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70 Blog Posts Since 2003
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From the Examiner: "The [Anacostia Waterfront Corporation] and [National Capital Revitalization Corporation] are the targets of a public hearing scheduled at 10 a.m. today before the council's economic development committee to help determine the fate of both agencies. Council Member Jack Evans, D-Ward 2, introduced legislation in January that seeks to dissolve both agencies and transfer their assets to the mayor's office." That's a better lede to their story than what they actually used: "Drive down to the area around the new Washington Nationals baseball stadium being constructed on the Anacostia Waterfront today, and it's hard to believe it's someday supposed to be a city showcase." Bah. The hearings aren't being shown on DC Cable 13 or via streaming video (a welcome reprieve for a sick blogger); I'll update this entry as news from the session comes out.
UPDATE: Here's the first story out, from the Washington Business Journal:"A pair of highly scrutinized D.C. development agencies received high marks from some community activists Tuesday, but city officials still aren't convinced the organizations are getting the job done. [...] 'I have had a steady stream of disgruntled and unhappy economic development people coming to my office complaining about these organizations,' [Jack] Evans says. 'We are here today to figure out how to make this work.' "
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(Yes, I'm running a bit behind. Will be back to normal next week.) On Wednesday the Economic Development subcommittee of the city council held an oversight hearing that included testimony about the Anacostia Waterfront Corporation and the National Capital Revitalization Corporation. From the Washington Times piece on the hearing: "Council member Kwame R. Brown, at-large Democrat, said he was not trying to stop progress by the organizations, but that he would be 'holding them accountable' for questionable expenses and delays in completing deals. A hearing on whether to dissolve them is scheduled for March 13." And, from the Washington Business Journal: "Wednesday's hearing was focused more on the agencies' interaction and cooperation with neighborhood groups, says Kwame Brown, D-at Large, chairman of the council's economic development committee. The March 13 hearing will look at the actual performance of both agencies and how they've progressed with their development efforts."

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Tomorrow night (Feb. 22), the DC Zoning Commission is having a public hearing on Case 06-41, a Capitol Gateway Overlay Review for 1325 South Capitol Street, the planned 244-unit residential building at South Capitol and O streets SW, right across from the ballpark. The ZC hearing is available via live webcast. Apparently this project was presented at the Feb. 12 ANC 6D meeting, but since the ANC for four of the last five months has been unable or unwilling to send out its agendas before the meetings or post them on their web site (check out those dates!), I wasn't able to post a heads up that this project was going to be discussed.
On the other hand, the agenda has already been released for the Feb. 28 Anacostia Waterfront Corporation Public Board Meeting, where one of the main items will be a presentation and public comments on the AWC's Draft Environmental Standards, and also a presentation on their new Workforce Intermediary Services. See the agenda for time and place and how to participate.

More posts: 1325sc, ANC News, Anacostia Waterfront Corp., South Capitol St., zoning
 

In other news from the same press release announcing the interim AWC CEO: "Yesterday, the District of Columbia, AWC and the JBG Companies signed a Payment-in-Lieu-of-Taxes (PILOT) agreement to secure the development of the US Department of Transportation headquarters, a JBG-owned property. The PILOT will fund $140 million in infrastructure investments for the Anacostia Waterfront Initiative. The revenue stream from the agreement will be dedicated to support District issued bonds. These projects include: Southeast Federal Center, Anacostia Metro, Reservation 13, Ward 7 Waterfront, Marvin Gaye Park, [and the] Southwest Waterfront." See previous posts on this PILOT agreement here, here, and here.
That $140 million must be burning a hole in the AWC's pocket, because they've already posted an RFP for a Construction Manager for several AWC capital projects: "The total construction value for these activities is up to $140 million." There is a good tidbit buried in the accompanying press release, that AWC intends to break ground in 2007 on both Washington Canal Park and on the first phase of Diamond Teague Park, the planned 39,000-sq-ft public plaza at the terminus of First Street on the banks of Anacostia, nestled between Florida Rock, the Earth Conservation Corps, WASA, and the Nationals ballpark. (And who is Diamond Teague? Read this NOW With Bill Moyers transcript from 2004.)
 

Not posted on the AWC web site yet, but here's a portion of the press release: "The Board of Directors of the Anacostia Waterfront Corporation (AWC) announced the resignation of its President and CEO Adrian G. Washington today. Washington, who served in that capacity from December 2005 to now, is returning to the private sector to resume his previous activities as a local developer and entrepreneur. [...] Mr. Washington's resignation is effective immediately." Will add the link to the press release when it's available online. UPDATE: Still not on the AWC, but here's a PDF of the press release.
UPDATE, 2/14: Here are the Post and Washington Business Journal pieces on Washington's departure, both of which also mention the additonal recent departure of the head of the National Capital Revitalization Corporation, the other quasi-government organization that, along with the AWC, has recently come under fire by members of the city council (with hearings to be held in March).
UPDATE II: Hi, Wonkette visitors. The nausea-inducing mouseovers are on that map over there to the right. After you're finished playing, click on a project or two, you might learn something.
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The Anacostia Waterfront Corporation has released a set of Draft Environmental Standards for "integrated environmental design, green building, stormwater control, and site planning and preservation" for projects that fall within the AWC boundaries; the accompanying press release says that "The Committee's recommendations would establish some of the most environmentally protective development standards in the United States, requiring use of 'sustainable development' techniques to help restore the Anacostia River and provide a cleaner, healthier environment for District residents." Comments are being solicited through March 13.
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There doesn't appear to be anything Near Southeast-related on the agenda, but I'll still note that the Anacostia Waterfront Corporation Public Board Meeting is scheduled for 5:30 pm tomorrow (Monday), at 5:30 pm at the Courtyard by Marriott at New Jersey and L. Of course, if you obsessively check my Calendar of Events, you knew this already!
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Jack Evans's office was kind enough to pass along a copy of the bill he introduced (along with David Catania) to abolish the Anacostia Waterfront Corporation and the National Capital Revitalization Corporation. There's no hearing date set yet, I'll let you know whenever I hear about it.
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As I posted last week, the Nexus Gold Club is auctioning off its furnishings and, more interestingly, its nude dancing license tomorrow (Tuesday), and today the Post picks up the story. One piece of news, JPI says that the demolition of the site (which will eventually be home to the 909 New Jersey Avenue residential project) will begin in March. On the same page as the Post story, there's also a box with a short piece on the surprising move by Jack Evans reported last week to abolish both the Anacostia Waterfront Corporation and the NCRC. UPDATE: Here's an Examiner article noting that Tommy Wells, the new Ward 6 council member whose district includes a lot of the Anacostia Waterfront, is "not convinced that legislation proposed Tuesday to dissolve a District organization charged with the redevelopment of the Anacostia River's waterfront is the best way to proceed. [...] Wells campaigned in part on redeveloping the Anacostia's waterfront into a walkable community for families, with green space, shops and restaurants. He said Friday he wondered whether putting Mayor Adrian Fenty's administration in charge of redeveloping the waterfront now is prudent considering his desire to take over the District's schools."
UPDATE, 1/16: The Post reports that no one ended up bidding on the Nexus nude dancing license, perhaps because the minimum required bid was set at $2 million. But they have a cute little sidebar noting the prices that some of the furnishings went for--the 13-foot brass dancing poles went for $50.
UPDATE, 1/17: Oops, I dropped a rather important part of the Tommy Wells quote above. He is quoted as saying he is "not convinced" the legislation is the best way to proceed.
More posts: 909 New Jersey, Anacostia Waterfront Corp., Restaurants/Nightlife, jpi, Monument Valley/Half St.
 

Here's an interesting bit of political maneuvering.... From the Examiner:
"D.C. City Council Member Jack Evans, D-Ward 2 [...], who chairs the finance and revenue committee, introduced legislation Tuesday called the National Capital Revitalization Corporation and Anacostia Waterfront Corporation Reorganization Act of 2007. The bill seeks to transfer the assets of both organizations back to the District and would revert all of their power to the mayor's office. Council Member David Catania, I-at large, signed on as a co-sponsor.
"Catania and Evans complained the agencies have become barriers to getting things done in the District, saying the organizations have too often clashed or engaged in what Evans referred to as 'turf wars.' Evans also accused the agencies of being unresponsive to the council, adding that the legislative body should have more oversight."
We'll have to watch how this unfolds, I think it's very interesting that Jack Evans is the one who introduced it. I'd link to the bill, but it's not in the council's online legislation system yet.

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