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Both interstate bus, suburban bus, and parking levels connect with the center leg of the inner loop by tunnels under I Street.
Above ground we have been able to take advantage of the land contour which is some fifteen feet lower at H Street than at Mt. Vernon Square. A pedestrian level, completely separate from any vehicular traffic, will cover the area, at street level at the Square, and with escalators and stairs at H Street. Seventh and Ninth Streets will run through short tunnels under the pedestrian level. These, due to the land elevations, will be short, daylight tunnels, and the local buses will have cut-back loading platforms in the projec to avoid traffic congestion. Attached is a sketch showing the pedestrian level (marked “C”).
The first floor above the pedestrian level will be for retail stores with accesses by elevators to the industrial exposition on five floors above. Above the 3,700,000 sq. feet of exposition area will be approximately 1,580,000 sq. feet of office space on two floors. Originally some interest was expressed by the government in leasing this space; however, as our discussions with industry continue, we find that they are most interested in office space above their exhibits. The preliminary architectural concept visualizes a huge arcade over Sth Street with fountains, grass, benches, and bushes—in short, a pleasant place for people to come for relaxation. Attached is a sketch of this arcade (marked "D"). This carries out the general plan of Washington using sth Street as a pedestian mall from Pennsylvania Avenue to Mt. Vernon Square. Attached is a sketch of this plan (marked "E"). Particular attention is being given to the appearance of the above-ground structure in order that they will add to the beauty and dignity of Washington.
In the accompanying illustrations it will be noted that we have not drawn any perspective of the total complex though we have several designs in various stages of development. This structure will have a profound effect upon the appearance of the downtown area, and therefore we wish to develop our plans further prior to completion of our drawings. The huge translucent arcade over 8th Street to which I refer above appears to have very considerable merit, and I hope that it will be an integral feature of our design.
In response to questions from the committee, the following is a recapitulation of the total square footage in the complex.
740, 000 3, 700, 000 1, 580, 000
6, 020, 000 This results in net square footage of 4,500,000 sq. ft.
Gross square footage below ground
Therefore, the total area above and below ground is : Gross, 9,080,000 sq. ft. and Net, 6,875,000 sq. ft.
Two corporations are necessary, a commercial corporation to build and operate the entire complex, and a non-profit corporation composed of industry to set policies for the exposition areas, arrange for special displays, and, among many other matters, to issue a high grade quarterly brochure distributed nationally and internationally. This will include articles on the Visitors Center and the other points of interest to encourage visitors to come to Washington.
Our preliminary costs and revenue figures indicate that this great project can amortize over a reasonable term of years, pay operating expenses, and return
approximately $3,500,000 in additional real estate taxes alone, to say nothing of other taxes to the District and Federal government. It is obvious that rental figures must be comparable with those existing elsewhere in the country, or leases cannot be obtained. For this reason, the operating corporation cannot be unreasonable in its demands nor make an undue profit. As a living example of industry and commercial exterprise which has made our country so great, it is felt that the best example for this project would be private commercial financing; therefore there will be no request for Federal funds. We must, however, have the use of eminant domain to acquire so large a site. This requires the approval of the National Capital Planning Commission. Statutory authority now exists for such purposes and we will reimburse the agency for land acquisition.
Mr. GRAY. We originally had scheduled a very distinguished member of the 21-member Commission to study the need for a visitors center, Mrs. Jack Coopersmith, but she has been notified that Mr. Hummelsime, who is president of Colonial Williamsburg, would like to appear and since he also is a member of the Commission, she would defer this morning until the next hearing. She is here in the hearing room, but wants to appear later. We appreciate very much the consideration of both of the commissioners to come back.
I also want to announce at the conclusion of the hearing this morning that we will have departmental witnesses, and the 21-member Commission who studied the need for a visitors center will submit the written report. It is by law scheduled to be presented by the 15th of this month. It is at the printers now. As soon as it is printed and presented to Congress, the departmental witnesses will be able to come down and testify.
So we expect to adjourn the hearings now, and reconvene them, we hope, very soon.
Mr. SCHWENGEL. Mr. Chairman.
Mr. SCHWENGEL. If I may, first I want to commend the chairman for making the observation that different modes of transportation ought not to appear in competition with each other. I think they together have a responsibility and they do really compliment each other. So it was a very valid point.
Also, Mr. Chairman, I would like to ask the unanimous consent for any of those that appeared who may want to extend their remarks, may be able to do so.
Mr. GRAY. Yes; that is a very good suggestion.
Are there any other questions and comments of the committee members ?
As we conclude the second day of hearings, I want to thank all of the subcommittee members for their fine attention and all of the witnesses and repeat that we thank you very much on behalf of the committee. With that, we stand adjourned, subject to the call of the Chair.
Mr. CRAMER. Mr. Chairman, it has been called to my attention that certain papers ought to be made a part of the record at this point for consideration by the members of this subcommittee and committee.
On October 25, 1965, articles of incorporation of the "National Industrial Exposition & Transportation Center, Inc." were filed with the Office of Superintendent of Corporations and duly certified by the Ofice of the Recorder of Deeds for the District of Columbia.