Two competing groups have asked the city's urban renewal agency for the right to draw up plans for a development of about a four-acre area in Southwest Washington.
The property, between C Street and the railroad tracks and 4th and 6th Streets SW, has been designated for developmentas a a commercial area in the city's overall urban renewal plans. But one of the groups, Community Employees Service Corporation, is asking permission to develop plans for a day care center, a vocational training center and other community services.
The other proposals, by a partnership made up of Donohoe Construction Co. and Donohoe Investment Company, is for a hotel-office-commercial complex.
Although th redevelopment land agency's staff recommended that the agency's board approve the request to go forward with the commercial development, the board recently deferred action until new appraisals of the value of the land could be completed.
At issue in the board's approval or disapproval of the proposals is whihc group appears to be more capable of carrying though with development, said Albert M. Miller, acting administrator of the development administration of the city's Office of Housing and Community Development. Miller told the board that the appraisals were more likely to near the $5.5 million price that the commercial developers said they considered a fair price for the land than the approximately $1 million estimate by the Community Employees Services Corp. RLA is required by law to charge for the land based on the appraisals.
"It's difficult for the staff to see how you could pay that much money ($5 million) for the land and still develop it according to your plan," Miller told Bertram I. Weiner, one of the federal government employees who organized Community Employees Services Corporation.
Miller indicated that he thought it unlikely that the group would be able to find financing for that the group would be able to find financing for that high a figure for a non-commercial development.
Board member Patricia King moved to defer action, saying the board should know the land's appraised value before acting.