D.C. United deal now includes selling city land for less than half assessed value

The Washington Post has thrown at least a thimbleful of cold water on D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray’s D.C. United stadium plan, noting that “with about seven months remaining in a lame-duck term, persuading a majority of the council to support the plan could take every ounce of political capital that Gray (D) still has. It may not be enough.” Not only is the council wary about the $200 million in cash and tax breaks required, but there’s a mayoral election coming up, and both candidates have expressed opposition to the stadium deal.

The Post also notes a recent twist in the stadium funding scheme, which is that, contrary to the original plan to sell the city-owned Reeves Center government office building for $100 million and use the proceeds for the stadium, Gray has now agreed to trade the Reeves Center to the owner of part of the proposed soccer stadium site for $34.5 million plus $21.1 million in stadium land — less than half its assessed value, and less than a third of what a 2011 city report found the Reeves site to be worth. I can’t for the life of me figure out whether this means D.C. will now have to come up with additional cash or land beyond its original $150 million investment — the land swaps are so convoluted that apparently even the Post has thrown up its hands at trying to describe them — but I’ll report back here if the fog ever clears.


6 comments on “D.C. United deal now includes selling city land for less than half assessed value

  1. “the land swaps are so convoluted that apparently even the Post has thrown up its hands at trying to describe them”.

    Mission accomplished!

  2. The land swap is even murkier than the United’s foreign ownership situation.

  3. The summary that I read included a stipulation that the difference in value between the Reeves Center and the land swap had to be made up in a cash payment to the city.

    Here is the relevant piece: “The Akridge Southwest property is worth about $20 million, Lew said, while the Reeves Center is worth closer to $60 million. Akridge, Lew said, will make up the difference in cash, and D.C. will put that money toward acquiring the Pepco property.”

    And the article I copied and pasted this from: http://www.bizjournals.com/washington/blog/2014/05/heres-the-deal-with-the-new-d-c-united-stadium.html?page=all

  4. Right, that’s why I wrote that Gray has “agreed to trade the Reeves Center to the owner of part of the proposed soccer stadium site for $34.5 million plus $21.1 million in stadium land.” But that still doesn’t account for any undervaluing of the Reeves site, or where D.C. will come up with the rest of the money for land acquisition and other costs.

  5. DCFPI weighs in:
    http://www.dcfpi.org/the-new-soccer-stadium-deal-closer-to-the-goal-but-still-wide-of-the-net

    Also, the city council has funded a $200K study to look into whether this deal makes sense. I could answer that question for them for $2K.

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