Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Cropp's air right lease has critics

The response to DC Council Chair Linda Cropp's plan to generate revenue by leasing the "air rights" of city buildings to developers isn't being met with universal praise. But that's okay, says Cropp, since she was looking to spur debate on revenue generation.
While she acknowledges leasing public land to developers is not an ideal situation, Cropp said that "“money doesn'’t grow on trees"” and the city needs additional revenue to rebuild its ailing buildings.

The problem, some critics and council members said, is that the city doesnÂ’t even know what properties it owns.

D.C. Office of Property Management Director Carol Mitten said the first recent inventory of District-owned properties is expected to be released later this month. Mitten and other city officials denied the existence of a "“hit list" of properties that would be eligible for these public-private partnerships.

Mitten said the city needs to ensure the partnerships approved are equitable across the city — and not just in prime spots coveted by developers.

Several critics said the very existence of the proposal sends a message to developers that any property can be had for the right price.
Well, if Ms. Cropp wants to start some dialogue about raising revenue / cutting costs I'll throw my two cents in: Move DCPS out of 825 North Capitol Street, NE. DCPS can do its job in a less pricy building.

1 comment:

Ed Researcher said...

Damn good idea, Nathan. There are several DC agencies housed in that row of buildings.

Now, it may be a good call after all. Chicago Public Schools moved in the opposite direction, relocating their central office from the famed "Pershing Road" location on the low-rent South Side to primo downtown skyscraper offices. Not sure if that was the right move.

For DC (and Chicago) I suppose it could help attract/retain more talented central office staff and is centrally located in the city. Maybe there is some other benefit/cost argument in favor, but it's definitely worth looking into.