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WASHINGTON, DC-Selecting from three bids, the DC Sports and Entertainment Commission has decided to award the construction contract for the $535-million Washington Nationals baseball stadium to a three-member team comprised of Clark Construction Group LLC, Smoot Construction Co. and Hunt Construction Group. The award has an interim value of $23.2 million, which covers the project’s initial fees.

The full value of Clark’s contract will not be determined until next year. Officials put the estimated cost for all construction activity–the 41,000-seat ballpark will be about one million sf–at $279 million.

HOK Sport and Devrouax & Purnell Architects are heading up the design of the facility, which will provisionally include such offerings as 40,000 sf of office space, a 30,000-sf commissary and a 20,000-sf clubhouse. The Nationals currently play at RFK Stadium, but officials are planning for the team to pitch from its own ballpark for opening day in 2008.

The next step involves the District’s completion of the amassing of 20 acres needed for the Southeast DC site in the Anacostia neighborhood, which is currently undergoing revitalization. The city already owns six acres in the area, and it is preparing for negotiations with the approximately 60 private owners of parcels comprising an additional 14 acres near the Anacostia River waterfront. According to the District’s Office of the Chief Financial Officer’s March 2005 Cost Re-estimation Study, if necessary, the city could confiscate the land of unwilling property owners by exercising the eminent domain instrument.

According to DCSEC’s tentative schedule, site clearance will begin in October, the final designs will be competed by November and the required land for the stadium should be assembled by February 2006. Construction is on target to begin in March of next year.

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