A proposed $75 million Metrorail station at New York and Florida avenues NE, backed by the District and a dozen major city property owners, is the key to reviving the main eastern gateway to the capital, D.C. Mayor Anthony A. Williams said yesterday.

The city will pay $5 million for an engineering study of the proposed above-ground station on Metro's Red Line north of Union Station.

The District will provide $25 million more for the project through its capital budgets in the next four fiscal years, Williams said. He led a review of the D.C. strategic economic plan, attended by several hundred business and community leaders and government officials.

Property owners around the planned station -- including CSX Corp.; developers Douglas Jemal, the Stephen A. Goldberg Co. and the Bernstein Cos.; and the owners of the old Woodward & Lothrop warehouse -- have endorsed the creation of a special tax district in a roughly half-mile circle surrounding the proposed stop. Tax proceeds would cover an additional $25 million, and the city will ask Congress for the remaining $25 million.

The project's sponsors "are optimistic that Congress will see the merit of this economic development opportunity and be willing to contribute, as it did with the Metro stop at the convention center," said Terry Peay, executive vice president of the Goldberg company.

The proposed Metro site also anchors one corner of a large, triangular area north of Massachusetts Avenue. City officials hope its empty warehouses and industrial buildings will be revived as residences and sites for small businesses and arts organizations.

Officials said yesterday they have selected a group of designers and consultants to prepare a $200,000 marketing plan for the area.