GOVERNMENT OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA
EXECUTIVE OFFICE OF THE MAYOR
|OFFICE OF COMMUNICATIONS
||ONE JUDICIARY SQUARE
441 FOURTH STREET, N.W
WASHINGTON, D.C. 20001
|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
WEDNESDAY, JUNE 23, 1999
|CONTACT: TIFFANY BLACKSTONE
NEW YORK AVENUE RECIPIENT OF NEW METRO STOP
Mayor Williams and City Landowners Sign Historic Partnership Agreement
D.C. Mayor Anthony A. Williams and the New York Avenue Metro Special Assessment
District Subcommittee today signed an historic agreement that outlines a general
public/private financing plan to jointly raise $25 million to help fund a new metro stop
within the New York Avenue Corridor. The Subcommittee, which was formed at the request of
the District's Department of Housing and Community Development, consists of city
landowners and members of the development community.
The estimated cost of the new metro station is $75 million -- with a "good
faith" pledge by Mayor Williams of an additional $5 million which will be used to
fund an engineering study that represents the first step towards completion of the
project. Financing for the station is anticipated to be $25 million each from the
development community, the District's FY2001 through FY 2004 capital budgets, and the
"This historic partnership between the District and the private sector will pave
the way for the first period of sustained economic development of the New York Avenue
Corridor in 35 years," said Mayor Anthony A. Williams. "We are following through
on our promise to create significant new opportunities for residents."
Mayor Williams and Subcommittee members were joined at the ceremony by Washington
Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) officials in releasing the metro station
feasibility study prepared by "Save New York Avenue, Inc." The study confirms
the economic development potential for the area and the importance of investment in public
transit facilities in the District.
Richard A. White, General Manager of WMATA spoke of the benefit communities gain from a
metro stop: "Metro stations have been identified as the most important physical
resource available to strengthen the economy of the District's neighborhoods. I want to
commend the Mayor, the Council and the New York; Avenue stakeholders for their vision in
creating an unprecedented public/private financing mechanism to build a new transit
station in the Metrorail Red Line."
The Memorandum of Understanding calls for a special assessment to be levied on the
properties directly benefited by the new Metro station, with the District and the
Subcommittee working together to develop legislation for the implementation of the
"We will work with the District to fund the development of the new Red Line metro
stop between New York and Florida Avenues, N.E. The new metro stop will be located between
the existing Union Station and Rhode Island Avenue stations", said Terry Peay,
Chairman of the Subcommittee.
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THIS MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING (this "MOU") is entered into as of June
_____, 1999 between the DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, a municipal corporation (the
"District") and the New York Avenue Metro Special Assessment District
Subcommittee (the "Subcommittee").
WHEREAS, the Subcommittee was formed at the request of the District's Department of
Housing and Community Development; and
WHEREAS, the District and the Subcommittee share a common goal to facilitate a new Red
Line Metro station near the intersection of New York and Florida Avenues, N.E., between
the existing Union Station and Rhode Island Avenue stations; and
WHEREAS, to meet such goal, the District and the Subcommittee must develop an
innovative public/private financing vehicle that will produce approximately $25 million to
pay part of the cost of developing the new station; and
WHEREAS, the District and the Subcommittee have agreed on and wish to set forth in this
MOU the general outlines of a financing plan.
NOW, THEREFORE, the District and the Subcommittee agree as follows:
1. Common Understanding. The District and the Subcommittee are committed to
working together in good faith to develop, refine and finalize an innovative
public/private financing plan ("Financing Plan") to fund $25 million of the
development costs of the new Red Line Metro station to be constructed near the
intersection of New York and Florida Avenues, N.E.
2. Outline of Financing Plan. The basic concept of the Financing Plan is to levy
a special assessment on the properties directly benefited by the new Metro station, and
then use the proceeds of this special assessment to support a $25 million bond issue. The
District and the Subcommittee will work together to develop legislation for the
implementation of the Financing Plan, which will include the following components
- The New York Avenue Metro Special Assessment District ("NYA District") will be
created within the zone that is benefited most by the arrival of the new Metro station.
- A new special assessment will be levied against all properties within the NYA District except
for residential properties and properties that are currently exempt from real property
- The special assessment amount for each property within the NYA District will be a
certain percentage of the property's initial assessed value, and the percentage will be
set at a level sufficient to generate enough revenue annually to support a bond issue of
$25 million. The amount will be fixed for each affected property at the onset of the NYA
District and will not fluctuate over time.
- The District and the Subcommittee will work together to explore innovative financing
techniques, including, for example, techniques that draw elements from the District's
existing tax increment financing legislation.
- The special assessment proceeds will fund principal and interest payments on tax- exempt
bonds issued by the District, which will be backed solely by the special assessment
revenue stream. The District's full faith and credit will not be pledged to support
repayment of the bonds.
- The special assessment will automatically expire once the bonds have been fully paid
- The bonds will be sold to investors at the market interest rate for such tax-exempt
financing. The proceeds of the sale of the bonds will fund a portion of the costs of the
new Metro station.
3. No Binding Effect. This MOU shall not create any binding obligations on the
part of the District or the Subcommittee, but is intended to set forth the parties'
general understanding and commitment with respect to the Financing Plan.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, the District and the Subcommittee have executed this MOU as
of the day and year first written above.
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA
By: Anthony A. Williams
NEW YORK AVENUE METRO SPECIAL ASSESSMENT DISTRICT SUBCOMMITTEE
By: Terry Peay
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New York Avenue Metrorail Station Feasibility Study
Save New York Avenue, Inc.
The New York Avenue Metrorail Station Feasibility Study is an initial step in the
development of a new station on the Metrorail Red Line in the vicinity of New York and
Florida Avenues in northeast Washington, D.C. A Metrorail station there will contribute to
New York Avenue's redevelopment by increasing its accessibility to the rest of the region.
The station will both improve the transportation system and create economic benefits.
The purpose of the study was to determine whether a station could be built between the
Rhode Island Avenue station and Union Station at a reasonable cost. Location, design,
construction techniques, and costs are the basic characteristics contributing to this
determination. These characteristics were defined at a conceptual level to provide a basis
for decision about station development and more detailed planning and engineering. The
study also estimated the number of additional Metrorail riders who would use the station
and reviewed potential funding sources.
The study found that a new station could be built on the Metrorail Red Line in the
vicinity of New York Avenue at a reasonable cost. The New York Avenue station will
function successfully, can comply with the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority
(WMATA) Metrorail design standards, and will meet the objectives of the federal new starts
program for investments in public transit facilities.
The station will significantly improve mobility in the New York Avenue corridor. The
Red Line now runs through the communities in the area, but they do not have direct access
to Metrorail service. The station will provide that access. The station's mobility
improvements will not be limited to the New York Avenue corridor but will also benefit
other parts of the region. Riders using the station will be coming from and going to
Metrorail stations in other jurisdictions across the Washington area.
The environmental analysis in this study identified no major environmental impacts that
would prevent development of the station but also concluded that additional analysis will
be necessary as a part of more detailed planning and preliminary engineering. One of the
primary environmental benefits of the station will be its contribution to efforts to
reduce sprawl. New development in already-urbanized areas can take advantage of the
infrastructure and services that are already in place, avoiding the environmental impacts
of duplicating them elsewhere.
The station will be a cost-effective means of expanding the Metrorail market and
increasing ridership because it will be built on an existing line. Unlike other potential
projects to expand the Metrorail system, the station will not require the construction of
a new Metrorail line to reach new markets. This will avoid the need to acquire large
amounts of right-of-way, the time and expense of building a line, and the cost of
expanding the fleet. As a result, the capital cost will be low compared to the number of
riders that the station would attract to the Metrorail system. The fare revenues
generated by riders to and from the New York Avenue station will substantially exceed the
station operating cost, increasing the overall efficiency of operating the Metrorail
Land owners in the vicinity of the station have proposed the creation of a special tax
assessment district to support station construction cost. This is a significant commitment
to station construction. In addition, other funding sources exist that will allow the
development of a stable and dependable funding plan. The federal funds necessary for the
project are expected to be less than $25 million, which will simplify the project
As a basis for analysis, six alternative station schemes were created to identify
possible locations and configurations of the station, changes required to the Metrorail
tracks and systems, and new and modified structures. Two of the alternative schemes,
Schemes A and C, were found to be the most appropriate and were analyzed in the study.
Scheme A would locate the station north of New York Avenue in the Metrorail Brentwood
Yard. Scheme C would locate the station south of New York Avenue between M Street and
Scheme C is the preferred scheme. It would create a greater transportation system
benefit than Scheme A because it would serve a higher number of riders. It would have a
greater economic development benefit because it would be closer to more vacant parcels
that could be developed quickly. These benefits offset the fact that Scheme C would have a
higher capital cost.
The Scheme C station would be a center-platform station. The entrance to the station
would be at the north end of the station near Florida Avenue. The entrance would provide
direct access from Square 710, the present site of the District of Columbia Department of
Public Works (DPW) facility at New York and Florida Avenues, and other developable sites
in the vicinity. It would easily serve Gallaudet University and the Capital City Market by
a short walk along Florida Avenue. A second entrance at M Street would serve the
residential neighborhood east of the station and provide additional access to the
developable sites near the station.
The proposed Metropolitan Branch Trail, which is planned to run generally parallel to
the Red Line, would be an important means of access to the Scheme C station. It would
provide a grade-separated link to the area north of New York Avenue, and could connect
directly with the proposed development in the decks to be built over the railroad tracks
that are described in the New York Avenue Development Report. This link would make
the area north of New York Avenue, including Eckington and the retail establishments that
would be built on the new deck, easily and safely accessible to the Scheme C station.
Because of the importance of access to the station from the area north of New York
Avenue, the trail could be improved to create a more-appealing link for people walking to
and from the station. The walkway portion of the trail could be covered to provide weather
protection. The cover would extend north of New York Avenue, where it could link to the
proposed deck over the railroad tracks. An even more dramatic improvement could be created
by constructing a moving walkway over this same distance.
The addition of the Scheme C station would require modifications to a number of systems
that support the operation of the Metrorail trains. Changes would be necessary to the DC
traction power system that supplies electricity to the trains, the AC auxiliary power
system, the corrosion protection system, the automatic train control system, and the
Based upon available information, the Scheme C station would have no environmental
impacts that would be expected to prevent the development of the station. However, the
station would need to be appropriately designed to ensure architectural compatibility with
the nearby Woodward and Lothrop warehouse historic site. Further investigation of the
potential for hazardous wastes and the presence of archaeological resources would be
For Scheme A, a unique station design was developed using nonparallel side platforms.
The Red Line tracks diverge and run on either side of the Brentwood Yard so a traditional
station could not be built.
The Scheme A station entrance would be on the west side of the station at Harry Thomas
Way and would be adjacent to the proposed Metropolitan Branch Trail. The entrance would
provide direct accessibility to the commercial buildings north of New York and Florida
Avenues that are being renovated and redeveloped as well as the residential neighborhoods
in Eckington. A second entrance, a pedestrian bridge to New York Avenue, would provide
more-direct access to the Capital City Market and Gallaudet University.
Scheme A would have many of the same characteristics as Scheme C. The system elements
that would be necessary for Scheme A would be similar to the those for Scheme C, with some
additional complexity because of the station's location in the Brentwood Yard. Based upon
available information, the Scheme A station would also have no environmental impacts that
would be expected to prevent the station's development. Here, too, further investigation
of the potential for hazardous wastes and the presence of archaeological resources would
Construction of any scheme would have to be carefully staged to minimize interference
between Red Line operations and construction activities. The station design would comply
with WMATA's current design standards, but could include a number of innovative
construction methods that would lower its cost. Lower costs could be achieved in two ways,
by reducing the schedule conflicts between construction and train operations, and by using
simple materials that are capable of straightforward construction. One innovation that
would reduce disruption is the use of precast concrete for the station platform. Other
station elements could use simple designs and materials such as canopies fabricated from
structural steel rather than concrete. Some station characteristics cannot deviate from
the typical Metrorail station design practice, including any element that affects
operating safety or provides accessibility for people with disabilities.
Innovative procurement practices could also reduce the cost of the station in either
scheme. Existing stations are built using a conventional design-bid-build contract
approach. A design-build approach could possibly reduce costs and produce other benefits.
Design-build is a contracting approach in which one entity performs both design and
construction work according to the design criteria and performance specifications provided
by the project's owner. Design-build also would have some disadvantages and would
introduce some risks. Further evaluation is necessary to determine whether design-build is
appropriate for this station.
One benefit of the New York Avenue station will be the attraction of additional riders
to the Metrorail system. The study included the estimation of the number of people who
would use the station. Two types of ridership estimates were made, one using existing
forecasts of development in the station area and another using additional development that
could result from the station's influence. Both types of estimates were made for 2005,
when the station will be complete but will have had limited opportunity to affect
station-area development, and in 2015, when the effect on development will be more
substantial. The forecasts using the additional development are shown in the summary
table. The additional fare revenue that will be generated by the additional riders is also
shown in the summary table. Scheme C's greater benefit is demonstrated by the higher
ridership that it would attract.
Capital and operating cost estimates were developed at a conceptual level of detail for
the Scheme A and Scheme C stations and are shown in the summary table. The capital costs
shown for each scheme in the table are for a station with two entrances and the cost of
adding an enclosed walkway with a moving sidewalk to the opposite side of New York Avenue.
Scheme C would be more cost-effective than Scheme A. Although Scheme C would be more
expensive, it would be more cost-effective than Scheme A because the Scheme C station
would attract significantly more riders than the Scheme A station. The capital cost per
rider in 2005 for Scheme C would be 20 percent less than the capital cost per rider for
Scheme A, and that difference would grow to 27 percent less in 2015 because the increase
in ridership would be larger at Scheme C.
The conceptual operating costs are the same for both schemes' as differences between
the two cannot be defined in a conceptual study.
Substituting buses for the New York Avenue Metrorail station would cost less but would
attract fewer riders and would not have economic development benefits. Substituting a
light rail line would have some economic development benefits, but would be expensive
because the line would duplicate the Red Line tracks that are already in place.
|Annual Operating Cost
- Need for further archaeological and hazardous materials testing
- Architectural concern for Woodward and Lothrop Warehouse
|Need for further archaeological and hazardous materials
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