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For two guys who both want the D.C. United soccer stadium to happen, Phil Mendelson and Still Mayor Vince Gray had trouble figuring out how it would actually happen.
Their dispute over whether Mendelson’s attempt to ditch the Reeves Center land swap without Gray’s approval pulled in the Office of the Attorney General and Chief Financial Officer Jeff DeWitt. And then there was the matter of the (maybe) missing letter that Gray said invalidated the whole scheme.
This week, though, Mendelson and Gray have quashed the beef. At a morning press conference, Mendelson and Gray—-along with Near Mayor Muriel Bowser—-announced that they’ve come to an agreement on the stadium.
Mendelson has dropped his attempt to tack funding for H Street’s Hopscotch Bridge onto the deal. In exchange, Gray will send a supplemental budget request to the Council, an acknowledgement that his administration’s plan to swap the Reeves Center with developer Akridge for stadium land is dead.
The new deal puts the District’s expenses for the Buzzard Point stadium land at around $139 million, although counting tax breaks for the team the total cost will come in at around $200 million, according to Mendelson. The Council will vote next week on whether to approve the deal.
While the branches of the District government are now in agreement—-Ward 2 councilmember Jack Evans promised to stop any “mischief” at the Council next week—-one party is still unhappy. Akridge, which has seen its deal to win the Reeves Center’s cushy 14th and U location evaporate under Council scrutiny, is “not pleased,” according to Mendelson. If Akridge won’t accept money for its Buzzard Point property, city administrator Allen Lew says the city can take the land with eminent domain.
Photo by Will Sommer