Instead of an Ambitious Streetscape With Cafes and Shops, Idle Construction Sites Will Greet Fans for the Home Opener

(Source: Washington Post)

Baseball stadium backers promised a lively entertainment district when the D.C. government poured nearly $700 million into building Nationals Park: a hub of bustling shops, restaurants, hotels, condos and office towers to draw patrons year-round.

But as the Nationals take the field for their second season at the ballpark, there won’t be much entertainment outside. In a few weeks, a developer expects to set up a lonely beer tent on an empty lot across the street.

Fans approaching the ballpark along Half Street will pass an empty office building and a 35-foot-deep hole in the ground owned by Monument Realty, which has put plans on hold for shops, residences and a hotel. One block north, another office building, built by Nationals owner Theodore N. Lerner, sits vacant in search of a tenant.

Across the country, development has slowed dramatically and left a ballpark that was once a symbol of the city’s hopes a reminder instead of the struggling economy.

Read Dana Hedgpeth and David Nakamura’s full article “At Nationals Park, District of Dreams Hits a Slump” in the Washington Post (April 12, 2009).

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