Commanders in Virginia? Youngkin seeks $500,000 to study feasibility of new stadium

The governor's two-year budget includes funds for studying ways the state could encourage the franchise to relocate from Maryland.

Commanders in Virginia? Youngkin seeks $500,000 to study feasibility of new stadium

Glenn Youngkin will keep open the possibility that the Washington Commanders could be lured to Virginia by Glenn Youngkin.

Six months after the Virginia legislature killed a bill that would have helped finance a new stadium for the Commanders in the state, Youngkin, a Republican, has proposed spending $500,000 to study ways the state could encourage the franchise to relocate from Landover when its lease at FedEx Field expires in 2027.

According to The Washington Post, the funds were included in Youngkin’s two-year budget proposal that was submitted to Congress last week. Youngkin hopes that Daniel Snyder, controversial Commanders owner, will make a deal to sell the team before the money is not available in 2024, which would be the second year under the budget plan.

According to reports, the team had inked a deal last spring to purchase 200 acres in Woodbridge. At the same time, news reports claimed that the team was also looking at sites in Sterling and Dumfries. According to the team, no matter where the new stadium is located, it will be surrounded by significant mixed-use development. This would include multifamily housing and retail.

But Virginia lawmakers earlier this year pulled the plug on a range of incentive packages for a stadium following a swirl of controversies around the team that included allegations of sexual misconduct by Snyder and other team officials. Snyder has denied the claims.

D.C. lawmakers have similarly opposed efforts by Snyder to build a new stadium on the site of RFK Stadium, citing"many of ownership's off-field failures — in particular its failure to provide a safe working environment for women."

Both Virginia and D.C. would likely reconsider their stadium positions if Snyder moved to sell the team. He and his wife, Tanya, announced last month that they had hired Bank of America affiliate BofA Securities to explore "potential transactions" involving the team.

It's unclear if the Snyders are looking to sell the team or offer stakes in the franchise to minority investors, but if they were to sell the team, there would likely be no shortage of bidders. Among the names being floated as potential buyers include Amazon.com Inc. founder Jeff Bezos and Boston Red Sox owner John Henry.

A spokeswoman for Youngkin told The Washington Post the governor has never closed the door on the possibility of a Commanders stadium anchoring a massive mixed-use development somewhere in Northern Virginia. According to the language of the budget amendment, the money would be used to "develop relevant capabilities, conduct planning and evaluate potential economic incentives related to the Washington Commanders relocation to the Commonwealth of Virginia."

The proposal would have to be approved by the General Assembly, which convenes for its 2023 session on Jan. 11.

The big number

$125 million — The amount of new funding announced Friday by D.C. climate-tech company Arcadia. The new round was led by Evanston, Illinois-based Magnetar Capital and included participation from New York City's Keyframe Capital and Macquarie Asset Management's Scotland-based Green Investment Group. The company, led by CEO Kiran Bhatraju, said the funding will go toward the further development of its Arc platform, which provides aggregated data on energy usage and pricing across the U.S., and to accelerate its community solar business. The new round follows a $200 million Series E round in May that put the D.C. company's valuation at $1.5 billion. It has now raised nearly $500 million since its founding in 2014.

Arlington approves residential remake of Ballston Macy's site

The Arlington County Board on Saturday signed off on Insight Property Group's plans to remake the Macy's department store and office building in Ballston into a 16-story mixed-use building that will include 553 residential units, a grocery store and other retail.

The board approved 236 of the residential units through a transfer of development rights from The Haven Apartments along Columbia Pike, a community also owned by Insight. It is the first application to the county to take advantage of a new development took that allows the transfer of double the number affordable units that are preserved along Columbia Pike to another site. A total of 118 affordable units will be preserved at The Haven, while the new Ballston building will also include 12 affordable units.

'This project will bring needed new housing and an exciting retail presence to the commercial heart of Ballston, just blocks from the Ballston Metro station,' Arlington County Board Chair Katie Cristol said in a statement. 'It demonstrates the adaptability and resilience of our commercial market by re-envisioning an office product as residential. And by drawing, for the first time, on the transfer of development rights tools envisioned in the Columbia Pike Neighborhoods Form Based Code plan, it will also preserve both the affordability and historic resource of one of the Pike's signature garden apartment complexes, the Haven Apartments.'

Construction of the new building is expected to begin in 2023 and it expects to be completed by 2027. The plans for the remake were first pitched in mid-2021.

Odds and ends

Leading lawmakers unveiled a $1.7 trillion year-end spending bill early Tuesday as they raced to pass the sprawling package by week's end. The so-called omnibus bill would provide the military withe $858 billion this fiscal year, a 10% increase over current levels, and fund domestic programs at more than $772 billion. (Politico)
Hugh Kelly, the owner of longtime D.C. pub Kelly's Irish Times, died Dec. 13. He was 77. (Legacy)
D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser and D.C. Housing Authority Leaders cut the ribbon Monday on The Rise at Temple Courts, the long-awaited first phase of the Northwest One in Sursum Corda. (D.C. mayor's office)