Proposed D.C. stadium site requires significant remediation efforts

November 7, 2014

The future of the Buzzard Point area in Washington, D.C. has been a subject of considerable debate for some time. As the city has experienced considerable growth in the past decade, this industrial area seems to have been left behind. 

The Washington Post describes the area as "a jumble of unkempt lots, broken-up streets and unrealized dreams." The former home of the Pepco power plant and other industrial sites, including long-standing junkyards and forgotten construction projects, is thought to require extensive environmental remediation to meet today's codes.

However, this has not deterred a proposed deal to build a state-of-the-art stadium in the area for the local Major League Soccer Team, D.C. United. The 20,000 seat stadium will become the central focus of Buzzard Point, if plans are approved by the members of the D.C. Council. 

The architect of the deal, City Administrator Allen Lew, has acknowledged concerns from stakeholders about the series of land swaps the proposal outlined to secure the site. However, he pointed to similar doubts about other eventually successful major projects the city has undertaken. 

"If we compare the risks in this transaction to those present in the Nationals Ballpark or the Convention Center deals, both of which are viewed in hindsight as highly successful endeavors, the risk in this transaction is far less than the risk in those situations," he told the Post.

The industrial history of the area will certainly require extensive investigation to ensure that the land is able to be returned to usable condition. However, the potential returns on revitalizing the area should provide more than enough incentive for the city to pursue. Environmental consultants can help to outline the most efficient and cost-effective means of having the area once again contribute to Washington D.C.'s tax base.