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BANKS ASK CONGRESS TO ASSURE THAT DC CAN REPAY ARENA LOANS
Published April 19, 1995
Crestar and NationsBank, who have offered the cash-strapped DC government $53M to buy the land and make improvements on the site of a proposed new arena, have asked Congress for assurances the city will be able to repay the loans. Bullets/Capitals owner Abe Pollin will finance construction if DC makes improvements and donates the land. Congress must approve an amendment in the DC Charter to allow the city to levy a tax on hotel and retail sales to pay back the loans. That tax is expected to generate $9M a year, but the banks are "concerned" that projection may be too high. The banks will ask Congress for provisions that may include an automatic increase if the tax doesn't produce enough income, or a claim on the rent Pollin will pay the city. Financing must be in place in May for construction to begin this fall (Lorraine Woellert, WASHINGTON TIMES, 4/19).