Reader M. gets in the What's the Deal With
spirit by asking "WTDW Capitol Quarter
?", noting that the first deposits for houses in the development were accepted in October 2006, and that move-ins still have not begun. A few weeks ago
I reported that residents-in-waiting were being told that construction on the houses themselves might not start until the second quarter of 2008; while I'm not privvy to what I'm sure is all sorts of behind the scenes stuff about why the project has taken so long to get underway (believe it or not, large commercial companies and city government officials are not all that excited about keeping me in the loop on stuff like that!), there is some news today that indicates that the project is continuing to move forward.
The city council's Committee on Finance and Revenue will be having a mark-up session this afternoon at 3:45 that includes Bill 17-0292
, the "Arthur Capper/Carrollsburg
Public Improvements Revenue Bonds Approval Amendment Act of 2007", which, in amending the original Capper PILOT bill
from 2006, makes some "technical clarifications" and also authorizes a $55 million bond issuance. This bond, now $11 million larger what was originally anticipated because of increased borrowing costs, will provide $36.7 million for public infrastructure improvements like environmental remediation, building of two new streets (Second Place and Third Place), and water and sewer upgrades and replacements. Once this bill is passed by the council, the Housing Authority will be able to move forward with issuing the bonds, probably in Q2 2008; in fact, they have already sent out a Request for Proposals
for underwriters for these bonds, which closes on Friday (Dec. 7). This bond will then be repaid by the payments in lieu of property taxes that landowners within the Capper PILOT area will be responsible for. (The draft council bill
and the underwriting RFP
give much more detail about the PILOT plan, if you're interested.)
The construction that's currently tearing up the streets at Capitol Quarter
is a separate first-phase contract, allowing EYA to complete the initial work on public infrastructure that needs to be done before they can start work on the "private" infrastructure (the utilities and other work under the house lots themselves). Once that is done, then "vertical construction" can begin on the houses themselves, which is the work that is now scheduled to begin in the spring.
And, the DC Building Permit feed
shows that six-month extensions for Capitol Quarter permits have recently been approved.
So, while none of this answers what was probably the meat of the WTDW question--I know everyone really wants all sorts of skinny on the "whys" of the delays--it does give some semblance of an update on where things are.
The bill was moved out of mark-up ("reported favorably") with no discussion, and next goes to Committee of the Whole (presumably at next Tuesday's meeting). Note that the online version of the bill
is the original draft, and may not reflect the current wording. Jack Evans mentioned at mark-up that there will be an amendment offered at the Committee of the Whole, but didn't elaborate. And here's the draft committee report
on the bill, which gives a less technical description of the changes being made to the original 2006 PILOT legislation.