The lucrative Metro Center parcels in downtown Washington are up for grabs again, but only former players need apply.

Two months ago the city took the rights to Metro Center away from two of Washington's most prominent businessmen, Oliver T. Carr and Theodore R. Hagans Jr., after the two refused to pay the city's $51.6 million asking price for the land.

Carr and Hagans have filed a lawsuit to win back the development rights, but the city is seeking a new developer without waiting for that suit to be settled. Yesterday Washington's urban renewal agency decided to limit the new competition to only those developers who bid for the site but lost out four years ago.

D.C. Redevelopment Land Agency members indicated the limited contest would allow the board to pick a developer more quickly for the three parcels north of G Street between 11th and 13th streets NW.

Three of the five former losers told RLA Friday that they wanted a second chance. They include Western Development Co., which has tried unsuccessfully three times in four years for a city-owned site; JBG Associates and Landow Associates, which won one city-owned Metro Center parcel four years ago. All three were given 30 days to "update" their 1978 proposals.

When the proposals were made four years ago, the city was offering four parcels at Metro Center plus a fifth site now known as Gallery Place, at 7th and F streets NW. Carr-Hagans, Western and Landow bid on all four Metro Center sites and Landow won one while Carr and Hagans were awarded the other three. JBG bid on one parcel--the one won by Landow. Gallery Place was awarded the following year.