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From NBC4: "News4 has learned that D.C. Councilmember and mayoral candidate Adrian Fenty is talking with Mayor Anthony Williams about a new plan to build about 1,200 parking spaces on the south side of the stadium rather than on the north side. Sources said the change would make the garages cheaper to build and still leave land on the north side for development of retail stores, restaurants and housing. Sources said the Fenty plan would cost about $56 million compared to the mayor's price tag of about $80 million. Details of the new proposal are still being worked out between Fenty, the mayor, developers and the Lerner family that owns the baseball team. The new proposal could come before the D.C. Council as soon as Wednesday." Very interesting, and might be possible given the extra space on the south end of the stadium site. We shall see what arises. [NBC4 has now updated its story to remove the references to the south side of the stadium.] UPDATE: Here's the Post's article, which says nothing about the south side of the stadium concept mentioned by NBC4, instead saying that two three-story garages would be built aboveground on the north side of the stadium. The Post says that Fenty's plan has the support of CFO Gandhi and that the Nationals ownership group "was receptive to the plan." More: "Fenty said his plan would maintain the city's $611 million cost cap on the project, although it would require tens of millions of dollars in additional stadium-generated revenue that the city otherwise would be free to spend on other needs." And: "A critical aspect of the proposal would require the council to override a D.C. Zoning Commission decision from July that bans free-standing parking garages. Fenty aides said the council can sidestep zoning regulations for government projects." Apparently they're talking about building the aboveground garages in time for the 2008 opening, but the "structures would be reinforced to accommodate additional development on top in later seasons." Another wild ride at the Wilson Building appears to be at hand. UPDATE II: And here is the WashTimes piece, summarizing three of the plans (by Williams, Barry, and Fenty) currently being floated to fix the parking issue, but describes the Fenty plan as being on the south side of the stadium. And I wonder how long it'll be before this AP piece posted at WJLA is corrected, because I'm pretty sure they'd have a hard time putting 12,000 spaces on the site! UPDATE III: Don't forget that DC Council sessions are available via live streaming.
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