“…the city has no business paying for such a facility or grabbing riverfront parkland to build it.”- Marc Fisher, A Stadium Plan That Won't Pay Off
Such flagrant misinformation should get a little more editing before being published. Let’s set the record straight:
Poplar Point is not parkland. It is vacant land, with a few buildings on it currently used by the National Park Service. At present, Poplar Point is planned to be developed by Clark Realty Capital, who will build approximately 6.3 million square feet on 110 acres.
So, despite what Washington Post columnist Marc Fisher argues in his latest article, this is not an issue of parkland v. stadium. The land will be developed regardless of whether a stadium is part of the plan or not.
The city is not necessarilly proposing to pay for the stadium itself. Specifically, it is proposing a cap of $150 million (DC United wants them to pay $225) provided towards the stadium development, most if not all would go towards infrastructure (roads, sewers, etc). For now, the legislation had not yet been made public, so any details on what the money would go for is pure speculation. Regardless of what is built, the city will end up paying infrastructure costs: there are costs associated with developing land that has never been built on.
I used to be pretty ambivalent about the stadium issue, but now I see it as a crucial investment in our part of town. The stadium proposal has changed dramatically since I originally wrote about my position on the topic: at that point we were talking about MacFarlane's desire to have sole development rights to Poplar Point, whereas now the stadium is (potentially) part of Clark's more integrative masterplan. If built, the stadium will be part of a major redevelopment that will include offices, townhouses, condos, apartments, retail, cultural space, deck over 295, and a 70-acre park.
And honestly, Anacostia could use some face-painted and passionate United / Freedom / Bayhawks fans walking its streets.
Click Here for Clark's presentation on Poplar Point