Southwest – DC’s Newest Asphalt Desert

Which would you rather have around the new baseball stadium in Southwest:

  1. A vibrant cityscape of mixed-use buildings with ground floor retail and reasons to spend before and after a game
  2. - or -

  3. A barren parking lot extending out around the stadium like a asphalt blast zone of heat and emptiness

If you are a city resident and the Mayor or Herman S. Miller, its Option 1, a new community centered on the baseball stadium that would be a pleasant experience for both baseball fans on game night and city residents any night. A new nightlife and tax-base option that best leverages the already massive investment by the city in the stadium.

If you are the Lerners, owners of the Nationals, or Gandhi, the District accountant, you want to spend the absolute minimum on development outside the actual stadium. Gandhi as a steward of taxpayer money, the Lerners as shred businessmen who want 100% of your spend inside their domain and a clear view to the Capitol from home plate.

According to today’s’ Wash Post article, the Lerners vision of a money vacuum rising from endless suburban-centric car parking lots is one step closer to reality. The city and Miller were unable to reach agreement on the mix-use idea, with pressure from Gandhi and the Lerners contributing to the impasse.

And now the only city-beautifying, non-baseball fan benefit to the whole $600 million plus fools errand is gone. Goodbye Camden Yards South, hello empty FedEx Field/RFK Stadium dead zone.

This post appeared in its original form at DC Metblogs

Married, mortgaged, and soon to be a father, Wayan Vota is in the fast lane to mid-life respectability – until the day his brood finds his intimate journal of global traveling and curses him with the ever-eternal reply “I’m gonna be just like you, Dad!”

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