Gray breaks ground for Skyland Town Center

WASHINGTON (WJLA) - Mayor Vincent Gray was back on his home turf Wednesday to break ground for the Skyland Town Center, a project that the Ward 7 community has sought for over two decades.

The Skyland Town Center will be bordered by Alabama Avenue, Naylor Road and Good Hope Road in Southeast D.C. The town center will include about 340,000 square feet of retail space and 480 apartments.

Amid the Jeffrey Thompson scandal - accusations that Gray conspired with Thompson in an off-the-books operation during the 2010 campaign - Gray was excited for the massive project in his neighborhood.

As for the 2010 campaign, Gray told reporters, “I just don’t think it’s possible to be in the jobs like I’ve been in – Council chair and mayor – and be able to focus on every detail of a campaign.”

It was the same message he delivered Tuesday night during the State of the District speech at Kelly Miller Middle School in Ward 7.

“I say this to all of you, clearly and unequivocally, I didn’t break the law.”

Construction on the first phase of the town center will begin in early fall of 2015. The project is expected to be complete by the end of 2017.