Despite little in the way of public announcements, managing partner Jason Levien says progress is being made on a new D.C. United stadium at Buzzard Point, but many pieces need to be assembled before construction actually begins.
The D.C. Council approved a D.C. United stadium plan in December and voted earlier this month to clean up the site, but the District still needs to acquire all the needed land parcels. This may be more complicated than anticipated: it looks like acquiring land from Akridge, the real-estate firm that owns part of the stadium parcel, will require eminent domain. Which, as real-estate folks know, can be a little dicey and take way longer than desired.
Still, Levien is optimistic about the prospects of a new stadium in the short term.
“There’s been a public lull,” Levien told MLSsoccer.com, “but we’re working closely on a weekly basis with the new city administrator and the mayor’s staff, moving the process forward and looking to meet the deadlines that we originally established. So they’re working on the land assembly, we’re working our efforts on planning how to lay things out.”
Once the land is acquired, there will be one other big issue: how much mitigation is needed. Early samples indicated more potential issues with pollution and contaminants than originally anticipated, which means cleanup costs could be higher than budgeted. Still, that’s a fixable problem.
“I think one of the questions is going to be – we haven’t completed all the environmental assessments on the land,” Levien told MLSsoccer.com. “One of the things that could throw us off is what we find. We feel pretty good about what we found so far, we feel comfortable, but that’s going to be important in terms of our timeframe.”