February 20, 2006

STADIUM IMPACT DEBATE CONTINUES

Is development coming to the waterfront because of the stadium? Would development have happened no matter what given the DC's desire to spur development and that so much of downtown has been built out? This chart clearly shows how dependent upon the stadium waterfront development is.

The Washington Post quotes Arthur B. Benjamin, a senior vice president at AMR Commercial Real Estate in Bethesda who points to factors in addition to the stadium to support his arguement about why development is happening:

"The prices of land in Near Southeast are so high because the city has said they want vibrant development to happen there and [through zoning they've allowed more density there] so that makes it more valuable. ... Plus, it's getting to a point where there's less ground left [in DC], and that's pushing the price up."

Ronald Cohen, a developer best known for building big-box stores on Rockville Pike, recently paid $51.6 million for a block at First and K streets SE.
"Ground is being purchased and buildings are being built based on where the new stadium is going. ... Clearly all of these sales weren't taking place before" the stadium was announced.
Given the lingering debate over the stadium, the real question at this point is: what happens to the proposed development if the stadium is not built?

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Can the same be said for Columbia Heights if the DCUSA/Target deal had fallen through?

dcbubble said...

Not really....The stadium is a far bigger development than the DCUSA project. Plus Columbia Heights seemed to be moving along to a greater extenet by itself anyways.

Robbie said...

I think, at this point, development will continue even if the stadium falls through. However, I believe that MLB and the District will come to an agreement; too much time and money has been spent on it to be a failure. Besides, a failure would be a major black eye to the District and would have a negative impact to MLB's reputation.

Anonymous said...

Unless Virginia can 'steal' the deal...

Eric in DC said...

I think that the development was happening and the stadium just put it into high gear.

Mayor Williams had a vision to develop the Anacostia River from the start of his term in office. If you go back to before baseball and the stadium you can see a master plan that had MAJOR development going on all along the Anacostia. The biggest things that had already happened include: moving 10,000 Navy jobs to Navy Yard and moving even more jobs to locations on the NE side of Navy Yard (I think it is Commerce, but someone can correct me on that.) About 2 or 3 years ago (before the stadium and baseball) I went to an Anacostia Waterfront Initiative meeting at Arena Stage. All the local dignitaries were there (including Bruce Babbitt, who was heading up the Initiative... Whatever happened to Bruce?). I still have the master plan they handed out for the Anacostia. Of course, I still think that the river itself smells of fecal coli! I'm just hoping that the stadium and all the other development will force DC to fund the project to fix the combined sewage problem. (to the tune of $1 billion!)

Eric in DC