This is a couple of days old, apologies for being slow, I'm going to be a bit behind on the blog here until early next week. There were two stories from Thursday about the latest news on the new baseball stadium
-- the Post's "Nationals Say No to Underground Parking
," which not only gives the bad news that the Lerners have firmly said that the parking on the stadium site must be in above-ground garages in order to ensure that it is ready in time for the opening of the stadium in 2008, but also that nearly half of the construction contingencies fund has just been allocated--"The commission's board of directors voted to spend $2.9 million in contingencies to help remediate unexpected environmental problems at the site after workers found 53 unreported tanks of oil under the soil. The board also agreed to spend $6.5 million to help create retail space along First Street SE, a concept mandated by the D.C. Zoning Commission." I was glad, however, to see this emphasized in the article as well: "Bobb said that no final decision has been made and stressed that the ballpark entertainment district will extend far beyond the parking garages, so the city can benefit even if parking is built aboveground." (Some articles have left the impression that the parking garages would take up the entire "entertainment district", which isn't true.) The parking garage issue might not be 100% settled, especially with the looming June 26 Zoning Commission hearing on the stadium--although I don't know whether the ZC would have the power to scuttle the garages. As for the unexpected Hazmat expenses, see this WashTimes story
for more detail.
A press release
from the office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development celebrates the city council's passing of the two bills requesting Pilot Funding for infrastructure
at the Southeast Federal Center
). From the release: "The Council approved two resolutions authorizing $230 million in Payments in Lieu of Taxes (PILOT) bond issuances to pay for critical infrastructure on the Anacostia River. Approval of the resolutions enables the District to issue and deliver bonds for the purpose of financing or reimbursing Forest City Washington for $88 million in infrastructure costs related to the Southeast Federal Center Development and provide infrastructure funds for Anacostia Waterfront Initiative projects."