There are many ways to look at this news. One is about progress, affordable housing and revitalization of a historic but somewhat run-down market. Another involves emminent domain and personal property rights of small business owners who have been in the same spot for decades. Another involves a well connected lame-duck council member and a part owner of the market. Another involves adding affordable housing project after project in the same wards of the city.
As you can see, i havent even made my own mind up on this issue. But this is huge news. I suggest you read up on the topic on Rebuilding Space and Frozen Tropics for the best background on this topic.
OFFICE OF COUNCILMEMBER VINCENT ORANGE
NEW TOWN AT CAPITAL CITY MARKET,
UNANIMOUSLY APPROVED BY THE COUNCIL OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: ESTELL LLOYD
Tuesday, December 19, 2006
Washington, DC, December 19, 2006 - The Council of the District of Columbia, unanimously, approved the "New Town at Capital City Market Revitalization Development and Public/Private Partnership Act". The legislation was introduced on July 11, 2006, by Councilmember Vincent B. Orange, Sr. (D-Ward 5). The act approves the initial conceptual plan for "New Town", which authorizes 1700 residential units with up to 40% for affordable housing at 50% to 120% of the Area Median Income ("AMI"). Forty percent (40%) of the workforce housing will be set-aside for teachers, policeman, firemen and other critical District of Columbia employees. The remaining 60% will be set-aside for District of Columbia residents who are first time home purchasers.
Retail and wholesale operations of the existing Farmer's Market will continue to exist in modern facilities in the northeast portion of the 24-acre site. New Town will consist of 570,000 square feet of new wholesale distribution. There will be 185,000 square feet of retail and food along with 141,000 square feet of restaurant and merchandising. The legislation will allow existing property owners or lessees to invest in New Town, become fee simple owners in the new retail and warehouse facility, as well as provide tax-free property exchanges.
The New Town legislation calls for a full-service YMCA building with a fitness center, day care center, teen center, swimming pool, indoor basketball courts, bowling alley, movie theaters, winter ice-skating rink, amphitheater and much, much more.
The plan may also include a health clinic and library.
Councilmember Orange stated, "This Ward 5 project will create in excess of 6,000 full-time jobs and add in excess of 45 million dollars, annually, in tax revenue to the DC Treasury. We offer this vision and design concept and invite your support and participation in creating "New Town at Capital City Market", which will bring growth, prosperity, and services to Northeast, D.C. and our City."
In summary, the legislation establishes a public/private partnership between the District of Columbia and New Town Development, LLC for the purpose of revitalizing and developing the Capital City Market into a mixed-use facility that will include: urban residential, retail, restaurants, entertainment, support facilities, office, government facilities, and workforce housing while maintaining the market's historic retail and wholesale functions on the existing site in Northeast, Washington, D.C.