The group in charge of redeveloping the Anacostia River waterfront announced yesterday the appointment of a new chief executive, and it also released a short list of four companies that will compete to develop the land around the proposed baseball stadium in Southeast.
The Anacostia Waterfront Corp. voted to hire Adrian G. Washington, 46, to head the organization as it enters what could be a critical phase in efforts to revitalize the District's waterfront in Southeast and Southwest. Along with other projects, he will help decide how approximately 40 acres of land around the proposed new stadium will be used -- sorting through proposals that range from elaborate "urban village" designs to dense residential development and big box retail stores.
He replaces Andrew Altman, who had helped create the waterfront corporation and left a few weeks ago to take a job with a private developer in New York.
Washington, who was raised in Anacostia and holds an MBA from Harvard University, has 18 years of experience developing and rehabilitating houses -- mostly along the Georgia Avenue corridor. He filed for personal and corporate bankruptcy in the '90s when the real estate market crashed.
He will step down from running his firm, the Neighborhood Development Co., and start the $195,000-a-year job with the Anacostia Waterfront group on Dec. 1. However, Washington said he would retain the majority ownership interest in his company, which is involved in two projects with the city -- redevelopment of the older convention center site at New York Avenue and Ninth Street NW, and construction of a mixed use development at Fifth and K streets NW.
Stephen Goldsmith, chairman of the Anacostia Waterfront Corp., said that as a condition of the job, Washington's company will not be allowed to be involved in any projects that the corporation oversees.
"Adrian had the perfect combination of experience and commitment to the District and familiarity with the neighborhoods," Goldsmith said. "We feel very fortunate to have someone who had that complete set of qualifications."
One of Washington's biggest tasks will be coordinating development of the land around the stadium, which includes roughly 13 acres owned by the city and other government agencies.
Yesterday, the corporation released the names of the four companies from which it will choose a "master developer" for the millions of square feet of housing, retail, office and hotel space expected around the new ballpark.
Chosen from among nine initial proposals, the finalists are the Cordish Co. of Baltimore; Monument Realty LLC of the District and its partner Federal Realty Investment Trust of Rockville; Forest City Enterprises Inc. of Ohio and its partner D.C.-based Western Development Corp.; and Akridge of the District.
"They all had strong responses to the questions on their qualifications, their commitment to the vision of the area, their financial framework and . . . their willingness to commence work with us immediately," said Toni Griffin, the deputy of the quasi-public Anacostia Waterfront group and a member of the five-person selection committee. A recommendation is supposed to be made to the corporation's board of directors in early December.
The four developers all have experience building large-scale projects and all have connections to the area near the proposed stadium.
Monument, the dominant landowner in the area, has invested some $45 million in nearby property.
Cordish said in its half-inch thick proposal that its team is lead by architecture firm Michael Graves & Associates Inc., which also designed the new headquarters of the U.S. Transportation Department. That building sits a few blocks east of the stadium site.
Akridge owns property a few blocks west of the site, and Forest City Enterprises is developing the Southeast Federal Center, a major mixed-use project next to the Transportation Department complex.
Washington Post staff writer Debbi Wilgoren contributed to this report.