A House committee vote threatens to unravel a three-way deal to finance a new Metro station seen as key to the city’s economic growth. Private developers, District of Columbia government and federal officials each agreed to pay one-third of the estimated $75 million cost of building a new Red Line Metro station near New York and Florida Avenues. The House Appropriations Committee voted last Thursday to contribute $7 million directly and make up the balance with $18 million from other accounts held by the DC Control Board. But the $18 million is already budgeted to pay for DC government operations, say board officials and Mayor Anthony Williams.

The Metro stop was a crucial factor in the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms’ decision to relocate its headquarters to the area, now filled with vacant lots and derelict warehouses. Developers and property owners in the area say the ATF announcement gave a huge boost to development, which high-tech companies are pioneering. XM Satellite Radio has moved into the neighborhood, and Qwest Communications has leased space nearby.

Rep. Ernest J. Istook Jr., chairman of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on the District, said the vote didn’t compromise funding for the Metro stop or any DC government operations.

Doug Jemal, who is redeveloping a warehouse into an office building at New York and Florida Avenues, said he believes Congress will eventually fund the project. “I think it’s going to get there. It’s fair, amicable and it will benefit everybody. It makes no sense for it not to happen,” he says.

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