Key players have had about a month to eyeball details of the complicated arrangement to build a new D.C. United stadium. And another of these key players has a key reservation. D.C. Councilman David Catania, who is running for mayor as an Independent, supports building the stadium but is opposed to the land swap of the District’s Reeves Center to developer Akridge in exchange for Akridge-owned land upon which the stadium would be built, WAMU.org reported.
Catania, like Councilman Jim Graham, D-Ward 1, is concerned the city will not get full value for the Reeves Center from a pre-arranged negotiation. A month ago, Graham called for an auction of Reeves so the market could set the price. Catania also favors a market-established valuation of Reeves and questioned why the property had to be included in the deal at all.
“I support building a stadium. I don’t support the swap with respect to the Reeves Center,” WAMU quoted Catania as saying during a radio broadcast Friday. “I don’t think tethering that to the construction of a soccer stadium makes sense.”
The Reeves Center portion of the stadium deal shakes out this way: The District would swap the Reeves Center at 14th and U streets NW with Akridge for about two-thirds of the required stadium footprint. Current Reeves Center tenants, and other D.C. agencies in leased spaces, would relocate to a new Reeves, to be constructed in Anacostia on D.C.-controlled land at Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue and Good Hope Road SE. City officials say the new Reeves will be finished in roughly three years, and no existing Reeves tenants will be moved out until the new building is done. The Akridge Southwest property is worth about $20 million, while the Reeves Center is worth closer to $60 million. Akridge would make up the difference in cash, and D.C. would put that money toward acquiring additional property needed to complete the stadium footprint.