building of the city's old and new convention centers, the rejuvenation of the shops at Union Station and the redevelopment of the East End near the MCI Center.

Gladstone, 75, was trained as an architect at Massachusetts Institute of Technology and now serves as chairman of the 250-person company that he founded in the 1970s, Quadrangle Development Corp. The company owns 7 million square feet of offices, residential units and shops in the greater Washington region.

Governments should base their priorities for public development projects on actual economic benefits, Quadrangle Development's Bob Gladstone says. (Lucian Perkins -- The Washington Post)

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Gladstone is best known for building such large projects as Washington Center at 1001 G St. NW, a 600,000-square-foot office building, and the adjoining Grand Hyatt hotel; National Place, a 1.5 million-square-foot-project at 1331 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, composed of offices, shops and the J.W. Marriott hotel; a new headquarters for biotech company MedImmune Inc. in Gaithersburg; and a 400-room hotel and golf resort in Cambridge.

This week, Gladstone will get a "Lifetime Achievement" award from the Urban Land Institute's Washington office for the buildings he has constructed in the District and his involvement in such groups as the Washington Hospital Center Foundation.

Gladstone was interviewed last week on a range of topics, from the publicly financed baseball stadium proposal to the need for a convention center hotel to the future of the housing boom.

Q What are your thoughts about the deal the city cut with Major League Baseball to put a team in the District?

AMy personal view is this comes down to tough questions of priorities. Is it appropriate to have public funds used to build a stadium? I haven't seen any plan yet that resolves that issue. I'm not in favor of it.

Why not?

There are other priorities, like providing education, health care and security. And I'm not convinced that the benefits are worth the costs. The tax on businesses is clearly a burden. The additional tax burden will make D.C. less attractive. That's already an issue now. We've lost significant tenants because of taxes.

Which site is best for building the baseball stadium? RFK Stadium or the Anacostia waterfront?

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