D.C. Council Members Balk At Deal for Radio One Offices

By Nikita Stewart
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, November 16, 2007

The District will have to renegotiate a proposed deal to bring broadcasting company Radio One to the city after D.C. Council members rejected a plan to give the developers city-owned land worth $6 million on which to build the project.

Kwame R. Brown (D-At Large) and Jack Evans (D-Ward 2) told the city's planning and economic development office yesterday to go back to the negotiating table with Broadcast Center One, which intends to build a $115 million development atop the Shaw-Howard University Metro station. The development would include Radio One offices, shops, 185 parking spaces and 180 apartments.

"The problem I'm having is giving away land," Evans said.

Radio One, the seventh-largest broadcasting company in the country and the largest to target black listeners, moved to Lanham in 1997. Council members expressed support for the company's return to the District.

The planning and economic development office offered to give the developer more than an acre of land at Seventh and S streets NW, as well as $16 million in public financing. Most of the financing would come through tax increment financing, which would allow the city to sell bonds and repay the debt using tax revenue generated by development.

John Ross, a senior adviser and director in the Office of the Chief Financial Officer, said the city could consider increasing public financing to help Broadcast Center One offset the cost of buying the city land.

© 2007 The Washington Post Company