May 15, 2013 | by Lou Chibbaro Jr.
Will ‘land swap’ displace LGBT Center again?
Reeves Building, D.C. Center, gay news, Washington Blade

Reeves Building (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

As the D.C. LGBT Community Center gets ready to move into its new home in the Reeves Center municipal building at 14th and U Street, N.W. unconfirmed reports have surfaced that the city is considering turning the building over to a developer as part of a high stakes land swap.

According to an article in the local blog Greater Greater Washington, the Akridge development company would demolish the Reeves building under the terms of the land swap to make way for an upscale condominium and retail development project in the highly desirable U Street, N.W. corridor.

The city, in return, would obtain from Akridge vacant land it owns in the Buzzards Point section of Southwest Washington near the Anacostia River, which would become the site for a new stadium for the D.C. United Soccer team.

“I don’t know anything about it so I’m not going to comment at this time,” said LGBT Center President Michael Sessa, who earlier this year signed a 15-year lease for the Center’s rental of space in the Reeves building.

Although the city would most likely provide some compensation to the Center for the early termination of its lease, the Center would be forced to undergo another search for a home at a time when property values are rising sharply in the city.

Greater Greater Washington and other news outlets have reported that a land swap involving the Reeves Center and other older city buildings to facilitate the building of a soccer stadium was under discussion between city officials, Akridge, and D.C. United. But the news outlets have not identified their sources for the reports.

“We do not comment on anonymously sourced articles,” said Darrell Pressley, a spokesperson for the D.C. Department of General Services, which oversees city properties.

But Pressley added, “We are continuing our discussions with D.C. United about a stadium and we’re hopeful about their future in the District. Commenting beyond that is premature at this point.”

Lou Chibbaro Jr. has reported on the LGBT civil rights movement and the LGBT community for more than 30 years, beginning as a freelance writer and later as a staff reporter and currently as Senior News Reporter for the Washington Blade. He has chronicled LGBT-related developments as they have touched on a wide range of social, religious, and governmental institutions, including the White House, Congress, the U.S. Supreme Court, the military, local and national law enforcement agencies and the Catholic Church. Chibbaro has reported on LGBT issues and LGBT participation in local and national elections since 1976. He has covered the AIDS epidemic since it first surfaced in the early 1980s. Follow Lou

1 Comment
  • Lou,

    Please feel free to call me next time. [[URL REMOVED]]

    Our lease is very clear. If for any reason the Reeves Center changes hands, the new owner would have to honor our lease agreement.

    Cheers,

    David Mariner

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