Southwest – DC’s Newest Asphalt Desert

Which would you rather have around the new baseball stadium in Southwest:

  1. A vibrant cityscape of mixed-use buildings with ground floor retail and reasons to spend before and after a game
  2. – or –

  3. A barren parking lot extending out around the stadium like a asphalt blast zone of heat and emptiness

If you are a city resident and the Mayor or Herman S. Miller, its Option 1, a new community centered on the baseball stadium that would be a pleasant experience for both baseball fans on game night and city residents any night. A new nightlife and tax-base option that best leverages the already massive investment by the city in the stadium.

If you are the Lerners, owners of the Nationals, or Gandhi, the District accountant, you want to spend the absolute minimum on development outside the actual stadium. Gandhi as a steward of taxpayer money, the Lerners as shred businessmen who want 100% of your spend inside their domain and a clear view to the Capitol from home plate.

According to today’s’ Wash Post article, the Lerners vision of a money vacuum rising from endless suburban-centric car parking lots is one step closer to reality. The city and Miller were unable to reach agreement on the mix-use idea, with pressure from Gandhi and the Lerners contributing to the impasse.

And now the only city-beautifying, non-baseball fan benefit to the whole $600 million plus fools errand is gone. Goodbye Camden Yards South, hello empty FedEx Field/RFK Stadium dead zone.

2 Comments so far

  1. Tom Bridge (unregistered) on September 21st, 2006 @ 1:31 pm

    Decision on the parking garage aside (I think they fucked up), the neighborhood will still be planned to be viable outside of baseball season, which means restaurants and shops and other public spaces for people to congregate before and after the game, and it won’t be funded with public funds, either…

  2. Don (unregistered) on September 21st, 2006 @ 4:08 pm

    Assuming I read the article correctly last week when this was all spiraling the drain, this rejection – which the Lerners got to make on their own, independent of the city – means the city has a penalty payment to the rejected developer of about $1M.

    As usual, the sports welfare queens league is reckless and free-spending with everyone’s money but their own. But it’s all in the name of those quality $5.35 and hour jobs selling hotdogs that we’re creating with our tax dollars!

Terms of use | Privacy Policy | Content: Creative Commons | Site and Design © 2009 | Metroblogging ® and Metblogs ® are registered trademarks of Bode Media, Inc.