February 25, 2010

Radio One Pulls Out; Shaw Metro Still Barren

Broadcast Center One as viewed from the CVS at 7th & T Streets

We reported a few days ago that the developer for Media Center One (a.k.a. Broadcast Center One), a mixed-use project slated for the area around the Shaw Metro, had inked a lease with the United Negro College Fund (UNCF).  Good news for the long-delayed project.

Now the Washington Business Journal reports that the main tenant, Radio One, has inexplicably decided to stay put in the glitzy media town of Lanham, Maryland.

Though the development team says the project will go forward, we have trouble believing they can secure additional financing until they sign a replacement tenant.

At the previous ANC1B meeting, a lawyer representing the development group announced the group’s intention to convert 50,000 square feet of apartment space into office space.  With Radio One out of the picture, perhaps they can revert the 50,000 square feet to apartments.

What’s most upsetting is that in January 2008, the District offered $23 million in subsidies to lure Radio One to the city.  Two years and two months later, the land still sits vacant while Radio One just wasted two years of the taxpayers’ time.

We hope the developer finds a replacement soon, but unless the city is able to transfer the subsidy to another commercial enterprise, any struggling firm may balk at the District’s ridiculously high 9.975% corporate income tax rate— especially when Maryland and Virginia only charge 8.25% and 6.0%, respectively.

Categories: Development Projects, Taxation, UNCF
Tags: , , ,

2 Replies


    It’s probably a lot cheaper there, though. In Lanham. I mean, were I running Majic 102.3, I’d tell you that the rights to all those Teddy Pendergrass songs ain’t free.

    Andy Bowen - February 26, 2010 @ 12:32 pm
  2. I appreciate the larger point about the disparity in corporate tax rates. Unless a company has a compelling reason to be in the District, they have to be bribed to come here, through various incentives.

    BTW, this morning’s wind has claimed the Howard Theater’s sign. It’s lying precariously on top of the marquee.

    Paul - February 26, 2010 @ 2:59 pm

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