Joseph B. Danzansky yesterday was appointed chairman of the Pennsyivania Avenue Development Corp., the government-chartered agency that is revitalizing the avenue linking the White House and the Capitol.
Danzansky, 64, chairman of Giant Food Inc. and one of Washington's most influential business leaders, will succeed Elwood Quesada, whose six-year term has expired.
Quesada, 74, a retired Air Force general and chairman of L'Enfant Properties Inc., developers of L'Enfant Plaza, has headed the PADC since it began operations.
Danzansky was nominated for the post by Quesada and appointed yesterday by President Carter, who last week signed a new five-year authorization bill for PADC, raising its funding ceiling to $200 million.
Since it was created, PADC has spent nearly $75 million acquiring land and beginning improvements to the avenue. There have also been commitments for $150 million in private developments. The agency was chartered to redevelop the north side of Pennsylvania Avenue from East Executive Drive, next to the White House, to Third Street NW at the edge of the Capitol grounds.
The agency recently chose two local firms, Marrioot Corp. and Quadrangle Development Co. for its first major project, a hotel and office complex on the block facing the avenue between 13th and 14th streets NW.
Danzansky said he is likely to make one major change in PADC's operations under Quesada - opening its meetings to the public.
Run by a 15-member appointed board that includes only one elected official - City Council member Nadine Winter - and one other representative of the District of Columbia government - planning director Ben Gilbert - PADC has frequently been criticized for operating behind closed doors.
The volunteer PADC charimanship is the latest in a long series of public service jobs held by Danzansky, who last year relinquished the job of chief executive of Giant Food to become its part-time chariman of the board.
Besides supermarkets, the Danzansky name is most often associated with sports. He tried in vain to buy the Washington Senators before they were deported in 1971 and two years later made a bid to buy the San Diego Padres and bring baseball back to Washington.
But Danzansky, former president of the Metropolitan Washington Board of Trade, was also a leader among white businessmen in forging links with black community groups when the city moved toward self government. He was finance committee chairman for Walter Washington in the city's first mayoral election, but became a major contributor to Sterling Tucker this year.