Washington, D.C., June 3, 2010 - In a huge victory in the long awaited development of The D.C. Baseball Academy to be built by Our Washington Nationals and The Washington Nationals Dream Foundation, The National Capital Planning Commission today approved the transfer of the proposed land site at Ft. Dupont Park, in NE Washington, from The National Park Service to The District Of Columbia. A unanimous decision by the NCPC that removes the biggest roadblock that has stood in the way for nearly two years. The approval also allows for an expansion of the nearby Ft. Dupont Ice Rink.
"The Ft. Dupont land transfer from the National Park Service to the District is a great step forward towards the creation of the Washington Nationals Youth Baseball Academy," stated Marla Lerner Tanenbaum, Chair of The Washington Nationals Dream Foundation after the vote. "There is still much work to be done, but we’re excited to be over this major obstacle. Full speed ahead!"
What today's vote does is allow Our Washington Nationals, The Dream Foundation and The District of Columbia to negotiate the land lease agreement and go through the final zoning process before construction of the D.C. Baseball Academy can begin. Today's decision also puts in motion final fundraising efforts needed for the build out. $11.3 million has already been set aside by The District Government. Our Washington Nationals originally committed $3.5 million as part of National Park's construction agreement.
If everything goes as planned from here on out, an official ground breaking date will be announced soon with the goal to open the three playing fields by the summer of 2011. The clubhouse would follow by Opening Day during the 2012 Season for Our Washington Nationals.
The official transferring of the 15 acres of land at Ft. Dupont Park from the NPC to The District also removed or lessened restrictive covenants originally imposed by the National Park Service. Covenants that would have allowed the land to revert back to the Park Service if The District of Columbia had violated any of the named restrictions. With those covenants now officially removed or weakened, The D.C. Government's control of the site is virtually assured. This major step protects the D.C. Baseball Academy from ever being removed from the land site--after millions of dollars have been spent to develop it.
Supporting Our Youth & Our Future--not only will District Youths in Ward 7 & 8 now be able to look forward to a new set of baseball fields and increased recreational activities over the next two years, but Our Washington Nationals and The Dream Foundation will also be providing academic and career development programs at the Ft. Dupont Site. Remember, The D.C. Baseball Academy is not just about baseball. It's also about giving youths educational opportunities to advance in life.
Today's land transfer approval by the National Capital Planning Commission was a big day for Our Washington Nationals and The District Of Columbia, but especially so for many young boys and girls living within the District's boundaries.
Time to put that first ceremonial shovel in the ground.