Three Eliminated In Fight for Poplar Point Bid

By Nikita Stewart and David Nakamura
Washington Post Staff Writers
Thursday, November 22, 2007

Well, that was fast.

Two weeks after receiving seven bids from companies hoping to develop Poplar Point, a swath of more than 110 acres of parkland along the Anacostia River, D.C. planners have narrowed the field to four.

Last week Neil O. Albert, the deputy mayor for economic development, announced the shortlist: a joint venture from Archstone-Smith and Madison Marquette; Clark Realty Capital; Forest City Enterprises; and a joint venture of General Growth Properties, Mid-City Urban and Doracon.

D.C. United has proposed building a soccer stadium, along with mixed-use development, at Poplar Point, but Mayor Adrian M. Fenty (D) broke off negotiations with the team in the summer. United officials have threatened to relocate to the suburbs if they are unable to get a new stadium in the city.

D.C. officials have said a stadium is still possible, along with housing, offices, shops and park space. The companies will be asked to present their proposals to the public next week, officials said.

The three companies that have been eliminated from the competition are City Interests, Urban City Ventures and Capital Area Regional Center Job Fund.

Pushing for a Minimum Wage

Kwame R. Brown, don't quit your day job.

On Monday, the D.C. Council member donned gray slacks, a blue shirt and a navy blazer and walked in the shoes of a security guard -- "black with rubber soles," Brown noted -- to bring attention to the low wages received by the workers.

The council is considering a bill that would set a minimum salary for security officers employed at private commercial office buildings at $11.51 an hour, plus $3.16 for benefits. There is no set standard, and the wages vary.

Brown (D-At Large) worked alongside Denise Butler, a 38-year-old single mother of three from Anacostia, who earns $10 an hour as a guard at Lafayette Center on 21st Street NW.

The publicity stunt was staged by the Service Employees International Union Local 32BJ, which is hoping to promote Brown, who is running for council reelection next year, as a man of the people. Brown worked for an hour.

Butler, who has been a security guard for five years, said Brown learned a thing or two.

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