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The Washington Business Journal is reporting that DC Water has rejected the new spot proferred by the city for the relocation of some of the agency's operations at 1st and O SE, stalling forward progress on Forest City's plans for a 16-screen movie theater along with residential and retail offerings just east of Nationals Park.
Apparently additional relocation sites have been offered by the city to DC Water and are being reviewed, but the article says they have not been named. There's no real explanation of why the agency rejected the site east of 11th Street SE south of Water Street, except for this quote from Deputy Mayor Victor Hoskins: "They [DC Water] have criteria, and what you think works doesn't necessarily work. [...] We were very clear that the site worked, but they were clear that it did not work. They had the option to say no."
In addition to the movie theater, expected to be operated by Showcase Icon, Forest City has plans for 600 residential units in two buildings, along with around 50,000 square feet of retail on about five acres of land near (but not including) the historic Main Pumping Station between N Place SE and the Anacostia River.
While this relocation is getting sorted out, you can read my past posts about the DC Water site project, and check out the latest renderings of the theater and buildings planned for the site, some of which came along during my hiatus and so haven't officially been mentioned on the blog. Until now!
UPDATE, 2/20: There's now a follow-up WBJ story with DC Water's side of the story, saying that the 11th Street site was too small, too narrow, too difficult to navigate, located in a flood plain, in a heavily contaminated Superfund site, and has "tremendous traffic challenges."
It does quote agency head George Hawkins as saying that DC Water is not trying to drag its feet: "We're engaged, we're analyzing sites as fast as we get them."
The article also mentions that if a solution isn't found soon, the DC council may want to reallocate the $15 million it has budgeted for the land acquisition of a new site. "And that could potentially set the Showplace icon theater and associated development back a number of years."
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conngs0 says: (2/19/14 6:28 PM)
Disappointing. I wouldn't want to be moved relocated out of the neighborhood either, so I don't blame DC Water for leveraging that option to reject the new site if it was indeed available to them. Hopefully the parties can get the matter sorted out without further adding to the delay of the project. Any chance for the city to exercise eminent domain if the plans really hit a snag?


JES says: (2/19/14 7:59 PM)
Barfffffffff. But if we made it through the Bluejacket delays, we can get through this.


ttassa says: (2/20/14 9:32 AM)
Hope they can figure it out soon. Those renderings look great, imo. No sense in having DC host an all-star game until that stuff is built out.


Westnorth says: (2/21/14 5:10 PM)
It's a truck garage, not an orphanage; you'd think they'd be OK with a benzene contaminated site. I can see their point about not wanting to be stuck on a cul-de-sac during an emergency, but once the SE Boulevard is done that site will have two means of egress.

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