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material benefit not only to Washington but, as a permanent exhibit of our industrial resources, to the Nation as a whole. We have retained the nationally known firm of architects, Hellmuth, O'Bata & Kassabaum of St. Louis, for the purpose of assuring that this great complex will add
to the beauty and dignity of the Nation's Capital. The Terminal Committee has established a subcommittee composed of Col. W. H. Press, executive vice president of the board of trade; Gerald A. Siegel, vice president of the Washington Post, and John W. Thompson, vice president of the Star, as the nucleus of the organization that will coordinate with industry on their requirements
We have studied H.R. 12603 carefully and are unable to find any points of conflict with the complex we propose. I wish to take this opportunity, Mr. Chairman, to congratulate you on the care and forethought which has been given to the Visitors Center, a most welcome addition to Washington. We need here, with our millions of annual visitors, the Visitors Center, as well as a permanent industrial exposition, with the most modern facilities for rail, bus, and plane.
We have tried to make this presentation as comprehensive but as short as possible in the hopes that we will have the opportunity to answering your questions.
Finally, Mr. Chairman, I would appreciate your courtesy in being permitted to comment briefly after the statements of the others prepared to testify.
Mr. GRAY. Yes, Mr. Owen, we would be delighted to either hear them orally or you can submit those statements for the record, whatever you choose to do, if we have the time.
I want to congratulate you on your statement; and, if I may ask you a few questions for the record:
First, this seems like a very ambitious program, and I wonder what it represents in the way of dollar investment. Have you placed any price tag on this proposal ?
Mr. Owen. The total investment would be about $200 million. It would be done by private enterprise, would not entail any Federal subsidy.
Mr. GRAY. What means would you use to raise this amount?
Mr. Owen. We have been in contact with industry and also of course the transportation people are involved. We would raise the equity money, which we estimate to be necessary, around $20 million or $25 million. The balance would be financed through insurance companies, through a mortgage.
Mr. ĜRAY. How would you amortize this project?
Mr. OWEN. Amortized through the rental of the exposition space and the commercial revenues on the ground floor.
Mr. GRAY. How far would this be from Union Station?
Mr. Owen. This project extends from H Street on the south, you know where Mount Vernon Square is, I am certain, and it extends from Mount Vernon Square, New York Avenue, Massachusetts Avenue on the north, southerly to H Street.
Mr. GRAY. About a mile away?
Mr. OWEN. About a half a mile away. Union Station is roughly at North Capitol Street, probably a block east of North Capitol. We
are six blocks west of North Capitol, so it is about seven or eight blocks.
Mr. GRAY. Where are you in your planning? Are you in the preliminary planning stages?
Mr. OWEN. We have had work sketched to general plans. In other words, plans outlining the areas involved, and we have appeared before the National Capital Park and Planning Commission; but because they envision all bus terminals, all air terminals being in the Union Station Visitor Complex, they have not as yet given us a nod to proceed, and have not included us in their 1985 plan. And they envision everything coming to Union Station, which we feel is impractical.
Mr. GRAY. I would think offhand that with 15 to 20 million visitors a year, that we might best need some place else for transportation, because we are going to generate an awful lot of traffic just for visitors.
Mr. Owen. As you are probably well acquainted with the fact that there are two bus terminals, one at 11th and G, on New York Avenue, and one directly opposite, there is a bus terminal for Trailways, and between the two of them they have about 9 million people a year.
If you are there during the rush hour, it is quite a problem.
Mr. GRAY. One other question. Has this plan been submitted to the National Capital Planning Commission?
Mr. OWEN. Yes, it has.
Mr. OWEN. Their feeling is that they have not included this type of thing in their 1985 plan; the feeling, as I mentioned earlier, that the buses and the airlines should all go into the Union Station complex.
Mr. GRAY. One center? Mr. Owen. That is right. Mr. GRAY. Where does this put you now? I am not being critical. Would you be able to proceed if in fact the National Capital Planning Commission should not give their blessing?
Mr. OWEN. No, we would not. In order to put this project over, it involves about eight city squares, and in order to assemble it we would have to have the right of eminent domain, which would mean going through the Redevelopment Land Agency. We would have to present the plan to the District of Columbia Commissioners for a public hearing, and then the Redevelopment Land Agency would come in the picture and condemn the land, after which we would reimburse them for cost of the land, and the NCPPC has to give approval.
Mr. GRAY. I am not arguing for or against putting all this transportation complex in Union Station, but where you propose private enterprise to do it, it seems to me that National Capital Planning Commission
may be proposing the Government do it. Mr. OWEN. I would think so. If they went through their plan with Union Station, the Government would naturally be footing the bill for a transportation complex.
Mr. GRAY. All you would need for your private enterprise people to spend the $200 million would be the right of eminent domain?
Mr. OWEN. We would have to have the NCPPC approval, and of course we would have a public hearing before the District of Columbia Commissioners.
Mr. GRAY. I might say in that connection that it is my understanding that the National Capital Planning Commission has not really come to any resolution about where the National Capital transportation complex should be, because this is one of the objections that was raised this week by the Bureau of the Budget, that the President had ordered such a study, but it had not been completed.
Mr. OWEN. That is correct. They have not made such a study as far as we can find out. They suggested that we move this south of / Street and west of Ninth Street. If you are acquainted with the area physically and dollarwise, it would be impossible to do it, being very expensive ground, this particular area is very blighted.
Mr. GRAY. Are there any questions?
Mr. SCHWENGEL. I have listened with avid interest to your testimony, and I did not frankly get all of it, so I hope you furnish us with a copy.
Mr. OWEN. We will do so.
I have been intrigued because you say you can, or did I understand you to say that you can raise $200 million !
Mr. OWEN. We can finance it. In other words, we can raise equity money and the next will be borrowed money.
Mr. SCHWENGEL. And this is going to be around H Street and
Mr. Owen. H Street on the north boundary, extending northerly to Massachusetts Avenue, Mount Vernon Square, and New York Avenue, Sixth Street on the east, and 10th Street on the west.
Mr. SCHWENGEL. How many acres, roughly?
Mr. OWEN. This development will be three floors underground. The lower level would be the interstate buses. The second level would be the local suburban buses. The upper level would be a concourse.
There would be, in between these levels, parking for 3,500 cars.
Mr. SCHWENGEL. You, of course, realize that 3,500 cars is not anywhere near enough for the traveling public?
Mr. Owen. We realize that, but it is a physical impossibility to put that many
more in there.
Mr. SCHWENGEL. Plus the charter business or the buses that come in with groups, just to visit the Capital?
Mr. OWEN. Charter buses would not come in here. This would be strictly interstate buses on scheduled routes.
Mr. SCHWENGEL. And the chartered buses
Mr. OWEN. Chartered buses who would bring passengers, school groups for instance, it is our understanding that they would continue to use the Union Station complex where the Visitor Center is.
Mr. SCHWENGEL. What are you asking for? You are not opposing the Union Station
Mr. OWEN. We think we complement it.
Mr. SCHWENGEL. Let me suggest to you that you pursue your objective. I have a feeling that as time goes on and as we evolve and unfold and complete the program we have in mind, that some of us have in mind, that we are going to attract not 15 million but 20 or 25 million people a year to this complex. So we are going to need everything that you can produce through private enterprise.
Mr. Owen. Thank you, sir.
We have visions that this will tie in with surface buses at Seventh and Ninth Streets, that will go through the complex, and likewise it will tie in with the subway system. We have been in communication with the Metropolitan Washington Transportation Authority, and that can be worked out.
Mr. SCHWENGEL. Mr. Chairman, I think this man has some good ideas, and I think he ought to be encouraged.
I think it ought to fit in with the total plan. I am aware, as you must be, that the Union Station will finally become not a major, but one of the majors at most, but it could be an important satellite to the total program for the Visitor Center in the future.
Mr. OWEN. As you mentioned, there will be other visitor centers throughout the Washington metropolitan area.
Mr. SCHWENGEL. Do you have any plans to furnish a headquarters for people who would come by bus, by your bus, to visit the District, to be oriented before they go on tour of the Capital, so you would not be adding to the problem of Union Station for instance?
Mr. OWEN. I believe such service would be available. In connection with the industrial exposition. We have planned auditoriums for that particular purpose, to educate the public who come to this city, and there are many of them, not only the public but the foreign visitors themselves, how the American industry works, and free enterprise system.
Mr. SCHWENGEL. Would you be willing“, I am talking about the Visitors Committee-for this committee to become a permanent committee to deal with the problem of visitors, to fit into a total program as a part of the Visitors Center Committee program?
Mr. OWEN. We would certainly
Mr. SCHWENGEL. That would mean consulting with us on providing space for visitors, maybe an auditorium where they could see a movie before a tour.
Mr. OWEN. That could be worked out.
Mr. SCHWENGEL. And facilities where they could get transportation from that site.
Mr. OWEN. We have an auditorium planned for this particular contract.
Mr. SCHWENGEL. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. I want to thank you for coming here and giving us this idea. I had heard some rumors about some other plans, and I guess this must be because of the rumor I heard.
Mr. GRAY. Mr. McEwen.
Mr. McEwen. Mr. Owen the buildings that are in this area now, they would be removed?
Nr. Owen. Yes, sir, they would be removed.
Mr. McEwEN. Would there be anything above ground?
Mr. OWEN. This would be the industrial exposition space, which would be leased to industry.
Mr. McEwEN. I see. What about your roads serving this center?
Mr. OWEN. There would be one street in here which would be closed, that would be I Street. Seventh and Ninth Streets would go through the Center. There happens to be, if you are acquainted with the area, a difference in elevation between the north leg and the south leg of about 15 feet. So the present buses which are on those surface streets would go directly under the lane running out from the higher elevation, and emerge at the other end and connect with the subway and the interstate and suburban buses by escalator underneath.
Mr. McEwEN. You envision this as serving the suburban buses coming into the city, the interstate buses
Mr. OWEN. And local buses. Mr. McEwEN. All of these buses would have to use city streets? Mr. OWEN. They do, except this would take the interstate and some of the suburban buses off of the streets. In other words, we will use the center leg access. In communication with the Bureau of Public Roads it is feasible to bring an underground connection from the center leg to the east boundary of our project. Mr. McEwen. The center legMr. OWEN. That is the red lines [indicating). Mr. McEwen. Indicated red on your map?
Mr. OWEN. Yes, sir, coming through I Street, running directly into the facility, which will not be on the surface at all, cut down the running time for these interstate buses for as much as 15 minutes between here and New York.
Mr. McEwen. I wanted to ask a question, will copies of this map be included in the record ?
Mr. GRAY. Do you have that on a smaller scale? Mr. OWEN. Yes. We have considerably more detailed presentation which we could have shown, but it will take about 40 minutes to do that, colored slides and so on.
Mr. GRAY. Do you have this in, say, about 8 by 10 size?
Mr. GRAY. Without objection we will include it in the record at this point.
Mr. OWEN. We will submit it to you.
Mr. McEwen. That will have the same designations and colors as this which we are referring to?
Mr. OWEN. More detailed than that, sir.
Mr. OWEN, I notice you are accompanied by Mr. L. A. Jennings, chairman of the Federal City Council, and Maj. Gen. Louis W. Prentiss, Federal City Council.