From the Examiner, in a piece called "Vacant Buildings Costing DC Millions
," this tidbit from today's council hearing on the mayor's proposed changes to the city's FY09 and FY10 budgets: "In its amended budget proposal now before the D.C. Council, the administration seeks permission to buy [225 Virginia Ave.
] for $85 million, subject to the availability of funding -- a long shot given the city's $150 million 2010 shortfall. Renovating it will cost an additional $85 million, City Administrator Neil Albert told the council Monday." (You can see this part of his testimony at about the 1hr9min mark of this video
Quoting again: "The capital improvements, Albert said, 'will increase the value and use of a property that the District actually owns.' The mayor's multi-year search for a firm willing to take over the lease failed. Fenty claims to have twice reached tentative deals with private groups that fell through as the economy collapsed. 'I think it makes sense for us to buy it, but we've wasted roughly $15 million to get to this point,' said at-large Councilman Phil Mendelson. 'The decision to buy should have been made two years ago.'" You can read more about this proposed purchase here
, and about today's hearing in this Examiner story
. The council will vote on the revised budget on July 31.