More Development Along the Anacostia River
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.
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.
David A Nakamura
May 14, 2008; 1:18 PM ET
Categories: David Nakamura , Economic Development
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