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D.C. May Use Eminent Domain To Claim Land Needed For D.C. United Stadium

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A rendering of the proposed 20,000-seat D.C. United stadium at Buzzard Point.
D.C. United
A rendering of the proposed 20,000-seat D.C. United stadium at Buzzard Point.

District officials say eminent domain could be used to claim the land owned by a salvage yard that's needed to build the new $300 million, 20,000-seat D.C. United stadium.

Following WAMU 88.5's report about the land owned by Super Salvage—and the uncertainty and confusion regarding the property and its role in the stadium deal—City Administrator Allen Lew says the option to seize the land by court order is on the table.

"The question about eminent domain, that's always out there, the mayor has the power to do that, and we would like to work this out in an amicable way," he says.

Lew confirms that the city did not contact Super Salvage prior to last month's announcement but says he has scheduled an upcoming meeting. He says it wasn't always clear who controlled the salvage yard.

"At one point we were under the impression that Mark Ein controlled the site but it turns out his option had expired," he explains.

Ein is the land owner next to the salvage yard. He say he has what he calls a "continuing understanding" with the president of Super Salvage to work together in the negotiations with the city and says he is confident a solution will be found that works for everyone.

But the continuing questions surrounding the complicated land swaps needed for the stadium raise questions about whether the city will be able to obtain the land and get approval by the D.C. Council by the January 1 deadline.

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