The Latest on Walter Reed’s Redevelopment

by Shilpi Paul

The Latest on Walter Reed's Redevelopment: Figure 1
The current land use plan for the redevelopment of Walter Reed. Click to enlarge.

Last night, Martine Combal from the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning gave ANC 4B and interested residents an update on the plans for the massive Walter Reed redevelopment project, to be located on Georgia Avenue between Aspen Street and Fern Street NW (map).

A quick primer on what is in the works. The expansive plans on the boards feature 3.1 million square feet of development, including 90 townhomes, 1,864 multifamily units and more than 100 homes for homeless veterans. Retail is also planned, including perhaps a Wegman’s, and the site will have two bilingual charter schools (one Spanish-English, one Chinese-English) and a Howard University ambulatory care center. The new development would also have a number of energy-efficient elements: green roofs, solar panels, cisterns, and a goal of being net-zero by 2030. There could also be some park-like areas and planners are considering building a streetcar to connect the development to a nearby Metro station.

The first phase, according to documents from Combal, may be completed as early as 2014. That phase will include educational tenants Washington Yu Ying and Latin American Montessori Bilingual moving in, as well as non-profits carving out 40 housing units for homeless seniors and 75 units of low-income housing. An Ambulatory Care facility for Howard University Hospital will also be part of the initial move-in. Those buildings will be dispersed throughout the lot (the full plan can be found here) with the schools facing Aspen Street close to 14th Street NW. Since many buildings already exist, the move-in will happen quickly once the land conveys from the current owners, the Army, to the city.

Phase 1B is currently estimated for development between 2014 and 2017. This phase will include the market-rate residential: the townhomes along Fern Street at the northern edge of development, mixed-use development at the corner of Aspen Street and Georgia Avenue, and a multifamily high-rise building at the corner of Aspen Street and 16th Street.

The remaining buildings, including more mixed-use, office and institutional buildings, “creative” space, and green space, will be rolled out in three more phases starting in 2018, with a scheduled completion date for everything of 2032. As Housing Complex noted in January, landing a big tenant for the space could speed up the commercial component.

Within the next few months, the city will begin the process of finding a master developer and hope to find one by the winter. With the help of the developer, the city will then be able to negotiate a buy-out of the land from the Army. Once the land conveys, estimated to be this winter, redevelopment and construction will begin. The Small Area Plan is still being developed, and the public still has a few more opportunities to weigh in on one of the District’s biggest projects.

Residents at the meeting were a little ruffled by the speed and schedule at which the project is developing. For example, owners of the newly-built townhouses would be across the street from a major demolition and construction project for years. Other residents voiced concerns about the size of some of the buildings and the security of vacant spaces.

See other articles related to: walter reed, dclofts, dc office of planning, anc 4b

This article originally published at http://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/updates_on_the_timeline_for_walter_reed_redevelopment/5617


  1. Ed Estes said at 9:17 pm on Tuesday June 5, 2012:
    Very well thought out urban design ideas and concepts.
  1. PleasantPlainer said at 7:31 pm on Wednesday June 6, 2012:
    GA Ave is on the DC Street Car line plan. Is this separate from that? With all the planned development on GA Ave (Howard Town Center lower, Wall Mart in the middle, and Walter Read further up), the city should seriously consider fast tracking the GA Ave Street Car Line!
  1. jag said at 9:38 pm on Wednesday June 6, 2012:
    And seriously consider working with MoCo to have the northern terminus be Silver Spring station instead of Takoma station.
  1. xmal said at 9:39 pm on Thursday June 7, 2012:
    I'm concerned about the lack of a street grid in the plan. It looks like there will only be one meandering way to get N-S and E-W---but compared to the thick connections in the surrounding neighborhoods, will that be enough? Also, will the greyed-out area in the NW corner remain with the Army? Is there any plan to re-open 14th Street through there?
  1. Shilpi Paul said at 9:44 pm on Thursday June 7, 2012:
    Hi xmal, Thanks for the comment! I think that greyed-out area will be turned over to the State Department. Shilpi
  1. Lea said at 9:47 pm on Thursday June 7, 2012:
    A will the historic WR main building remain? Yum, yum, the streetcars are coming back! I'm old enough to remember the originals (especially the 14th Street line) and still young enough to climb on board when the new ones are ready to ride. Can't wait!
  1. Matthew said at 6:32 pm on Monday June 11, 2012:
    Are any details available about the high rise being proposed for the corner of Aspen and 16th. What a darn shame. All of that green space gone, and a building and traffic right across Sherrill Drive, which is a nice green entrance to Rock Creek Park. How many stories will that building have? As if there aren't enough highrise apartment buildings just down 16th at Rittenhouse, Sheridan, Somerset, Tuckerman, and Luzon. Goodie. More competition for parking at the single-family home I bought because of the quiet neighborhood, green space, reasonable traffic, good parking, and easy access to Rock Creek Park.

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