• DC Seizes Land From Owner, ‘Offers’ MILLIONS Less Than It’s Worth

    Last week, the District of Columbia government seized two acres of waterfront property to build a new stadium for its soccer team, DC United. Monday, the city offered the land’s owner just $21.1 million for the land.

    While $21.1 million seems like a large sum for two acres, similar properties near the two acres have sold for $50 per square foot, or just under $37 million for the two acres.

    In May of 2014, the city and Akridge, the company that owns the land, agreed on a deal that would see D.C. give Akridge a building it owns on a prime piece of real estate in the U Street Corridor and more than $34 million for the Buzzard Point land, Washington Business Journal reports.

    Later in the year, District Mayor Muriel Bowser, then a member of the D.C. Council, decided to cut the building swap out of the final deal that passed a council vote, offering just cash in exchange for the land.

    The developer refused the offer, which it saw as far too low, and the two sides decided to fight it out in the D.C. Superior Court.

    The city is basing its $21.1 million offer on a land appraisal from 2013 that said the land is worth that amount. That appraisal, though, also said the best use for the land would be to sit on it until housing demand rises in the area and then turn it into a residential property.

    Last week, in an eleventh hour move, the city filed paperwork to take the two acres of land, using eminent domain powers that would give it immediate control of the land.

    The city had an agreement with DC United that by last 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.

    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.

    Akridge has not yet responded to the city’s $21.1 million offer.

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