Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Build It and They Will Come...and Park

A major piece of the new Washington Nationals stadium puzzle slowly moved into place this week, as DC Mayor Anthony Williams confirmed Tuesday that plans are in development to build a mix of both above and underground parking next to the ballpark. The parking structure will be part of a stadium complex that will also contain retail stores and 660 new condominium units (140 units will be priced below market value for lower-income residents). Also expected for this development is the arrival of a 180-room boutique hotel at the corner of 1st and N Street SE, with early word indicating it could be a local outpost of the New York-based W Hotel chain. The parking plans – which call for 900 spaces on one level below ground, and another 925 spaces spread above two new structures in the complex (which will contain the condos and retail outlets) - are the end result of negotiations between developers, the city, and new Nationals ownership. Whether this plan provides enough parking for both the opening of the stadium in April 2008 as well as for the condo dwellers and visitors to the entertainment area is now up for debate....



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