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  • DC Uses Eminent Domain To Seize Land For New Soccer Stadium

    Washington, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser and the D.C. United Soccer Team announced Wednesday the city would be going forward with plans to use eminent domain to seize land for the team’s new stadium.

    The city filed paperwork at the last possible minute to seize land from a developer on Buzzard Point in Southwest D.C., just blocks from the National’s Stadium, giving the city full control of the land needed to build the stadium.

    The city had an agreement with the team that by Wednesday it would have acquired all of the land needed to build the stadium, and to meet that goal Bowser had to use eminent domain to take the land from its owner, Akridge, a commercial real estate company.

    To announce the land seizure, the city and D.C. United released a joint statement calling the seizure the best possible option for D.C. residents.

    “The District of Columbia and DC United are moving forward on a soccer stadium that will transform a neighborhood on the banks of the Anacostia and generate hundreds of new jobs for District residents,” the statement reads. “We have created the best deal for the District, its residents, DC United and its fans.”

    Bowser promised the team that she would acquire all of the land needed for the project in early June, after the team threatened to move its stadium to Virginia if the two sides couldn’t secure a deal.

    They previously had a deal with Akridge, but Bowser, still a member of the D.C. Council at the time, put the breaks on the agreement.

    Under the original deal, D.C. would have traded ownership of a municipal complex it owns at the intersection of 14th and U Street NW, a one-time downtrodden area that has been developed into a night life destination in recent years, for the land at Buzzard Point.

    Bowser eliminated that land swap in the final version, which passed the D.C. Council in December, and put the city in the situation where it had to seize the land from Akridge.

    The two sides are around $15 million apart in terms of value for the land, the Washington Business Journal reports. Akridge, though, has expressed support for the stadium, and it seems both sides have agreed to just let the courts decide.

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