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The Washington Post and the Washington Times both have pieces out today about the District’s redevelopment plans for the east campus of St. Elizabeths Hospitalin Southeast. Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton and Mayor Adrian Fenty revealed the proposal yesterday, which will require approval from the D.C. Council before moving forward. According to the plans, the construction will likely take between ten to 30 years. The west campus of St. Elizabeths, across Martin Luther King Jr. Ave, will become the new home for the Department of Homeland Security.
The Post article gets into the political maneuvering—-on local and national levels—-that this proposal will require to be passed.
Even if the council approves the mayor’s plans, the city will have to work with the federal government to get zoning requirements changed. The redevelopment will take years to complete.
Norton acknowledged that she will have her work cut out for her in persuading congressional colleagues to support the plan, especially because it might require an increase in federal funds.
Norton said she worked with President Bush for years for the funding to relocate the Homeland Security agency, but it wasn’t until the Democrats won a majority in the House and Senate that the funds were approved.
Demonstrating how difficult it might be to win approval from all sides, Norton and Fenty were jockeying to see who could get more credit. Norton had scheduled her community meeting a while ago, but Fenty surprised her by calling a news conference yesterday to present the plan to the media. An aide to council member Marion Barry (D-Ward 8) stood up during the announcement to complain that Barry wasn’t invited, though the campus is in his ward.