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Hours before a deadline to take control of the D.C. United stadium site expired, the District filed for eminent domain today.

While the city has already bought portions of the Buzzard Point site owned by a scrapyard and tycoon Mark Ein, the two acres in the stadium footprint owned by developer Akridge were still out of the city’s control until this afternoon. Ex-Mayor Vince Gray planned to trade the parcel with Akridge for U Street’s Reeves Center office building, but Muriel Bowser took Reeves out of the deal after becoming mayor.

“We have created the best deal for the District, its residents, D.C. United, and its fans,” Bowser’s office said in a statement.

The announcement of the filing came hours after courts closed. It’s not clear why the District waited so long to press the eminent domain case ahead of today’s deadline, since Bowser has been talking about using eminent domain for at least six months.

Both Akridge and Bowser administration officials didn’t respond to LL’s requests for comment.

Photo by Mike Madden