SBJ/20090525/This Week's News

D.C. United owner selling his stake

Real estate tycoon Victor MacFarlane has relinquished his stake in D.C. United, abandoning the Major League Soccer team nearly 2 1/2 years after he came to town with hopes of using the team to build his commercial real estate empire.

MacFarlane, managing principal of San Francisco-based MacFarlane Partners, announced last week that he will sell his interest in the Major League Soccer team to his partner Will Chang.

Chang, chairman of San Mateo, Calif.-based investment group Westlake International Group, will own the operating rights to D.C. United. He now controls 98 percent, with former Duke University basketball players Brian Davis and Christian Laettner owning the rest.

Chang, a Chinese-Japanese American who lives in Atherton, Calif., bought the team with his equal partner and longtime friend MacFarlane for $33 million.

MacFarlane wanted to build a new stadium for United as part of a mixed-use complex. When negotiations with Mayor Adrian Fenty stalled, the city issued a solicitation for the site and his hopes were basically dashed. MacFarlane then tried to negotiate a deal for a new stadium in Prince George’s County, but the county council balked at those plans as well.

Tierney Plumb writes for the Washington Business Journal, an affiliated publication.

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