Development Team Selected for 4.3 Million Square Feet at Old Soldiers’ Home

by Nena Perry-Brown

An artist's rendering of the AFRH redevelopment. Click to enlarge.

Nearly 18 months ago, the General Services Administration (GSA) released a request for proposals (RFP) to kick off another attempt to redevelop part of the 272-acre Armed Forces Retirement Home (AFRH) campus off North Capitol Street.

Now, a future for the 80-acre portion of the nation's first veterans' retirement home is beginning to take shape.

An artist's rendering of the AFRH redevelopment. Click to enlarge.

GSA announced on Friday the provisional selection of Madison Marquette and Urban Atlantic to helm a roughly 4.3 million square foot mixed-use redevelopment northwest of Irving and North Capitol Streets NW (map). The development team will enter into a master ground lease for the project.

Overall, the project will include residential and retail; spaces for the arts, sports and wellness; and nearly 20 acres of publicly-accessible green and recreational space. Several of the buildings on site will be retrofit for other use; the campus is its own historic district, but it is not zoned.

While exact details of the future redevelopment remain unclear, the RFP suggested over 2.2 million square feet of residences (15 percent affordable); over 1.19 million square feet of office; 290,650 square feet of medical; 214,086 square feet of retail; 214,000 square feet of assisted living; 126,391 square feet of hotel space; 5,155 parking spaces; and a restored golf course.

15 Acres of Residences Off North Capitol: The Vision for the Armed Forces Retirement Home: Figure 2
Previous map of redevelopment area and fate of existing buildings. Click to enlarge.

Potential redevelopment of the AFRH has been teased throughout the years, as the financial sustainability of the campus has come under question.

“The selection of the Madison/Urban team marks a significant step towards raising funds necessary to sustain the Home’s trust fund and improve the physical infrastructure on our Washington, DC, campus,” James M. Branham, the Chief Operating Officer of AFRH, said in a statement. 

Although there is the matter of whether the redevelopment will be able to circumvent the city's regulatory processes, the statement implies there will be review by the National Capital Planning Commission and DC’s Office of Planning and State Historic Preservation Office. 

While Urban Atlantic is also busy co-leading redevelopment of the 66-acre Walter Reed campus three miles away, AFRH is also a stone's throw from the McMillan Sand Filtration site and another potential mixed use redevelopment at Michigan and Irving Streets NW, both of which have experienced several hiccups over the years.

This article originally published at https://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/development-team-selected-for-43-million-square-feet-at-old-soldiers-home/16097

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