HB Talking Points
Anacostia Waterfront Corporation Act
I am Harold Brazil, chairman of the Council's Committee
on Economic Development.
Today is Tuesday, June 1, 2004. The time is now
We are in the Council Chamber at the John A. Wilson
Building, 1350 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW.
I am calling to order this additional meeting of the
Committee on Economic Development.
There is a quorum present, consisting of myself and
Councilmembers __________ and ______________.
The sole item on the agenda for today's meeting is
consideration and vote on Bill 15-616, the Anacostia Waterfront
Corporation Act of 2004.
This legislation, introduced by Chairman Cropp on behalf
of the Mayor, would establish the Anacostia Waterfront Corporation as a
new independent instrumentality of the District.
The Corporation would be responsible for the
redevelopment and revitalization of the lands adjacent to the Anacostia
The establishment of this Corporation is a significant
milestone in the economic revitalization of the District, and our
efforts to bring jobs and business opportunities to our residents.
The Corporation, and the Anacostia Waterfront
Revitalization Plan which it will carry out, will bring thousands of new
jobs to District residents and construction projects and community
development to underserved areas of the District.
It will bring billions of dollars in investment; millions
of dollars annually in tax dollars; and reconnect, rather than divide,
the District through this waterway.
More specifically, the Plan includes 100 acres of new
waterfront public spaces with a 20-mile Riverwalk and Trail System; over
600,000 square feet of new retail space; more than 4,500 new residences;
and over 3 million square feet of new commercial uses.
The changes will be most evident in eight targeted areas,
including: Southwest Waterfront, South Capitol Street corridor, Near
Southeast, Hill East, Poplar Point, East of the River Gateways, Kingman
and Heritage Islands, and Anacostia Riverwalk and RiverParks.
The Corporation will be governed by a 12-member board of
directors consisting of six public members appointed by the Mayor with
the advice and consent of the Council; one member of the Board of
Directors of the National Capital Revitalization Corporation, two
ex-officio members (the Mayor and the Chief Financial Officer); the
Secretary of the United States Department of the Interior; the Chairman
of the National Capital Planning Commission; and the Administrator of
the United States General Services Administration. The Interior
Secretary, NCPC Chairman, and GSA Administrator would be non-voting
members of the Board.
In order to achieve the goals of bringing about the
development, redevelopment, and revitalization of the Anacostia
Waterfront, the Corporation would be authorized to provide economic
assistance to eligible projects through the making of loans and grants.
In addition, the Corporation would be authorized to
exercise eminent domain in the Anacostia Waterfront area and to
establish subsidiaries. The Corporation would also have the authority to
issue revenue bonds, but would have no taxing authority.
The legislation also contains LSDBE and District resident
Finally, the legislation contains provisions related to
the transfer of certain properties along the Southwest Waterfront from
the National Capital Revitalization Corporation to the Corporation and
the distribution of income from former Redevelopment Land Agency properties between
the District and the RLA Revitalization Corporation. These provisions
are elements of an agreement entered into between the Mayor and NCRC to
compensate NCRC for the value of properties transferred to the
Corporation and to strengthen the ability of NCRC to carry out its
mission of revitalizing District neighborhoods.
In the Committee Print, we have made many changes based
on concerns raised by Councilmembers and the public.
For example, the activities of the Corporation are now
strictly limited to the Waterfront area; the purposes of the Corporation
include the environmental revitalization of the Anacostia River itself;
the Anacostia Waterfront Framework Plan is now incorporated into the
legislation and shall act as the guiding document for the Corporation;
the powers of the Corporation are limited to facilitating certain
actions (such as zoning and planning), rather than taking on these
actions on its own; the Board of the Corporation now contains non-voting
federal representation, to reflect federal agencies' large land-ownings
in this area; Council review of Corporation actions is more consistently
applied; and, very importantly, there are very specific and strong LSDBE
and District resident hiring provisions.
The goals of the Corporation are extremely important ones
for the District to pursue. The Anacostia Waterfront represents a huge
and largely untapped economic development resource for the District.
The Southwest Waterfront, Poplar Point, the Southeast
Federal Center, Reservation 13, and the Stadium-Armory Complex present
significant opportunities for creating new and vibrant neighborhoods and
increasing and broadening the District's tax base.
Moreover, revenue from these projects can and will be
leveraged to subsidize and catalyze projects at neighborhood gateways
east of the Anacostia River.
In addition, the Anacostia Riverfront represents an
underutilized natural and recreational resource, which can be enhanced
through a coordinated program to increase access points, create a
contiguous river walk, increase or improve recreational spaces, and
improve the environmental integrity of the Anacostia River.
Through these improvements, the Anacostia River can
become a landmark which unites the District, rather than the current
view of the River as a waterway that divides the District.
Creation of a new independent instrumentality of the
District is necessary to achieve the redevelopment and revitalization of
the Anacostia Waterfront. It is important that the responsibility for
this redevelopment and revitalization be placed in an independent agency
to ensure that the District has the resources and flexibility to achieve
the goals and complex projects with which it has been tasked.
In addition, it is important that a new, separate entity
be created to achieve these goals in order to ensure that the entity
will have a singular and long-term focus, with a board and staff that is
not responsible for other plans or projects which will siphon energy and
resources from the Corporation's core mission.
I move Bill 15-616, the Committee Print and Committee
Report, with leave for staff to make technical corrections and
Is there any discussion?