The Three Proposals for Walter Reed

by Shilpi Paul

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Walter Reed Army Medical Center

On Thursday evening, three teams — Roadside Development, Forest City and Hines-Urban Atlantic — revealed their plans for the redevelopment of the Walter Reed site to the public.

DC’s Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development (DMPED) is currently weighing the three proposals. The winning team will act as master planner of the massive redevelopment project, which will include 3.1 million square feet of development, with housing, retail, and office space. A small area plan already exists for the site, two bilingual charter schools (one Spanish-English, one Chinese-English) already have plans to move onto it, and much talk has been made of the possibility of a Wegman’s coming to the site, something that all three teams mentioned on Thursday.

Below, in the order that they presented, are the three proposals now on the table. ANC 4A will be reviewing the plans on July 23rd, and DMPED hopes to choose a developer by the early fall.

Forest City

The highlight of the proposal from the Forest City group, which also includes developer EYA, is an “innovation campus” that will be anchored by Georgetown University. Forest City envisions this campus to be home to non-profits like the Clinton Global Initiative and tech companies like Google and Intel, with the intention that the three sectors will meet and collaborate.

On the housing side, Forest City plans for 1,800 total units, including townhouses, condos and apartments. Some portion, in keeping with inclusionary zoning requirements, will be held as affordable (approximately 20 percent). The housing towards the edge abutting existing residences will be on the shorter side.

In regards to parkland, Forest City is planning for 35 acres of open space throughout the site, with a 6-acre park. They pointed to Yards Park as a past success.

Like the other presenters, Forest City mentioned drawing in a grocery tenant such as Wegmans, Whole Foods or Harris Teeter. They are also hoping to draw neighborhood-serving retailers and local and regional restaurants. The plan will create 3,645 full-time, permanent jobs.

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Hines-Urban Atlantic

Hines-Urban Atlantic

Hines is teaming with Urban Atlantic, Triden Development Group and Toll Brothers for their proposal, which they entitled “The Parks at Walter Reed.” Their plan includes 90 townhouses and duplexes, 502 condos and 1,287 rental apartments, along with a full-service senior center with 182 homes, called The Benjamin O. Davis Senior Village. 50 percent of the senior center homes will be held as affordable, and over 20 percent of the total housing units will be affordable as well.

The focus of their office sector will be a commerce and science center. Hines-Urban Atlantic has been in talks with a research center from France, and are looking at bioscience and health research centers. They estimate that they will be creating 1,800 full-time permanent jobs.

Hines-Urban Atlantic also spoke towards activating the site as soon as possible, by both turning over buildings that have already been allotted to specific users, like charter schools and So Others Might Eat (S.O.M.E.), and facilitating activities like a farmer’s market or outdoor movie area.

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Roadside Development

Roadside Development

Roadside Development is working with the Bozzuto Group and architect Shalom Baranes on their proposal. Most notably, they plan to bring the Children’s National Medical Center to the site, along with outposts of George Washington and Howard University. They also have plans for a Military Caregiver’s Museum dedicated to caregivers and first responders.

Retail-wise, they hope to create a “village center,” with neighborhood-serving retailers and walkable streets. Wegman’s was clearly highlighted on their renderings.

They will build a total of 1,800 residential units, 20 percent of which will be affordable. There will be a senior housing section as well. If they were awarded the site, Roadside plans to immediately build townhouses along Fern Street, on the northern edge of the property, to serve as a “buffer” between existing residents and construction. They would deliver the first phase by 2017. Finally, they plan an agricultural center with a greenhouse and community garden, as well as a community center.

UrbanTurf will continue to follow each team as it moves through the approval processes.

This article originally published at http://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/three_teams_reveal_their_proposals_for_walter_reed_site/7337

6 Comments

  1. mona said at 10:35 am on Friday July 19, 2013:

    Don’t like the Hines-Urban Atlantic offer. The other two look great.

  1. Nancy said at 2:36 pm on Friday July 19, 2013:

    The Forest City plan sounds particularly well-balanced among business, retail, residential and parkland. Love the “innovation campus” idea aimed at facilitating interaction among nonprofit and for-profit organizations. I wish the article had included a picture for that proposal.

  1. Calvin H. Gurley said at 9:29 pm on Friday July 19, 2013:

    Should you open your “third eye” you would witness that all new economical development, all retail and commercial venues have been “currently” built in D.C. Wards whose Council members are Male and Caucasian.  Ward 2 Jack Evans’ Verizon Center, H Street Development/Trolley Car Dream - Ward 6 Tommy Wells, and Columbia Heights -Tivoli Theatre Area Jim Graham. 

    Make what you want of it.  Sometimes the truth gets me in trouble…or the truth is hard to believe. I believe that we are adult enough to leave trivial issues out of this discussion. But for the sake of conversation; is Wal-Mart the best our Ward 4 Councilwoman can do for Ward 4 retail development?

    I would desire that the new FBI Building to be located on the Walter Reed Campus for various reasons.  One is the issue of Crime in the neighborhood. Once the FBI’s several of thousands employees occupy the campus - uniform FBI police will “police” the surrounding neighborhoods and the Takoma Metro pedestrian route to ensure that their employees are safe 24 hours-seven days a week. Additional, protection for the existing neighborhoods surrounding Walter Reed and the Takoma Metro areas.

    Secondly, the Federal Government will be compelled to invest in the economic development on the Georgia Avenue corridor to offer eateries, cafes, restaurant and pubs for their employees. Many existing retailers on Georgia will receive Federal Aid to improve and sustain their retail services just for the employees.  Perhaps, Georgia Avenue corridor (North and South) will improve with new retail establishments different from the current nail salons, fast-foods chains, Dollar stores and liquor stores.  There must be immediate diners, relaxing and entertainment close to the campus for FBI employees to retain the job morale that downtown D.C. retailers currently offers for their staff of workers.

    Just when the Discovery Building relocation to City Place sparked a new revival to that worn down economic commercial area. The FBI Building will be just the anchor needed to spark new and upgraded retail development on the Georgia Avenue Corridor.

    I believe it so…Chg.

  1. anon said at 12:17 pm on Monday July 22, 2013:

    @Calvin - Isn’t that what the DC government is hoping will happen with DHS at Congress Heights? There is a mixed-use proposal for Congress Heights that Urban Turf talked about: http://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/large_mixed-use_development_coming_to_congress_heights/7036

    I think DC is smart soliciting private development at Walter Reed and see how both of these experiments play out. I hope it happens for both Congress Heights and 16th Street Heights.

  1. Emy said at 2:45 pm on Tuesday July 30, 2013:

    “they plan to bring the Children’s National Medical Center to the site”

    I’m only a low-level minion at CNMC, but no one I talk to here has heard anything about plans to move. And there’s been multi-million dollar renovations and equipment investments recently. Perhaps they meant to say a satellite office or secondary facility?

  1. Nik said at 12:47 am on Monday August 5, 2013:

    Niki said at 12:42 am on Monday August 5, 2013:

    It appears that only two developers have kept the Veteran in mind; however Forest appears to have the right ideas. If they r going to have seniors and Veterans living here why bring the Children National Medical Center on this site.  I believe the surrounding neighborhood would need a hospital facility that serves everyone.  Beside the Children National Medical Center should not be the main health facility there.  We need to respect the Veterans and try to meet their needs since this city have so few facilities, other than Federal, to help them.  Veterans, disabled and otherwise, struggle to find landlords that will not harasses and victimize them even though they r paying rent and this city should step up and ensure that they get affordable housing with the hassle.

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