Misguided Development Priorities

A Washington development mogul assess the District's real estate priorties and its future.
November 30, 2004, 2pm PST | Abhijeet Chavan
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Bob Gladstone, a well-known D.C. architect and developer, thinks that a publically-funded baseball stadium is neither prudent nor profitable. He would rather see attention and funding focused on building a hotel adjacent to the new Washington Convention Center. When asked to consider the two projects, he said, "Is it better spent -- in the leverage it would produce -- for a baseball stadium or a convention center hotel? My calculation is that the returns would be superior for a hotel." Gladstone thinks that a hotel could easily pay its own debt service, while a publically-subsidized stadium"has to be subsidized by other external items." These items include a gross receipts tax on large city businesses and a sales tax on food and other sales at the stadium, both of which are shaky foundations, according to Gladstone. The D.C. City Council votes tomorrow on a proposed bill to locate the new stadium along the Anacostia River. City planners and the mayor hope that the stadium will spark redevelopment in a long-neglected part of Washington.

Thanks to Peter Buryk

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Published on Monday, November 29, 2004 in The Washington Post
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