3,000 Units + 20 Acres of Open Space: The Development of DC's Armed Forces Home Gets Key Approval

  • June 2nd 2022

by UrbanTurf Staff

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Aerial of Armed Forces Retirement Home.

The National Capital Planning Commission (NCPC) gave one of the largest new developments on the boards in DC an important thumbs up on Thursday. 

NCPC approved an amendment for the master plan of DC's 272-acre Armed Forces Retirement Home (AFRH) (map) at its June meeting. The approval will move forward development of an approximately 80-acre portion of the AFRH site into a mixed-use extension of the surrounding neighborhood.

As proposed, the nearly five million square foot development could deliver over 3,000 residential units (15% of which will be affordable), roughly 300,000 square feet of retail and hospitality uses, up to one million square feet of traditional and medical office space, and over 20 acres of open space. Madison Marquette and Urban Atlantic will co-develop the site.

The master plan was originally approved in 2008, but when AFRH selected the Madison Marquette/Urban Atlantic team to develop the site in 2019, a review of the master plan was triggered to ensure that the document is still current. The revisions approved on Thursday in Master Plan Amendment #2 are generally minor, including an increase in density for the to-be-developed parcels, as well as more flexibility in the development program for the site. The new iteration of the plan includes significantly more residential development than the 2008 plan, and less commercial density. 

Renderings of the new development. Click to enlarge.

At the meeting, Kent Boese of ANC 1A expressed concerns about the development's connection with the surrounding neighborhood, the increased traffic that could result due to the new development and the lack of clarity regarding the levels of affordable housing that will be provided. Jonah Goodman of ANC 4C echoed Boese's concerns about connectivity with the adjacent neighborhoods, noting that many residents of the planned development would have to walk upwards of two miles to enjoy many of the attractions in Petworth and Park View.

The concerns regarding the new development's connectivity with those neighborhoods, as well as the need for improved communication with surrounding communities, were also voiced by several NCPC commissioners. 

With this approval, the next steps for the development are to get zoning approval from DC's Office of Planning and then historic preservation approval of the new development components, as all of AFRH is in a historic district.  

This article originally published at https://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/3000-units-20-acres-of-open-space-the-development-of-dcs-armed-forces-home-/19718.

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