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Muriel Bowser, D.C. Council member, to hold 2 public hearings on D.C. United soccer stadium deal

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WASHINGTON (WJLA/AP) - The D.C. council member who could end up deciding what happens with a proposed new soccer stadium is holding two public hearings this week on the project.

A rendering of the proposed soccer stadium. (WJLA file photo)

Mayor Vincent Gray has proposed spending $150 million to acquire land and enhance infrastructure for the stadium, which would be located on Buzzard Point in southwest Washington. The team would spend roughly the same amount to build the stadium itself.

Gray lost his bid for re-election in the April Democratic primary to Council member Muriel Bowser, who's holding the hearings.

Bowser is running against independent Council member David Catania and independent former council member Carol Schwartz in the general election.

In Buzzards Point, it is abuzz with industry on one side and a quiet neighborhood on the other

The proposed 25,000 seat, state-of-the-art D.C. United stadium would dramatically change the landscape.

"It might bring in money but it is also going to push everybody out," said Lloyd Johnson, a resident who lives near the proposed stadium.

There are neighbors with worries. They saw Nationals Park go up. Now more development could be coming.

"Just wasting money, they could us that money for something else," said Alex Lansdown, a resident who lives near the proposed stadium.

Lansdown also says traffic is a worry with two stadiums so close to each other.

Bowser says not enough taxpayers have gotten a chance to weigh in.

"I think that having a world class soccer team is good for the district of columbia, we have to make sure we are doing the best thing for the taxpayers now and in the future," said Bowser,

She was hosting two public hearings over the next two days. The first was being held Wednesday evening in Ward 1 about the redevelopment of the Frank D. Reeves Municipal Center, which is part of a complex land swap between D.C. city government and the developer that owns much of the Buzzards Point site.

"For me personally, the number and level of affordable housing at the site, is going to be a key determinant," said Bowser.

The second meeting will be held about the stadium development in Ward 6 on Thursday.

Bowser says the proposal still needs work and neighbors hope the city listens to residents' needs.

"Because you are rebuilding don't forget us, remember we are here," said Johnson.

Bowser also says an independent consultant was hired to take a look at the economic impact of the proposal and a report is due to the council by September.

Upcoming Public Hearing When: Thursday, July 24, 2014
Time: 7:00 pm
Where: Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs Building, 1100 4th Street, SW, Washington, DC 20024, Suite E200

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