- The Washington Times - Tuesday, December 10, 2002

Real estate companies submitted proposals to the D.C. Office of Planning yesterday for redevelopment of the old convention center site downtown.
Eighteen companies and one individual making up seven separate development teams submitted proposals to cash in on the District's concept for a huge downtown cultural center.
Officials are expected to review the proposals immediately.
Developers are making their case to partner with the District on a project that could include as much as 300,000 square feet of retail space, 600 to 900 homes and a city park. The site will become available for redevelopment after the new convention center opens in March.
Cost estimates for the project have approached $1 billion.
The District also hopes to build a library and a massive art and performance center on the site. Officials are open to, but not insistent on, including office space and a hotel as part of the project. They have said, however, that 20 percent of the homes on the site must be affordable to households earning less than 80 percent of the area's median income.
The proposals submitted yesterday outline developers' qualifications and feedback about the project's feasibility but do not contain detailed plans or architectural renderings.
"They really require someone who is willing to be a partner," said Deborah Ratner Salzburg, spokeswoman for Forest City Enterprises, which is part of a development team with the Jarvis Group. "These are long-term projects, and they want someone willing to work together with them. We really think we can make a nice neighborhood there."
Most companies that submitted plans yesterday declined to comment on specific feedback offered to D.C. officials.
Sources with firsthand knowledge of the plans said the site may not hold enough space to build everything the District has proposed. Forest City Washington warned that there would not be room for the one acre of open space outlined in the District's plan.
The total site comprises about 416,000 square feet, or 9.5 acres, but an agreement with the National Park Service dictates that about 100,000 square feet in the northwest corner be used to extend 10th and I streets in an area viewed as historic.
D.C. officials told developers they would consider proposals to downsize or eliminate 10th and I streets from the plan, but only if they could prove that the public would benefit.
Developers and D.C. officials also must prove that the public would benefit from construction of a 60,000-square-foot parcel on the site's west side, along 11th and H streets. The parcel is owned by the National Park Service, but the District has jurisdiction and is expected to ask the park service for relief of rules preventing development.
Lack of space on the site has been a sticking point with past development proposals. Those close to the situation said the site was considered for a major league baseball stadium, but that the acreage barely would support it. Also, development in the surrounding area would not allow necessary infrastructure upgrades and parking.
It is not clear whether the site will have space or a need for hotel and office construction. Plans have been submitted for a hotel near the new convention center, located just a few blocks away, and several office construction projects are under way. D.C. officials are expected to choose a development team by June, after extensive interviews with developers and a period of community input. The project will require years to construct.
The development teams submitting proposal yesterday were:
District of Columbia Civic Development, made up of Millennium Partners, Jonathan Rose Cos., Gould Property Co. and EastBanc Inc.
East End Redevelopment Associates LLC, made up of Federal Development LLC, the Rockefeller Group Development Corp., Centex Corp. and Summit Properties.
Forest City-Jarvis Group LLC, made up of Forest City Washington and the Jarvis Group.
The Georgetown Co.
Hines Interested Limited Partnership and Charles E. Smith Residential.
Human Vision Partners, made up of New Vision Properties LLC and Mesirow Stein Development Services Inc.
The Related Cos., Boston Properties Inc., MacFarlane Urban Realty Co. LLC and Dickie S. Carter.

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