I think it’s fair to say that today’s been a high water mark for D.C. scrapyard coverage. First WAMU’s Patrick Madden reported that the Super Salvage scrapyard at Buzzard Point could throw a wrench in the city’s plans to clear the way for a D.C. United Stadium there. Super Salvage, he wrote, wasn’t eager to move, and so the city would have trouble assembling the land for the stadium, which includes the scrapyard. There followed quite a bit of confusion over whether Super Salvage actually owned the land, or whether investor and Washington Kastles owner Mark Ein still held an option on it that would allow Ein to trade it to the city in the stadium deal. City Administrator Allen Lew, who negotiated the deal on the city’s behalf, said this morning at a press conference that city officials initially thought Ein controlled the site but recently learned that Ein’s option had expired. On top of it all, I reported, there was the issue of eminent domain: If the city can’t get the land in a trade, Lew says, it will take it through eminent domain.
But finally, I just spoke with Ein, who clarified the situation—-somewhat.
Ein says the 2008 Washington City Paper report that he had bought a nine-year option on the property in 2005 was correct. But he declines to discuss the specifics of whether that option is still valid, describing the agreement with Super Salvage as a “private relationship.”
“The president of Super Salvage has been fully in the loop and has asked that I take the lead in coordinating for both of us,” says Ein. “We have an ongoing understanding of how we’re going to work together.”
Ein says it’s possible that he would take over the Super Salvage lot and trade it, together with the small adjacent property he owns, as part of the stadium deal. Or, he says, he could trade the two parcels separately.
There are several city-owned properties that city officials are open to trading as part of a deal for property on the stadium site, including the Henry J. Daly Building on Indiana Avenue NW that houses the Metropolitan Police Department headquarters. Ein says he’s open to obtaining one of these properties in a trade for the Buzzard Point property, and chipping in cash if necessary to make up the difference in value.
“I want to own real estate in Washington for the long term, for the very long term,” he says.
But Ein emphasizes that he and the city have discussed few specifics at this point. “Honestly, the conversations are pretty early on,” he says. “I’m going to start with an open mind.”
Rendering via the Office of the City Administrator