Don’t do it, Don­ald Trump

The Washington Times Daily - - METRO - DEB­O­RAH SIM­MONS Deb­o­rah Sim­mons can be con­tacted at dsim­mons@wash­ing­ton­times.com.

Don’t do it, Don­ald Trump. Don’t do it. Don’t re­lo­cate FBI head­quar­ters to Mary­land. Don’t turn over Langston Golf Course, Rock Creek Park Golf Course and East Po­tomac Park Golf to the D.C. gov­ern­ment.

Don’t give the D.C. gov­ern­ment con­trol of RFK Sta­dium land and the D.C. Ar­mory land, and please don’t give the city the ad­ja­cent park land.

All of those fa­cil­i­ties and ac­com­pa­ny­ing land are in the fed­eral gov­ern­ment’s port­fo­lio, and that is where they should stay.

Mr. Trump should know a bad real es­tate pro­posal when he sees one.

Let’s dis­pense with the FBI ef­fort first, since it’s so in­cred­i­bly easy.

1) The morn­ing af­ter Mr. Trump won the pres­i­den­tial elec­tion, Bal­ti­more of­fi­cials passed a res­o­lu­tion cit­ing him and his cam­paign style as “di­vi­sive and scape­goat­ing rhetoric, rooted in hate and prej­u­dice.”

2) Cities in such close-in en­vi­rons as Prince Ge­orge’s and Mont­gomery coun­ties are bona fide sanc­tu­ary cities, which fly in the face of the law-and-or­der and con­sti­tu­tional stances of the Jeff Ses­sions De­part­ment of Jus­tice.

Fed­eral park land shouldn’t sim­ply be plopped into the hands of the D.C. gov­ern­ment.

Re­gard­ing RFK and the Ar­mory, there are sev­eral apo­lit­i­cal as­pects.

Ex­hibit No. 1: Be­ware of leg­is­la­tion in the House that was in­tro­duced by D.C. Del­e­gate Eleanor Holmes Nor­ton. Her mea­sure would dou­ble the num­ber of years that the Na­tional Park Ser­vice leases the land to the Dis­trict from 50 years to 100 years.

“The RFK Sta­dium site is in dire shape and has gone well past its in­tended life span; it would be an ab­so­lute shame to con­tinue to let such valu­able and us­able land go to waste,” Ms. Nor­ton said in a press re­lease. “My bill will give D.C. the nec­es­sary sta­bil­ity and cer­tainty re­quired to get fi­nanc­ing to bring the site into the 21st cen­tury.”

Ex­hibit 2: Ac­tu­ally, the city al­ready has brought the site into this cen­tury, hav­ing added a skate park and con­tin­u­ing to al­low small lo­cal ven­dors to mar­ket their goods on one of RFK’s park­ing lots.

The city also wants to get its hands on three golf cour­ses on fed­eral land tended by the Na­tional Park Ser­vice. The back nine at Langston was re­cently im­proved.

If the city wants its own golf course, it can in­deed build one on fed­eral land al­ready in its hands — the for­mer Wal­ter Reed Army Hos­pi­tal site in North­west. Cur­rently un­der com­mer­cial de­vel­op­ment, the Wal­ter Reed site is the per­fect set­ting for fam­ily en­ter­tain­ment, such as putt-putt golf.

In a let­ter to Mr. Trump, Mayor Muriel Bowser asked that the fed­eral gov­ern­ment ex­tend the city’s RFK lease and said she wants to trans­form the site “to add much needed hous­ing and re­tail [and] a sports and/or en­ter­tain­ment pur­pose and above all gen­er­ate jobs for our res­i­dents and the re­gion.”

Well, Dan Sny­der’s Wash­ing­ton Red­skins are go­ing to need a new home be­fore the lease with FedEx Field ex­pires in 2027. Prob­lem is, the 65,000-seat sta­dium re­port­edly be­ing con­sid­ered by the city doesn’t be­fit any NFL fran­chise in this mar­ket — whether you’re of­fended by the team’s name or not.

The NFL is big busi­ness, as is the NBA.

D.C. tax­pay­ers al­ready drew the short stick on the new NBA/WNBA site that’s un­der con­struc­tion in South­east and lo­cated on prop­erty that used to be in the fed­eral gov­ern­ment’s port­fo­lio.

The Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion must not view the pro­posed land swaps and trans­fers through lenses that block the pe­riph­ery.

The Dis­trict isn’t an or­di­nary city, it is Amer­ica’s cap­i­tal.

Wall Street and big busi­ness love the na­tion’s cap­i­tal. If they didn’t, there would be no K Street.

For sure, the fed­eral gov­ern­ment is the cap­i­tal’s most pub­lic-spir­ited bene­fac­tor, but surely it wouldn’t re­draw D.C. bound­aries be­cause Mary­land wants its land back.

Mr. Trump should scratch the city’s re­quests off his to-do list — that is, un­less he sits down with Mr. Sny­der and NBA owner Ted Leon­sis to get a clear idea of what they want.

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