- The Washington Times - Wednesday, August 3, 2005

ASSOCIATED PRESS

D.C. Mayor Anthony A. Williams has proposed that the District and Metro work together to revitalize the Anacostia subway station site with a mixed-use development that includes government offices.

The centerpiece of the plan is the proposed relocation of Metro headquarters from the prime downtown real estate it currently owns to the Anacostia site, which Mr. Williams described at a press briefing yesterday as an “emerging” economic development area.

“I believe we have a historic opportunity to create a new economic development hub in our region that will bring an economic stimulus to an area long in need of revitalization,” Mr. Williams said in a letter to Metro leaders distributed at his press briefing yesterday.

As part of the plan, Mr. Williams, a Democrat, pledged 200,000 square feet of city government offices for the project, along with an offer of funding for affordable housing.

“My goal is to strengthen and revitalize the area around the Anacostia Metrorail site, creating new jobs and new opportunities,” Mr. Williams said, calling it “long neglected.”

Metro Board Vice Chairwoman Gladys W. Mack, who represents the District on the board, said the transit agency will need to expand in the coming years and would eventually outgrow its current home.

“The board will certainly take a very hard look at this proposal, and we’re pleased to be a part of bringing it forward,” she said.

Mr. Williams noted that the downtown building Metro now owns and occupies is on valuable real estate that continues to become even more desirable.

“With our downtown office market at its strongest in decades, [Metro] could reap the enormous benefits of our vigorous real estate market by relocating its offices to Anacostia,” the mayor said.

“I believe this could be a wise economic decision and forward-thinking move for [Metro].”

Mrs. Mack said board members were aware of the plan but there would probably be no formal discussion before next month because the board is now in “semi-recess.”

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