When developers come to community groups asking their support for necessary favors like tax exemptions and zoning variances, they better be prepared with box of goodies for the neighborhood. Douglas Development has had to do this more than most, with the number of extensions on zoning applications and breaks from vacant property taxes it’s needed to obtain in the last few years. When it asked for help on the 450 K Street project, executive Paul Millstein emphasized the company’s corporate giving last year, notably the 200 turkeys distributed over Thanksgiving.
After signing off on the request, Shaw’s ANC commissioners and civic association leaders demanded proof of Douglas’ beneficence, and the company finally produced a list: $93,000 local contributions in 2009, and $13,000 in 2010, plus the turkeys and other in-kind donations. The 2009 number includes $25,000 to the Trust for the National Mall. Not a bad payoff, all things considered.
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