- The Washington Times - Saturday, March 11, 2006

THE WASHINGTON TIMES

It’s official: landowners at the site of the new Washington Nationals ballpark must move out.

D.C. Superior Court Judge Joan Zeldon issued the order yesterday, paving the way for demolition and environmental clean-up of the site to begin immediately.

The city had acquired title on most of the land on the site through eminent domain last fall, but had issued a motion in January asking the court to force landowners to clear out. Judge Zeldon said on Feb. 24 she would grant the city’s motion once the city and Major League Baseball signed a lease agreement for the stadium. The city and the league signed the lease Monday night.

“The mayor said repeatedly that we would pay a fair price to assemble the ballpark property and now that the council and court have spoken, we will move forward very quickly to break ground on this exciting stadium,” said Vince Morris, a spokesman for Mayor Anthony A. Williams.

The council on Tuesday also approved a construction contract for the stadium. The city is pushing to open the stadium in March 2008, and will unveil the ballpark’s design Tuesday.

Tim Lemke

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