Wednesday, October 01, 2008

New Town Hearing Tomorrow

In 2006 the Council passed the New Town legislation that gave New Town Development Partners LLC exclusive rights to develop the 23 acre parcel currently occupied by the Florida Market / Capital City Market. The legislation required that before a final blessing was given to move forward the developer had to obtain [within 180 days of the legislation taking effect] the consent of the owners of at least 50% of the land in the Market. At that point the city would force the other landowners to go along with the developer's plan. The developer was unable to obtain the necessary level of consent. In fact, they still are at 50%. In part, this is because Gallaudet and J Street own large parcels of land in the Market. Combined, Gallaudet and J Street own over 25% of the Market land east of 4th Street. This is more land than is controlled by any other owner in the Market, including New Town Development Partners LLC.

Basically, your pal and mine Mr. John Ray, who is the lobbyist for New Town [you might remember him from such quality projects as the Shell Station at 14th and Maryland, or the slot machine initiative] convinced Councilmember Harry Thomas that the Council should reward the developer for failing to meet the consent threshold. By which I mean that the Councilmember has this new legislation [which he was going to try to get through as emergency legislation, but then he backed off that idea] that excludes any parcels owner by Gallaudet or J Street. So it basically just makes it easier to get the required consent because it eliminates the two largest objectors.

Read the legislation yourself here- http://www.dccouncil.washington.dc.us/images/00001/20080919131328.pdf.


The Commitee on Economic Development is holding a public hearing tomorrow 2 October 2008 at 1:00PM. Those wishing to testify should contact John Adams at jadams@dccouncil.us or by telephone at 202-727-6683 by 5:00PM on 1 October 2008. Those testifying should bring 15 copies of their written testimony and also submit them electronically.

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