Nationals Park opens this weekend and appears nearly complete. But it's surrounded for blocks by a construction zone. Fans arriving by Metro will emerge from a station housed in a building that is a still a maze of concrete and steel girders. From there, they will walk an unsightly path along a chain-link fence -- protecting a four-story-deep hole, soon to be a hotel basement -- en route to the glitz and game.
By car, it won't look any better. Motorists must navigate streets bounded by Jersey barriers, then find parking lots set among towering cranes and shells of office buildings and condominium high-rises.
I suppose these things happen. What say you, city fathers? Is everything going to be OK?
Still, as the Verizon Center experience showed, it takes time for shops and restaurants and bars to spring up between office towers and condo buildings. D.C. Council member Jack Evans (D-Ward 2) said it took about eight years for now-bustling Gallery Place to become built up. "You're looking at a decade before you really see the effects of the baseball stadium. But it will happen."Know what? Something tells me slogans like "you gotta wait 10 years for this to work out" weren't part of Evans' pitch back when he and his colleagues were voting to transfer hundreds of millions of dollars from impoverished D.C. residents to wealthy baseball owners.