Mayor Vincent Gray on May 23 submitted legislation to the City Council calling for a series of land deals to facilitate the building of a new soccer stadium that could displace the D.C. Center for the LGBT Community from its current home at 14th and U Street, N.W. in three years.
Among other things, Gray’s proposal would trade the Reeves Center municipal building where the D.C. Center is currently renting space to a private developer in exchange for obtaining land owned by the developer in the Buzzard’s Point section in Southwest Washington, where the soccer stadium would be built.
“No current Reeves tenants will need to be relocated until the new Reeves Center is finished in approximately three years,” a statement released by the mayor’s office says. “The District will make every effort to keep select tenants in the vicinity of the 14th and U Street location for continuation of services to their target constituents,” the statement says.
Gray has told D.C. Center officials that his administration would find a suitable new location for the Center, possibly in another city-owned building in the 14th and U area if the stadium deal results in the closing of the Reeves Center. Under Gray’s plan for the soccer stadium, all of the city government agencies currently housed in the Reeves Center would be moved to a new Reeves Center planned to be built in Anacostia.
Several members of the Council, including mayoral candidate Muriel Bowser (D-Ward 4), have expressed skepticism over the soccer stadium deal, saying they might vote against approving the legislation submitted by Gray last week. Gray’s timetable for trading the Reeves Center for the land in Buzzard’s point is linked to a quick approval of the proposal by the Council before it recesses for its two-month summer break in July.
If the Council doesn’t act on the proposal until after it returns from its break in September, the closing of the Reeves Center at 14th and U Street, N.W., could be delayed beyond the three-year projected timetable in the mayor’s proposal.