As I blogged about last week, Mayor Adrian Fenty selected Hoffman-Struever Waterfront LLC to transform the Southwest Waterfront into a $1.5 billion “world-class mixed-use waterfront destination,” according to the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development. The project will include approximately 650 units of market-rate residential and 290 units of affordable housing, 14 acres of parks, retail, hotel rooms, etc. Today’s Washington Business Journal has an article on the council hearing reviewing the project’s land grant proposal for 16 acres. “The council passed $198 million in public financing for the project. A vote on the land deal is expected in November,” according to the piece. The hearing sounds relatively drama-free, minus a little outburst from At-large councilmember David Catania about construction jobs going to D.C. residents.
Hoffman also plans to contribute $1 million to a nonprofit work force subsidiary to ensure that D.C. residents are trained for and fill the jobs set aside for them, which has not happened in the past. Developers can avoid hiring District residents if they make a good-faith effort with the D.C. Department of Employment Services.
Councilman David Catania, I-at large, the council’s harshest critic of the Nationals stadium, warned that none of the public benefits would come true. He said the Southwest project, whose initial plans were approved by the council five years ago, was “a case study in how not to do economic development.”
But Catania said he would vote for the deal anyway. “I’m supportive of where we’re going because it’s too expensive to turn back,” he said.
Images from PN Hoffman’s website.