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More Development Along the Anacostia River

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Mayor Adrian Fenty announced today that the city is seeking bids for a master developer for the 50-acre site next to RFK Stadium known as Hill East, which includes the defunct D.C. General campus. The project will be the second major development along the Anacostia River announced by the Fenty administration in the past 10 months. Poplar Point, a 110-acre site in Ward 8, will be developed by Clark Realty and will include condos, shops, restaurants, offices and, possibly, a soccer stadium for D.C. United.

Like Poplar Point, Hill East is possible because of a land transfer underway from the federal government to the District that officials said should be completed this year. And both projects have been on the drawing board for years and have undergone several iterations. After Mayor Anthony A. Williams shuttered D.C. General, city leaders have debated what to do with the vast tract of land.

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Fenty and Neil Albert, the deputy mayor for economic development, said today that they are seeking a mix of shops and housing on the Hill East site and possibly a "healthplex" that would offer residents medical care. They said they have incoporated many of the tenents compiled in a 2003 planning document for the site into their Request For Proposals that has been issued to the developers.

"We want to bring life to the Anacostia River," Fenty said.

How much life, will be the question. With the Nationals gone from RFK, only D.C. United is playing in the 47-year-old building and that franchise expects to move to a new stadium -- at Poplar Point or elsewhere -- within five years. Then the city will have to decide what to do with the RFK site, and today council member Jack Evans (D-Ward 2) reiterated his interest in trying to lure the Redskins back to D.C. with a new football stadium.

Evans said a stadium would bring "synergy" to the Hill East development in the way the Verizon Center has done at Gallery Place and the new baseball stadium might do near the Navy Yard.

The bidding for a developer closes in August and it will take about three months to review the proposals, said project manager Jay Juergensen. The administration will show the designs to the public and seek input, and a developer will be selected early next year, Juergensen said.

By David A Nakamura  |  May 14, 2008; 1:18 PM ET
Categories:  David Nakamura , Economic Development  
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Comments

What about DC jail? What about the dome and the future Redskins stadium? It seems that there are a number of haphazard plans for the site. I cannot see $300-500K condo with a jail view. if they do retail please not a low retail store like Value Village or NWL as the anchors.

Posted by: RobGreg | May 14, 2008 4:04 PM | Report abuse

Good question -- the Jail will remain where it is. It is not part of the 50 acres in question, though it abuts them.

Posted by: Nakamura | May 14, 2008 4:20 PM | Report abuse

It's hard to believe there's talk of a new Redskins stadium -- FedEx Field is only ten years old! That would be a gargantuan waste.

Posted by: MP | May 14, 2008 4:44 PM | Report abuse

FedEx was built with private $$, so there wouldn't be a waste of public funds. Bring the SKINS back home, Mr Evans.

Posted by: DKL | May 14, 2008 5:01 PM | Report abuse

No new Redskins field. It doesn't matter whose money built it. It's still waste. It's a waste of precious material. What are they are going to do with an empty stadium? Rent it out for the next Gladiator match-up? Whoever was mayor when the skins moved to pg dropped the ball. Get over it. Oh, and I'm happy to see Fenty working well with businesses to build up the city. He certainly isn't the typical Democrat.

Posted by: dcp | May 14, 2008 5:29 PM | Report abuse

The FedEx field is already a big waste. Building vast parking lots around the stadium was crazy. The stadium developers should have worked harder to encourage surrounding commercial development with underground parking instead. You go to the game then you get back into your car and go home or somewhere else. Their cheapness and laziness has already made FedEx field a waste.

Posted by: Bradley | May 15, 2008 1:42 PM | Report abuse

Homes in the neighborhood immediately west are listed for $500K now. People live across from the jail now and made choices to buy property there. Why wouldn't new residents buy or rent with the same perspective. I also heard the jail is undergoing some significant improvements which should positively impact the development.

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