Saturday, October 22, 2005

There'll Be Some Changes

With the deadline now over, only one of the properties that DC made offer to accepted the proposal to move off the site of the stadium. Begin the eminent domain.

The city has the option of taking the property on the quick. Essentially, they can put the money in escrow, and as long as a judge doesn't declare an injunction, which given the Supreme Court's recent decision, isn't likely, it's all over but the bartering. With the money in escrow, the city can take title of the property; the courts will determine the final price.

Some of the holdouts are complaining that the city isn't helping them to relocate -- whether that's not providing enough costs, or not helping with rezoning efforts to find a suitable alternative location. But the process marches on.

Meanwhile, groups are lining up to start development along the Anacostia Waterfront. The ballpark doesn't sit right on the water. There's a large buffer zone controlled by the Anacostia Waterfront Commission, a quasi-public agency. They'll have the final say on which of the nine groups that bid will control the development rights.

As the land grab starts, there's still the tiny matter of the lease. Jerry Reinsdorf says it's the city's fault. (If you don't have a rooting interest in the World Series, Reinsdorf is as big a reason to pull for the Astros as any.)
"There are some things that the city has to do before we can conclude the final lease," he said, though he did not cite specifically what those things are. "The ball is totally in the city's court. It can move as fast as the city wants it to move."

That's not what you said a month ago, Jerry!
"There will probably have to be a time when I need to be in Washington for a day or two to get this done and I won't have time as long as [the White Sox] are in this."

What a mess. Even though it's a mess, things are starting to churn along. And that's better than nothing, I suppose.


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