Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity

Developer Dropped from Poplar Point Project

D.C. government officials confirmed moments ago that Clark Realty Capital, the development firm that was to partner with the city to develop 110 acres at Poplar Point in Ward 8, has been dropped from the project.

City officials said the firm balked at investing the several millions of dollars necessary to prepare the land for development, citing the months-long downturn in the credit market. Messages left with Clark representatives were not immediately returned.

Poplar Point, a tract of land along the Anacostia River, would be the largest development east of the Anacostia River in decades. Clark beat out several other high-powered developers to win Mayor Adrian M. Fenty's bidding contest to partner with the city on a project that would feature a mix of retail, office space and housing, along with a 70-acre park.

The city is in the process of conducting an environmental assessment of the parkland and probably will prepare the land itself. Then, the project will be re-bid to solicit a new development partner, officials said.

City sources also said that talk of a soccer stadium for D.C. United at Poplar Point has essentially died. United owner Victor B. MacFarlane and his representatives have not been seen at the John A. Wilson Building in months, the sources said.

In a statement, Neil O. Albert, the city's deputy mayor for economic development, said: "Clark is a great local company that will continue to do excellent work in this city. But in this extremely challenging economic environment it is no longer practical for Clark to pursue the deal structure we currently have in place.

"Our top priority is to make sure we fulfill the requirements of the federal land transfer, which transfers ownership of this site from the federal government to the District. Moving forward, the District will continue to lead, along with its federal partners at the National Park Service, the environmental impact study process and all ongoing remediation studies. This process is on track and we expect it to conclude on time without delaying the project."

By David A Nakamura  |  January 30, 2009; 5:19 PM ET
Categories:  Economic Development  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: No Read From Rhee, Yet
Next: Barry to Fenty: 'Another Staggering Blow' to Poplar Project

Comments

DC cannot fix it's schools, keep it's hospitals open, fix the problems it has with it's child protective service. Built a stadium for the WORST team in baseball then allowed the owners to go months with out paying rent. Now there considering a soccer stadium. Drag Fenty into the street and stone this POS to death.

Posted by: askgees | January 30, 2009 5:44 PM | Report abuse

What's the point of MacFarlane going to the Wilson building if the contract was already awarded to Clark Realty?

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | January 30, 2009 5:44 PM | Report abuse

askgees,

Maybe you ought to learn some facts before you jump the gun and go on a little rant.

There's several hundred articles and blog posts just on wapost.com to help you.

DC United wasn't asking for DC to build them a stadium. They were looking for some money to help them build a stadium by providing infrastructure improvements (sewer, roads, etc). The soccer team was going to take on a the lion's share of the build. The team's idea was to be a partnership between the city, neighborhood and team.

The baseball team was the greatest robbery of public funds in DC history.

Posted by: kolbkl | January 30, 2009 5:59 PM | Report abuse

Oh, gee, this means there won't be another 1000 new condos on the market soon. What ever will we do?

Posted by: Bitter_Bill | January 30, 2009 5:59 PM | Report abuse

@ 1-270: MacFarlane would have been partnering with Clark to provide an anchor for the development.

@ askgees: How is the city going to pay for any of the things you are asking for without capturing some sort of tax revenue through development (real estate and business taxes) or entertainment (sales and ticket taxes). Maybe they should just raise income taxes and encourage folks to move out of the city.

Posted by: b1968k | January 30, 2009 5:59 PM | Report abuse

The baseball team was the greatest robbery of public funds in DC history.

Posted by: kolbkl | January 30, 2009 5:59 PM

Agreed. And for what? America's greatest pastime?

Posted by: redskinsux | January 30, 2009 6:09 PM | Report abuse

PG United!!! Now all I need is the Purple Line to get me to New Carrolton.

Posted by: LostinPotomac | January 30, 2009 6:18 PM | Report abuse

I suspect a lot of the problem was the difficulty in dealing with DC officials, who seem to adopt an attitude of aloofness and arrogance when dealing with potential developers.

Posted by: HillMan | January 30, 2009 7:07 PM | Report abuse

"Thank you Kevin for this D.C. United jersey and congratulations on your terrific season," Fenty said. "It is great to see over 20,000 fans here at RFK supporting D.C. United. It is my hope that your fans will soon be coming to your brand new soccer stadium at Poplar Point in Anacostia. World class fans, and a world class team like D.C. United, deserve a world class stadium. And I am going to make it a priority to help you build that stadium. Thank you -- congratulations and good luck to the Black-and-Red!"

-Adrian Fenty on Oct 29 2006 (right before a mayoral elction mind you)

link to full article: http://www.mlsnet.com/news/team_news.jsp?ymd=20061031&content_id=77524&vkey=news_dcu&fext=.jsp&team=t103

Posted by: Poopy_McPoop | January 30, 2009 7:24 PM | Report abuse

Fenty Lied--Poplar Point died

Has anyone else announced for mayor in 2010? I feel the need to make campaign contribution.

Posted by: jmingus | January 30, 2009 7:35 PM | Report abuse

Heh, why am I not surprised. This is just pure crap.

And, if I'm not mistaken, I think I've read certain blurbs of Fenty trying to sway the 'skins back into the city.

Posted by: dogboy | January 30, 2009 7:37 PM | Report abuse

The main difference between the nats and DCU is that DCU has a higher average per game attendance than the nats. That and DCU was not asking the city to foot the whole bill. Even if they did, their stadium would be a fraction of the cost.
I guess DCU fans can prepare for staying at RFK for the forseable future.
OK PG county, your up!!

Posted by: jjfooty | January 30, 2009 8:21 PM | Report abuse

The United were ready to break ground a couple years ago, putting up the money for the stadium and developing the surrounding area, but Fenty was so sure he could make a better deal, now the whole thing has fallen apart. At least having no development is better than Williams getting ripped off by MLB.

Posted by: PowerBoater69 | January 30, 2009 8:51 PM | Report abuse

The United averaged 10,000 few fans per game than the Nats; jjfooty has the math skills of a UMD basketball player.

Posted by: PowerBoater69 | January 30, 2009 8:56 PM | Report abuse

PowerBoater69, you're pretty much on target.

According to MLSnet.com, DC United had 15 home games last season, drawing 297,531 fans, or an average 19,835 per game.

Last season, the Nationals drew 2,320,400 fans, averaging 29,005 per game (per ESPN).

Posted by: frenchyb | January 30, 2009 9:16 PM | Report abuse

@frenchyb - you need to do a 3 or 4 year history on average attendance. Of course the Nats had higher average last year. Everyone wanted to see the new digs, not the team.

Posted by: spata2 | January 30, 2009 9:32 PM | Report abuse

The Lerners completely killed new sports stadia in DC for the foreseeable future. They ripped off the city, cooked up a "dispute" about whether or not the stadium was really complete and withheld payments. On top of that, they haven't spent any money on their team. Course, the Lerners are part of the same group of weasel real estate speculators that helped put this economy in the crapper. As a DCU fan, I'd like to see the Nat's park condemned as a toxic waste site and see Fenty demoted to street sweeper.

Posted by: griffin1108 | January 30, 2009 9:47 PM | Report abuse


DCU actually had closer to 30 home games with the international tourneys and friendlies.

The big story here is how the city screwed the pooch again, they tried to get the moon and now we get nothing. You think Clark reality is the only developer that is having trouble now, have fun trying to find anyone willing fund a $100 million+ project.
And the PG County idea is also going no where, its pretty much the same developers and an even worse economic climate out there.

Posted by: rockotodd | January 30, 2009 10:03 PM | Report abuse

may we please get our facts straight, and attempt to use proper grammar when posting? Thank You.

Posted by: dah1963 | January 30, 2009 10:03 PM | Report abuse

DC United need to build a stadium in Reston or Montgomery country. Anywhere there are alot of illegals. They will sell out for sure. Dear Nats, your stadium is in the ghetto.

Posted by: Italiaxxx | January 30, 2009 10:05 PM | Report abuse

may we please get our facts straight, and attempt to use proper grammar when posting? Thank You.

Posted by: dah1963 | January 30, 2009 10:03 PM

Sure thang mom!
I thought I told you to stay out of this...

Posted by: DadRyan | January 30, 2009 10:47 PM | Report abuse

As a DCU fan, I'd like to see the Nat's park condemned as a toxic waste site and see Fenty demoted to street sweeper.

Posted by: griffin1108 | January 30, 2009 9:47 PM

Why don't DCU just take over Nat's Park and Nat's can go back to RFK? Then again the tailgate wouldn't be nearly as relaxed.
Let's just improve RFK on our own. (The supporters!) yeah!

Posted by: DadRyan | January 30, 2009 10:51 PM | Report abuse

DC United need to build a stadium in Reston or Montgomery country. Anywhere there are alot of illegals. They will sell out for sure. Dear Nats, your stadium is in the ghetto.

Posted by: Italiaxxx | January 30, 2009 10:05 PM

____________________________________________

illegals?
WTF? this is coming from a self proclaimed Italian?...i bet you'll be right front in center then...

Posted by: TheWashDipsSince88 | January 30, 2009 11:03 PM | Report abuse

spata2, here's are the annual averages for the last four years:

Nationals Average Attendance
2005 - 33,728
2006 - 26,580
2007 - 24,217
2008 - 29,005

DC United Average Attendance (regular season/playoffs)
2005: 16,664/20,08
2006: 18,215/20,504
2007: 20,967/19,438
2008: 19,835/[n/a]

Posted by: frenchyb | January 31, 2009 1:15 AM | Report abuse

I was against the stadium when it first got going, but now that it is here, I suppose we should make the most of it, and pull together to make it and our team a success. The city messed up in trying to force enthusiasm on its citizenry. When it's not there, there won't be any revenue.

Soccer is not big time enough yet, and DC United ought to be happy with RFK. They should renovate it, though. Soccer is not worth ruining Poplar Point over.

The main issue is that the city also messed up allowing the 'skins to leave the city. That was mistake number one that started all this stadium mess. Now how we're going to get them back in is going to be another long protracted drama. And getting them back in is the only way the skins will ever win again. Sad, but true.

Posted by: sugarstreet | January 31, 2009 7:25 AM | Report abuse

@Sugarstreet - It's not a matter of being big-time. In fact, RFK is way too big for United. Staying at RFK for the long term is simply not a viable option for the team. Because the Stadium Commission controls all ancillary revenue (concessions, parking, etc.) and the team has to pay rent to play there, it basically precludes DCU from turning a profit. I'd have liked to see the team stay in DC (and everybody involved has pretty much said that Poplar Point was the best last chance at keeping them in the city), but moving to a new stadium isn't a matter of desire. It's an economic necessity, poor credit market or not.

Posted by: TheAMT | January 31, 2009 7:56 AM | Report abuse

The United can't make a profit at RFK, they can't make a deal with the District for a new stadium, and a move to VA or MD would cost them half of their fan base, looks grim. Better to go to a couple extras games this season while they're still here, the United sure had a fun 10+ year run, to bad all good things must come to an end.

Posted by: PowerBoater69 | January 31, 2009 8:20 AM | Report abuse

Ok, I'm not real knowledgeable about this issue, but when you say "because the Stadium Commission controls all ancillary revenue (concessions, parking, etc.) and the team has to pay rent to play there, it basically precludes DCU from turning a profit." - is the Stadium Comn then a city agency? If this is the case, then this whole thing is ludicrous! The city instead of negotiating some settlement with the team to make it more viable for them to play at and if necessary renovate RFK, was going to force them to build over Poplar Point or build at PP?

I'm sure there are modifications they could make to RFK to make it a more appropriate stadium to host soccer games, including tearing down a deck. It's a good site. I say we keep it. Plus, hasn't DCU won a lot? It's something about that site that produces winning teams.

Posted by: sugarstreet | January 31, 2009 9:29 AM | Report abuse

I suspect a lot of the problem was the difficulty in dealing with DC officials, who seem to adopt an attitude of aloofness and arrogance when dealing with potential developers.

Posted by: HillMan

Yeah, all those backroom deals, all that 'emergency' legislation, lining of pockets...yeah, the DC government HATE$ developer$.

Posted by: sugarstreet | January 31, 2009 9:32 AM | Report abuse

Strike another accomplishment for the current administration!

Posted by: southyrndiva | January 31, 2009 11:15 AM | Report abuse

PowerBoater69-

Your comments are fair and basically well informed. There's just one thing.

Please refrain from calling the team "The United". The team is called simply "United", or "DC United".

...and whether it's in DC, VA, or MD, they are here to stay. There's no need to insinuate that they're not.

Thanks!

Posted by: spectre42 | January 31, 2009 7:43 PM | Report abuse

I like when people always drop National attendance figures but forget to realize that a lot in attendance on average went for free or paid the cheapest seats possible..Now with DC seats...its on avg $20 per head..so thats 2-3 Nats fan per game...im not doing the math lets look at the vids and see that sea of empty blue seats.
Face it!

Posted by: TheWashDipsSince88 | January 31, 2009 10:19 PM | Report abuse

DC United may have done the right thing. Now Fenty will have to come and beg them to develop the land or it will go back to the Feds. But my guess is Mac Farlane has no interest in talking with a backstabber.

For some reason developers these days aren't interested in building thousands of high end condos in Anacostia...go figure.

Posted by: Southeasterner | February 2, 2009 3:46 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company