D.C. Mayor Vincent C. Gray (D) and his city administrator, Allen Lew, said they plan to submit their plan to support the construction of a 20,000-seat stadium for D.C. United to the D.C. Council Friday.
The deal between the city and the team, as reported earlier this week, calls for the District to provide up to $150 million in land and infrastructure for the $300 million project, as well as tax breaks for the team. United would build the stadium.
Speaking at his regular press briefing Wednesday morning, Gray said that the remaining obstacle was acquiring land parcels on the northern end of the site, located on Buzzard Point, from Washington Kastles owner Mark Ein and the Super Salvage scrap metal yard.
Gray and Lew have said they will use eminent domain to acquire the parcels if they cannot come to an agreement with Ein, who has been negotiating on behalf of both parties. The mayor pointed out that the city has used eminent domain for other top economic development projects, including the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, Nationals Park and a planned redevelopment of Skyland Shopping Center.
Without getting into specifics, Gray says there is a “real gap” at this stage between what is being asked for and what the city thinks the land is worth.
Lew said that negotiations for the properties had stalled for the moment.
“I thought we were making progress and it’s kind of come to, I wouldn’t say a total stalemate, but we’re not in agreement on the numbers,” he said.
When the stadium package heads to the D.C. Council, it will likely be considered by the economic development committee, chaired by Muriel Bowser (D-Ward 4), the Democratic nominee for mayor, and the finance committee, chaired by Jack Evans (D-Ward 2).
Mike DeBonis contributed.
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