Tag Archives: Georgetown Park

Would a TIF Make Sense for Georgetown Park?

Photo by Mr. T in DC.

Buried halfway through this week’s Current, the paper ran an article reporting that both Mayor Vincent Gray and Council Chair Kwame Brown believe it might be a good idea to use tax incremental financing to lure a high end tenant to the mall.

Tax incremental financing (or “TIF”) is a process whereby the city issues bonds to raise money for a particular project. Typically this involves giving the funds to a private developer. A portion of the taxes from the project that gets funded by the financing are directed towards paying off the bonds. The idea is that the city will take the taxes that arise from the incremental increase in property and/or sales taxes from the now improved property to pay back the money.

The city has used TIFs in the past. For instance, the city used a $74 million TIF to help the Gallery Place development along. It used a $46 million TIF for the Madarin Oriental hotel. And it used a $7 million TIF for the Spy Museum. Each of these projects was successful and they even paid off the bonds ahead of schedule.

But TIFs only work when there’s an increment to be found. In other words, they work when they’re used in areas that will likely see a big improvement from the public investment. If there’s no increment, then the only way to pay off the bonds is to cut into the taxes that would arise from the property without the public financing. In that case all you’ve really done is give free public money to a private developer. Continue reading

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Mall Moves Ahead With Radical Reshaping

Photo by Mr. T in DC.

The Washington Business Journal reported the other day that Vornado and Angelo Gordon are moving forward with the radical reshaping of the Georgetown Park mall:

The D.C. Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs awarded mall co-owners Vornado Realty Trust and Angelo Gordon & Co. demolition and interior renovation permits March 9 to break down the large sections of the mall’s mid area, according to public documents.

It’s interesting that the developers are moving ahead with interior changes despite the fact that their requests to change the exterior have proved fruitless, so far. Last year they tried to get approval to build large windows along M St. on the west end of the building. OGB rejected their plans. No further applications have been made since.

Vornado has been notoriously tight-lipped about its plans for the mall. In particular, they have not released the names of what tenants they’re hoping to bring in. But apropos to the internal construction, GM has heard that the approach Vornado is taking is to “de-mall” the mall. In other words, gut out the the interior space and create long shoe-box shape stores that go from M St. back to the canal. Continue reading

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The Morning Metropolitan

Photo by blese.

Good morning Georgetown, here’s the latest:

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The Morning Metropolitan

Old postcard of Dumbarton House by Streets of Washington.

Good morning Georgetown, here’s the latest:

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The Morning Metropolitan

Photo by tericee.

Good morning Georgetown, here’s the latest:

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The Morning Metropolitan

Washington Harbour by Anokarina.

Good morning Georgetown, here’s the latest:

  • Hardy School continues to be a flashpoint over school reform in the District. Surprisingly, Vince Gray was willing to weigh in on the topic at last week’s Q&A Cafe and appeared to be hinting that he’d return Pope to Hardy.
  • GM missed this last week, but the Current reported that it appears that Vornado is taking over control of the mall. The article stated that ownership is now free and clear, but for what it’s worth, EastBanc’s lawsuit for ownership of the mall appears to be still active.

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The Morning Metropolitan

Photo by Martin Kalfatovic.

Good morning Georgetown, here’s the latest:

  • Georgetown Park mall note sold to Angelo, Gordon. Please “note” that holding the note doesn’t mean that Angelo, Gordon “owns” the mall. At least not yet. It just means that it is the holder of the loan on the property.  It’s unclear right now whether they can or would foreclose on the note.
  • PLEASE WATER YOUR STREET TREES! It hasn’t rained much in weeks, and the trees are really struggling, particularly the young ones.
  • Don’t forget to become a fan of the Georgetown Metropolitan!

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