As of last Thursday, the city received seven proposals for Poplar Point, two of which had DC United in mind (see Poplar Point RFEI Draws Seven Proposals).
This morning I had the privilege of attending Marcus & Millichap’s annual Investor Symosium where, surprisingly, both the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development, Neil Albert, and a Principal for MacFarlane Partners, Bradford Dockser, were panelists, and I had the opportunity to ask, first hand, what the future held for the team and why the team did not submit a bid for Poplar Point. Originally I thought it was the pride of MacFarlane in response to the actions that were taken by Fenty against the team, however Brad’s response to me was actually much clearer than originally thought. The simple fact was that in order to submit a bid, you must be a developer. MacFarlane Partners is not (however, JBG is, and MacFarlane just acquired 50% of JBG’s portfolio. The acquisition could have provided a substantial option for the team but wasn’t utilized).
Additionally, after meeting with Brad, I approached Neil and posed the same question about the site regarding the proposals that were submitted. His response was that they are reviewing four of the seven in serious consideration for the project and that two of the four did incorporate DC United as the main attraction for the site.
Only time will tell where DC United chooses as their new site. In my opinion, DC Government would be ridiculous not to choose to incorporate the team at the new site, risking not only losing a main attraction to the city but upwards of hundreds of million dollars in tax revenue from the ticket sales of the team itself.
As many have been following the recent stories regarding the fate of one of DC’s last 100+ acre sites, Poplar Point may not turn out the way many had originally thought. For three years now the owner of DC United, Victor MacFarlane, and city officials have been negotiating the price the owner would have to contribute to develop the site DC United’s new stadium. At least until Fenty. Months ago, when Fenty and MacFarlane were unable to come to common terms as to the cash input MacFarlane would need to contribute to develop the site, Fenty publicly announced his intent to allow other developers the opportunity to submit their proposals for what they would do with the prime piece of property. As of this past week we have seven interested parties. According to the Washington Business Journal, those parties are:
- Archstone-Smith, one of the developers of the old convention center site, and D.C.-based Madison Marquette
- Clark Realty Capital, based in Arlington, which has done mixed-use developments at Fort Totten and the Vienna Metro station
- Forrest City Enterprises, based in Cleveland, developer of the Yards in D.C. and other property around the Washington Nationals ballpark
- A three-member team formed by General Growth of Chicago, Mid-City Urban LLC of Silver Spring and Doracon Contracting of Baltimore
- City Interests
- Urban-City Ventures LLC
- Capital Area Regional Center Jobs Fund
As you can see, MacFarlane is not on the list. Now, council member (and former mayor) Marion Barry, wants his voice heard. He feels that the cities long-term negotiations with the team should continue and the new site would be ideal not only for the team but for the economy of Anacostia.
As a result of the RFEI, MacFarlane met with the comptrollers from both Virginia and Maryland in an attempt to find a more suitable site outside the city. No information has risen as to whether or not his plans to leave will continue.
As I returned from my weekend in New York this morning and opened up my feeds, I couldn’t help but see an overwhelming amount of sources repeating the same thing…”Fenty, Keep DC United in DC.” As you may have read in last weeks post, MacFarlane, the owner of DC United, is now considering taking his team (and the tax revenue generated by the team) outside of District boarders in response to Fenty’s RFEI for Poplar Point. As a result, not only have DC officials responded by promising to find MacFarlane’s team another site in DC but a second coalition of Anacostia are publicly pleading for Fenty to revert back to the original plan to bring DC United to the 110 acre site. Their plead comes with the emphasis on MacFarlane’s involvement with the community and the immediate areas overall economic growth.
As quoted from a Washington Post article:
“D.C. United has been in the community for quite a while now working with the community,” said Sandra Seegars, an advisory neighborhood commissioner in Ward 8. “The new mayor comes in and takes us back to step one. We don’t need to start over again.”
Under MacFarlane’s plan, total development would reach 8.5 million square feet — twice the amount of space envisioned by the Anacostia Waterfront Corp. MacFarlane offered to pay for the stadium, expected to cost from $150 million to $200 million, if the city would contribute $350 million in infrastructure for the development project.”
Less than a week after MacFarlane originally announced his intentions for seeking a new home for DC United outside the boundaries of D.C. the Maryland Comptroller responds by welcoming MacFarlane’s initiative and aiding however possible.
Just yesterday DC United owner Victor MacFarlane and team president Kevin Payne met with MD comptroller Peter Franchot expressing one anothers interests. The meeting comes amongst the severing of ties between Mayor Fenty representing Poplar Point and the owner over. The disagreement began when Fenty required MacFarlane to contribute $200 million to the Poplar Point development but MacFarlane was unwilling to offer more than $150 million…hardly a difference worth noting in the scheme of both the multi-billion dollar project nor the net worth of the billionaire. Since the dispute, Fenty published a request for expressions of interest (RFEI) from global developers with experience in waterfront development. The proposals are due this Friday, October 19th.
In spite of the meeting with the MD Comptroller, DC officials promptly responded by publicly stating their intentions to find a new home for the team within the limits of the city, a feat hardly worth believing…that is unless they can find 13 contiguous acres needed for the stadium site (or call on Douglas Jemal who to my research may be the single largest private landholder in the city).
MacFarlane has not responded to the cities efforts nor his intention to stay in the city.
Ward 8 Council members Marion Barry and Yvette Alexander announced the creation of the Poplar Point Coalition yesterday, just days before the RFEI’s are due from developers for the development of the 130 acre site known as Poplar Point. The announcement comes as tension has been building between the DC United owner, Victor MacFarlane, former DC Mayor Marion Barry, and with not only the city government but most notably with Mayor Fenty. Several months ago a disagreement between Fenty and MacFarlane led the mayor to announce the opening for bidding from developers for the site despite years of negotiations between MacFarlane, Barry and Fenty.
Now MacFarlane has taken the opposition to another level by announcing his intent to begin looking for possible stadium sites outside the city boundaries, an act that is nothing short of explicit defiance. It seems as though the creation of the coalition yesterday comes just days short of the deadline for RFEI proposals (Oct 19th) and MacFarlane’s new site search, possibly to hasten the parting of ways for MacFarlane and DC.
Just yesterday Victor MacFarlane, owner of DC United, and team President Kevin Payne finally took a stand against recent rival Mayor Fenty. According to a press release, MacFarlane and Payne have officially announced their intent to take DC United’s stadium outside of the DC line if Poplar Point negotiations are not reinstated, thereby requesting 13 acres of the 130 acre site for the stadium and a negotiated lease for RFK Stadium. This release marks the first opposition to Fenty’s recent [request for expressions of interest] for the site since Marion Barry was noted stating that he would in no way support anything but DC United. The RFEI originally intended to create competition among global developers with interest. The RFEI’s are due October 19th, 2007.
According to the Examiner, MacFarlane and Payne wrote“However, given the uncertainty around the [request for expressions of interest], the unhurried pace of the negotiations with the federal government on the land transfer, and the fact that our current situation is not financially feasible, we have begun discussions with surrounding jurisdictions about alternative stadium sites.”
For a background on the site see:
I stand corrected, DC puts out RFEI on Poplar Point
Barry Shuns Fenty in Rejection for Poplar Point Bid by MacFarlane
In an article released by both the Examiner and WUSA9.com, apparently Ward 8 Council Member (and former Mayor) Marion Barry shunned Fenty for his rebellious actions in submitting an RFEI, request for expressions of interest, globally for developers to submit proposals for the development of Poplar Point. As mentioned in two previous blogs, Poplar Point is a 150-acre site, of which 130 acres are available for the RFEI and 110 acres are able to be developed. For years the site has been set to be turned over to the owner of DC United and nationwide developer based out of California, MacFarlane Partners, until recently. According to both articles, neither Barry nor Ward 8 (where the lot is located) will support anything but the new DC United stadium on the site, which was previously believed to be at a total development cost of nearly $150 Million. Recently, however, Fenty has had a change of heart when he released the RFEI, requesting developers to submit proposals totaling no less than $200 Million, which will include at least 30% affordable housing units and 20 acres of protected park land.
The Poplar Point project is part of a $10 Billion project named the Anacostia Waterfront Initiative.
Poplar Point also happens to be just 2/5ths of a mile from Stuart Kushners proposed project on Pomeroy Rd SE, known for his recent condo conversion at 1817 24th Pl SE. The proposed project will most likely include 12 duplex 2 bedroom condos at 1000 sq ft each with parking. Plans will be upload soon.
For more information about the Poplar Point Project click HERE.
This morning, a joint venture between a locally based investment group, JBG Companies, and a California based company, MacFarlane Partners was announced. The announcement forms the newest DC based investment company Urban JBG LLC, an alliance of two development superpowers into what could currently be the most stable real estate market in the country. According to the Examiner.com, the partnership has been designed to develop or redevelop 93 sites in the area over the next five years, the largest investment of either company to date. Of the 93 sites, it is estimated that nearly 60% are at or near major mass transit locations including the DC Metro or traffic thoroughfares, only increasing the opportunity for expansion and success for both companies.
Whats more interesting, Victor MacFarlane is the principle investor for DC United, Washington DC’s soccer team and the major investor associated with DC’s newest RFEI, Poplar Point in Anacostia, that 130 acre site MacFarlane has been trying to get his hands on with his $150 Million, $50 Million short of the Cities required $200 Million bid for the site.
MacFarlane currently has relationships with one of the most well known developer based real estate companies, Monument Realty, who I would expect will be associated with their release of Residential, Commercial, Retail and Warehousing in their expected development of the area.