- The Washington Times - Thursday, October 7, 2004

The District’s bid to build a $435.2 million baseball stadium along the Anacostia River in Southeast is shaking up the city’s road paving industry.

One month before the city announced it would house the relocated Montreal Expos at a waterfront stadium along P and South Capitol streets, Fairfax-based Roubin & Janeiro Inc. had submitted plans to build an asphalt plant at that location.

The plant at 60 P St. SE would have been the only such facility in the city not owned and operated by the District’s largest road paving operation, Fort Myer Construction.

D.C. Council members cited Fort Myer’s dominance of the city’s road paving industry earlier this year, when they sought to let the company bid on city contracts after it had been debarred for bribing city highway inspectors. No other company could replace Fort Myer in supplying paving materials, council members said at the time.

Plans by Roubin & Janeiro Inc. to build a competing asphalt plant in the District now appear threatened.

City officials have chosen to build a stadium in Southeast on property bounded by N and P streets and by South Capitol and First streets. The 2-acre parcel where Roubin & Janeiro is proposing to build its facility would be located in the outfield of the proposed ballpark.

D.C. officials yesterday said they are aware of the plans for the asphalt plant but were not sure whether anyone had contacted the company.

“We know there have been permits filed for that facility,” said Chris Bender, spokesman for the D.C. Office of Planning and Economic Development, which is heading the effort to buy up dozens of properties at the site of the proposed stadium.

“We would definitely want to relocate [the asphalt plant] someplace else,” Mr. Bender said. “We absolutely want them to stay in the city.”

Despite the stadium plans, the application by Roubin & Janeiro to build an asphalt plant is pending before the D.C. Department of Health’s Air Quality Division. The project also needs zoning approvals.

Health department regulators yesterday declined to comment on how the stadium proposal will affect plans for the asphalt plant.

The property is the second most valuable parcel among more than 60 pieces of property that city officials need to buy before construction, city records show.

The D.C. Office of the Chief Financial Officer said the Roubin & Janeiro property is worth about $3.8 million. Only one other property, a warehouse owned by Guest Services Inc., is worth more — about $6.1 million, tax records show.

Mr. Bender said city officials are investigating the histories of each of the properties they will need to acquire before contacting landowners by letter and later by phone within the next few weeks.

“We hope to acquire the property through a friendly sale,” he said.

Company officials yesterday declined to comment on their plans.

The company said in its application to the D.C. Department of Health’s Air Quality Division that it wants to build a “state-of-the-art” asphalt plant.

Thomas Weissinger, an engineer hired by the company, said in a letter to the health department in August that the plant would be able to produce up to 648,000 tons of asphalt per year.

A ruling on whether to grant an air quality permit could come as early as this month, but the project still requires an environmental impact statement and approval from the D.C. Zoning Board, officials said.

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