From the Washington Business Journal
: "Mayor Tony Williams has asked the D.C. Council for permission to sell city land at the new baseball stadium site to a developer who would build more than 900 parking spaces -- both above ground and below ground, a possible solution to a controversy that has dogged the project in recent weeks. [...] The mayor wants approval to authorize the city to sell "certain real property" at the stadium site to WDC Baseball Partners, an entity headed by Herb Miller's Western Development. The resolution does not say exactly how much land would be involved in the deal or what Western would pay. But the agreement would require Western to build at least 925 parking spaces and possibly housing and retail, which would have to be delivered by March 1, 2008." The response from LernerLand? "Stan Kasten, the Nationals' president in waiting, says his staff is evaluating the proposal and reiterated that his principle concern is that stadium is 'on time, on budget and first class.' " A few days ago
the Post mentioned how Forest City Washington and Western Development Corporation have supposedly pledged $70 million to the city in return for development rights on the stadium property, so this is clearly an outgrowth of that. I can only imagine the bazillion things that could prevent this from working, but perhaps this does show some movement.
Neither the Saturday WashTimes or WashPost has a story on the plan to sell the land to Western Development - but the WashTimes does have a piece on the Nats sale
that includes some information on the garages: "The D.C. Sports and Entertainment Commission [...] is prepared to direct the construction team, led by Clark Construction, to build parking above ground. But the commission received some assurances from Clark this week that at least part of the parking could be built underground and completed by March 2008, the project's deadline. The Anacostia Waterfront Corp. [...] presented a plan to pay for the construction that would involve payments from developers in exchange for the rights to build on certain parcels of ballpark land. But those plans have yet to be finalized, to the frustration of the Lerner family and members of the sports commission. Talks are ongoing, and a plan could be presented to the D.C. Zoning Commission during a hearing on the entire ballpark plan June 26." Then there's this sentence, which I've not seen elsewhere and, if true, shows why they're really working so hard to find a compromise: "Any above ground parking structures would require special approval from the zoning commission."