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Coffeehouse? Art Gallery? What the Future Could Hold For a Walter Reed Firehouse

by Nena Perry-Brown

The Firehouse at Walter Reed. Click to enlarge.

While construction continues on the redevelopment of the 66-acre Walter Reed campus, the development team is looking to activate one of the site's historic buildings.

Last week, CulturalDC and the development team released a request for proposals (RFP) seeking a year round arts and culture operator for the firehouse on the southwest corner of the campus at 1010 Butternut Street NW (map). The winning applicant will be an experienced nonprofit or business with an arts-, culture- or creative-driven mission and a good track record with the community.

Rendering of the Aspen Arts district. Click to enlarge.

The RFP offers a wish list of ideal tenants, including an artsy coffee shop, creative retail or art gallery on the ground floor, and/or creative office/communal space, artist studios, or recording/practice studios on the second floor. Any tenants would be expected to furnish weekly, monthly, and annual programming for the community, likely in partnership with other tenants within the redevelopment.

Applicants can seek a lease for either the 3,300 square foot ground level, the 2,200 square foot second level, or the entire building. The selected tenant would be required to build out the space. There will be an initial lease term of ten years with the option of two five-year renewals.

The activated firehouse is expected to deliver as part of the Aspen Arts Park portion of The Parks development, which will also include a shipping container structure, an auto shop retrofit into a performing arts center, and a power plant retrofit into a brewery. This phase could deliver as early as the third quarter of 2020.

There will be two open house sessions held on Monday for interested parties; RFP applications are due October 25th and a tenant will be selected by the end of the year.

This article originally published at https://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/rfp-released-to-bring-the-arts-to-walter-reed-firehouse/15980

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