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This week's Washington Business Journal has an article on a proposal for a $230 million bond package to help prod along development at the Southeast Federal Center. The mayor and the two developers of the 55-acre site--Forest City Washington and JBG (which is building the new US Department of Transportation HQ on 11 acres of the SEFC)--are proposing two "payment in lieu of taxes" (aka Pilot) financing plans "for the roads, parks, and sewers." Because the Southeast Federal Center is currently federal property, the developers are not paying property taxes to the city--so the city would sell the $230 million in bonds and then "use a portion of the future payments in lieu of property taxes to cover the debt service for up to 15 years." The Pilot programs would then generate about $88 million, which would be used to cover the costs of roads and sidewalks and the 5.5-acre waterfront park that Forest City envisions. Forest City is saying that this infrastructure deal must be in place by June 15 to honor their agreement with GSA, and that city subsidies are "absolutely necessary" to ensure that the SFC is developed as a mixed-use project, according to the Office of Planning. The Pilot packages also include about $75 million for the Anacostia Waterfront Corporation's infrastructure projects--the AWC says specific projects "are not really well defined at this point" (but gee, aren't folks looking for a couple million to pay for those underground stadium parking garages? Just a thought.) WBJ says that the DC Council is expected to vote on the legislation (PR 16-796) on June 6 (although this is not yet on the Council calendar). (UPDATED to add link to article, now online.)
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