Written by The Staff
Saturday, 16 September 2006 16:49
While construction of the new Nationals facility is currently on schedule to meet the projected completion date, the two parking structures just outside center field may not. Yesterday, the D.C. Sports and Entertainment Commission (DCSEC), the govenment entity that is overseeing the construction of the $611 million facility on the Anacostia River in Near SE Washington, DC, delivered a contract to developer Herbert S. Miller that had a termination clause allowing for a buyout. Miller has planned to build two 13-story towers that would wrap the parking for the ballpark in mixed use development including a hotel, condos, restaurants and other development. As David Nakamura and Thomas Heath of the Washington Post report (Garage Plan for Stadium At Risk):
Miller's proposed parking and
mixed-use structures are shown
here just outside centerfield.
The contract includes a termination clause specifying that the commission would pay Miller $990,000 if the project fell through, said a government official who spoke on condition of anonymity because negotiations are ongoing. Miller has until Wednesday to sign the agreement, which would then require approval from Washington Nationals majority owner Theodore N. Lerner.
Lerner and his partners have strenuously opposed Miller's plan, saying they believe it would impede the plan to open the ballpark by March 2008. Under the stadium agreement, the Lerner group has the right to reject development plans on city-owned stadium land if it has reasonable concerns.
Several District government officials said it is unlikely that the owners would endorse the contract. In that case, the deal would be killed, and Miller would be paid the buyout fee, the city officials said. The $990,000 figure is just below the $1 million threshold that would require approval by the D.C. Council.
"We gave Mr. Miller the land disposition agreement today," commission board member William N. Hall said yesterday. He declined to disclose specifics. "It contains a fair and equitable termination provision. I would rather not get into more detail about it than that. We have done it expeditiously and expect an expeditious response."
The Lerner Group, who owns the Nationals, has been opposed to the grand design that was proposed by Miller and backed by Mayor Williams. D.C. Chief Financial Officer Natwar M. Gandhi also was critical of some aspects of the proposal.
The intial start date proposed for the project was September 5th.