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WASHINGTON, DC-Long in the works, plans for the new 155,000-sf National Music Center and Museum have taken a significant move with the establishment of a 14-person founding board this week to oversee the establishment of the proposed $220 million cultural facility. The Federal City Council, a nonprofit organization with a mission to improve the Nation’s Capital, has been helping to move the project along with its Federal City Council National Music Center Task Force.

If all goes as planned, the museum will open up on what is to be the redeveloped mixed-use site of the former Convention Center in 2008. The music center would be the focal point of that 10.5-acre development, which is expected to include retail and residential offerings, a central library and landscaped public open space. The council is hoping to snag the 70,000-sf footprint on the old Convention Center grounds that has been set aside by the District for performance venues. That space would hold the museum complex, offering about 45,000 sf of room for exhibits showcasing music-related material from around the globe, as well as three performance venues accommodating 3,000, 750 and 300 persons, respectively.

It is expected that the Convention Center location, which is being billed as a new 18-hour entertainment destination, would help encourage attendance, thereby drawing in financial revenue from solid admissions and attendance at the larger performance venue. “The level of interest in this site–from around the city and the country–shows the economic potential of our city,” Mayor Anthony A. Williams says in a statement about the redevelopment project. “Despite a tepid national economy, people see opportunity in the District.” Ken Rietz, chairman of the new board, forwarded requests for comment about the new museum to spokespersons at the Federal City Council, who failed to respond to repeated inquiries prior to deadline.

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