Georgetown v. House Republicans on West Heating Plant
Georgetown leaders may be facing a fight with House Republicans over the fate of the West Heating Plant (WHP), the unused facility at 29 and K Streets, NW, at the eastern end of Georgetown now being readied for sale by its federal owners. This is the possible outcome of push by the Friends of Georgetown Waterfront Park and the Citizens Association of Georgetown, endorsed unanimously on Monday by Georgetown Advisory Commission 2E, to ask the U.S. General Services Administration to limit new construction and assure continued access to Rock Creek Park and the C&O Canal next to the plant, as conditions attached to the sale.
Robert vom Eigen and Walter Groszyk, representing the Waterfront Park and CAG, respectively, told the ANC that both organizations have written to Dan Tangherlini, acting head of GSA, asking that his agency “limit development at the site to the footprint of the current [plant], and to encourage development of public access park uses along the C&O Canal, Rock Creek and within the tank farm” next to the main building.
However, Republican leaders of the House committee that oversees GSA would likely object to any conditions that could be seen as holding up this sale and lowering its value. This was brought home at a recent (and unusual) congressional hearing convened in Georgetown inside the WHP. Leaders of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, Reps. John Mica of Florida and Jeff Denham of California, castigated GSA for not moving fast enough in moving 14,000 excess federal properties across the country. But most particularly, they wanted to know why GSA hadn’t been more aggressive in marketing such an obviously valuable piece of real estate. (http://www.thegeorgetowndish.com/thedish/republicans-push-heating-plant…).
vom Eigen and Groszyk said that they are making their case to District officials and with the staff of Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton of the District.