The city is planning a series of major land swaps to obtain the property needed to build a D.C. United stadium on Buzzard Point. But as I’ve reported before, the most talked-about of those land swaps is very uneven. In it, the city will give up the Frank D. Reeves Municipal Center at 14th and U streets NW in exchange for a parcel of land owned by the developer Akridge at Buzzard Point. The former was valued this year at $108.5 million, the latter at $8 million (though Akridge bought it for around $17.5 million in 2005).
So as I wrote in July, Akridge is going to have to give something extra to the city, and that something is likely to be cash. Now we’ve got confirmation of that, and more details on how the process is going to work.
Jonathan O’Connell reports that City Administrator Allen Lew and Akridge President Matthew Klein signed a letter of intent earlier this month agreeing that the Reeves Center is worth more than the Buzzard Point parcel and that the difference will be made up in cash. Three appraisers will determine the values of the properties: one selected by the city, one selected by Akridge, and a third selected by the first two.
Of course, the Akridge parcel is now worth considerably more than it was before there were plans for a stadium on the site, and there was talk that the District had given the developer undue leverage by announcing the deal before the details were worked out. But on this count, the city gets a protection as part of the agreement: The parcel will be appraised at the value it had just before the stadium deal was announced.
The process will now move forward quickly. The appraisers will submit their findings by Oct. 14, and D.C. and Akridge are supposed to reach a definitive agreement by Nov. 1 in order to submit it to the D.C. Council by Nov. 15.
Rendering courtesy of the Office of the City Administrator