DC and Developer Agree on Rules for Soccer Stadium Land Swap

One of four land acquisitions the District needs to make for D.C. United's planned stadium is underway.

By: Benjamin Freed

The District government is a little closer to executing obtaining one of the parcels it needs to obtain for the planned D.C. United stadium on Buzzard Point in Southwest. City officials and the development firm Akridge, which owns one of four parcels on the site where the stadium is set to be constructed, agreed on the rules for a land swap in which DC will get two acres of Buzzard Point in exchange for turning over the Frank D. Reeves Municipal Center at 14th and U Sts., NW to Akridge.

Akridge and the District came to the agreement earlier this month, the Washington Post reports. According to a letter signed by City Administrator Allen Lew and Akridge President Matthew Klein, DC and the development company will exchange plots, along with an undetermined amount of cash to make up the difference in value between the stadium site, which is located on undeveloped industrial land, and the Reeves Center, which is at one of the busiest intersections in the entire District.

Akridge's cash payment will probably be fairly hefty, too. Its portion of Buzzard Point is worth $8 million, according to DC property tax records, though the land is almost certainly rising in value now that it's the future home of a major sporting venue. The true value of the Reeves Center's location is harder to peg, but tax records estimate that the 97,600-square foot plot will be worth more than $128 million.

In order to get an accurate assessment, the Buzzard Point plot and the Reeves Center will be appraised three times. The appraisals are due back by Oct. 14, and a finalized land swap agreement has a Nov. 1 deadline. Any contract must still pass muster with the DC Council, where some members are starting to voice their skepticism about the stadium plan.

But the Akridge agreement is only one chunk of a process DC must go through to assemble the stadium site. While the deal with the development firm is making progress, the District still needs to secure plots currently owned by Pepco, the investor Mark Ein, and a salvage yard.