Some Love for Walmart and Adams Morgan Hotel

We’ve heard a lot of objections to Walmart and the Adams Morgan Hotel plans. So I thought it was noteworthy to see some groups rallying in support:

Since there has been some concern raised that nobody is organizing those of us in the neighborhood who SUPPORT the Walmart development, I’ve taken on that task. I’ve created a new Yahoo Group, titled Ward4WalmartSupporters. If you’d like to join, please search the group out on Yahoo Groups, or send an email to [email protected]

We will discuss, constructively, some of the concerns that have been raised in these fora, develop ideas on how to constructively engage the developer and Walmart to ensure those concerns are heard and most importantly, act as a voice for those who want and need easy access to a low-cost retail and grocery option in our neighborhood.

And for the Adams Morgan Hotel from the AdamsMorgan MainStreet Group:

“***Clarification One: Creation of the availability of a tax abatement does not mean the project is approved. It only means the next steps of public approval can begin — the PUD process through ANC, HPRB, and BZA with public announcements and comments.

***Clarification Two: Anyone who is worried about budget cuts, should be for this project. Applied to a non-producing church property, it actually ADDS REVENUE TO CITY COFFERS which can be applied to programs. This project could make up some of the revenue the city has had to deduct from needed services. This $46 million tax abatement does not impact the city’s debt at all, and only adds cash flow because it abates taxes that do not yet exist. $7 million in CASH from all taxes and fees (only property tax is postponed) is paid annually during the tax abatement period ($5 million net to city if prorate the abatement). When the abatement period ends, the total revenue to the city goes up to $9, 10 – 15 million and more as the years go by.

Continues after the jump

***Clarification Three: DC is not out any money; it only gains revenue. City receives only $95,000 annually now from a deteriorating WCP building whose assessed value is going down. DC will never receive less, goes up to the $7 million when hotel is built. City Bikes is staying. WPFW was offered similar rent to stay, but their Board prefers to move to SE. Wash City Paper has made decision to be located nearer a Metro stop.

***Clarification Four: Jobs are desperately needed, from the construction to the permanent jobs. A hotel creates entry level jobs so necessary for DC’s high school graduates and non-graduates who have the highest % unemployment. But hotels and restaurants and gyms/spas produce training & experience to progress to higher levels or even small business ownership. (The owner of Lauriol Plaza started as a bus boy.) Entry into Hotel and restaurant management is participation in a growth industry.

***Clarification Five: The development group had to show $50 million in cash and cash equivalents and a total of $100 million in total equity. The tax abatement then — is NOT a giveaway but a financing tool to allow the amortization & leveraging of the developer’s huge investment. There is no $46 million cash from DC that can be spent on anything else. It merely allows the new revenue for the city to be created. We taxpayers are not writing a $46 million check to anyone — and certainly not to Marriott. Marriott is a “hired hand,” an operating partner who brings hotel management expertise.

***Clarification Six: The KCA vote on the tax abatement was 9 to 8.

***Clarification Seven: Hip, urban Ian Shraeger Hotel becomes what AdMo is missing — an anchor. Dupont, Georgetown, H street, U street, Barracks Row, Mount Vernon, etc. ALL have one or multiples of: large office buildings, Metro stop, hotels, or anchor tenants. We have none. This is why their indie biz, especially retail does better. Each of those areas says their hotels contribute greatly to their small business vitality, and/ or they are trying to get a hotel, or add another one.”

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