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“The first meaningful dust is flying at Walter Reed”

by Prince Of Petworth February 10, 2016 at 3:55 pm 38 Comments


“Dear PoPville,

The first meaningful dust is flying at Walter Reed. The building at Butternut and Georgia (across Georgia from the main campus) is nearly demolished. This will be a new fire station.

Just up the street (Georgia and Elder-Fern), several vacant properties have been razed. Not sure what’s going in there. I don’t think this is part of the Walter Reed plan. My guess is condos. There have been several low- and mid-rise new construction and renovations in that immediate area.”


  • NH Ave Hiker

    I wish the city/NPS had done something about preserving part of the Walter Reed space as a historic battlefield. Part of the Battle of Fort Stevens occurred here (the only Civil War battle fought in DC), and this was a prime opportunity to save some of that heritage.

    • Walt R. Reed

      My guess is that because the battlegrounds weren’t preserved but developed (for the hospital grounds) this wasn’t a great option. I think between Ft Stevens itself and the cemetery, there an appropriate amount of historical attention paid to this (relatively minor) battle.

      • NH Ave Hiker

        You could argue that it wasn’t a relatively minor battle, but I do believe at least some sort of signage/recognition should be done.

    • Brightwoodian

      At what point is enough a enough when it comes to historical designations. As you pointed out we already have Fort Stevens park just a few blocks away. The land set aside for the battlefield is large enough to memorialize those that fought there. We have to remember land is scarce and in high demand in DC.

      • NH Ave Hiker

        Only a small part of Fort Stevens was actually restored, and the majority of the fighting for that battle took place on what is now Walter Reed. It’s an important part of DC history, because it was the only battle fought in the city proper, and it also potentially saved the city from capture by the Confederate Army. Some of us appreciate the importance of historic preservation (even in a place where land is scarce)

        • NH Ave Hiker

          Also I wasn’t advocating the whole land being historically preserved, maybe just some of it

        • Brightwoodian

          I would argue that all of us appreciate it historical preservation to some extent. We just seem to take it to a silly extreme in DC. Best example would be the silos we are keeping in the McMillan Development.

          • Caleb

            I agree with you mostly, but not about McMillian.
            There you have actual structures that have yet to be disturbed since they were built, vs. this an actual field that was developed long ago into commercial space.

    • transplanted

      Seconding Walt. There isn’t an extant battleground to preserve, just a spot where things happened. The fact that things happened on this spot is unchanged, and I’m sure if enough people care to request it, they can throw up an informational plaque in the planned 6 acre green space that’s planned.

    • TexasPie

      This website is part of the official (as in federally sponsored) historic preservation effort for WRAMC: https://www.flickr.com/photos/wramc/albums

  • Brightwoodian

    They are building two over twos according to the link below. No idea what a two over two is but I’m guessing it is a condo.


    • textdoc

      Maybe two residential floors over two commercial floors?
      It says “Instead of a condo product, McJunkin said Elm Street and its partner, Craftmark Homes, will build sticks of modified two-over-twos.” So it sounds like it’s not condos, but I don’t know what “sticks” and “modified two-over-twos” are.

      • Petworther

        I believe this refers to shipping container buildings like the ones in Brookland.

      • jcm

        Two-over-Twos are stacked rowhouses. There’s two two-story rowhouses, one on top of the other, for a total of four stories.

      • Maddy’s Mom

        Here is the link to a PDF set of the plans for the residential project at Fern-Elder and Georgia. It’s a 60-unit development with some two-story units (“stacked townhouses” and some one-story.

        • Maddy’s Mom
          • stacksp

            Don’t see the living spaces and not sure I like the stacked townhouses for my family. I will keep searching 20012 until I find the right home.

          • HaileUnlikely

            I’ve seen some stacked townhouses that are quite nice and well laid out. I like designs in which the bottom unit has the bedrooms on the bottom floor and the top unit has the bedrooms on the upper floor; that way, nobody’s bedroom has somebody else’s house and associated noise right above or under it. My cousin owns one in San Francisco (lower unit, bedrooms below living room).

          • stacksp

            I definitely plan on checking them out either way.

  • shmoo

    I wish the properties at Georgia and elder fern were kept and updated. they were HUGE single family homes that could have had some really awesome historic preservation done to them. Oh well.

    • Walt R Reed

      Actually it was two homes and a church (and a fairly large church parking lot with a sketchy outbuilding).

      • Shmoo

        Actually, you are correct. my apologies.

  • jumpingjack

    When will they be announcing that Wegman’s will be part of the retail portion of the Walter Reed development?
    [I have no actual knowledge that this will happen, I’m just trying to will it into existence.]

    • Brightwoodian

      I’ve seen a few vans that have “Line Locators” parked just inside Walter Reed. I’m hoping that means they’ll start demoing soon.

      and Lord please bring me a Wegmans!!!!

      • Anonamom

        Last I recall, the only grocer still going after the development is Whole Foods.

        • HaileUnlikely

          You might have more recent info than I do, but at the last community advisory committee meeting that I attended (in or around November, I think; I am not on the committee but they’re open to the public and I try to attend), they mentioned that both Whole Foods and Wegmans were still interested.
          I’m still hoping the Georgia Eastern development eventually gets going. It is supposed to have a Harris Teeter. I would be very happy to have a Harris Teeter here, and I suspect we’ll be well past 2020 before the Walter Reed Wegmans/WholeFoods/WhateverGrocer opens.

          • Brightwoodian

            Have you heard anything recent about the Georgia Eastern development? Part of the existing building is still occupied. I’ve been looking for new info on this development for a while.

          • HaileUnlikely

            Last time I attended one of the Walter Reed CAC meetings (again, this was around November), the ANC for that area (Steven Whatley, I think) told me that Douglas gave a presentation to the ANC (4A) at their last meeting before that and that it’s moving forward. I don’t know any specifics though, and the timeline is obviously waaay behind relative to what was originally proposed.

          • Meh

            They are very out of Date, Wegmans is interested in the site.

        • Meh

          You are very out of Date, wegmans has been in the community recently and Hines brought on the developer Wegmans most often works with as a partner.

    • dno

      PoP just announced it via the post’s tag.

      • jumpingjack

        Ha! Nice catch!

  • On Capital Heels

    You can find comprehensive information about this redevelopment plan and its timeline (and even sign up for email updates and community advisory meeting notifications) here: http://www.walterreedlra.com

    And yes, last I heard the grocer was going to be Whole Foods and even that “wouldn’t deliver” until a few years from now. Notwithstanding some very vocal community opposition from the last meeting I attended, I think this proposal seems thoughtful and comprehensive, and will bring long overdue development to a key part of Ward 4.

    • Brightwoodian

      They never seem to update that website. Where did you hear Whole Foods? I’ve just heard Whole Foods wants to go in but I’ve heard the same about Wegmans. Also it seems silly to add another whole Foods. The one in Friendship Heights and the one in Silver Spring are both about a mile or so from there.

    • Meh

      You are very out of date with your information. Wegmans is defintely interested, and Hines brought on the developer Wegmens typically works with as a partner to develop the retail space.

  • nc3

    “We read the plans wrong and demolished that sketchy Motel 6.” -These developers in my dreams.

    • nc3

      FYI, from Trip Advisor RE that Motel 6:

      “This was very unpleasant stay, i ignore all reviews and stayed at this hotel, the room was dirt, have roaches, stinks, the sheets got cigarette burning all over them, the only thing nice is the people at reception, the staff is nice, but the room was horrible, dont ignore the reviews like me, if you can choose stay away go somewhere else.”

  • Meh

    To answer a question.
    Wegmans is still interested in the space. The retail partner Hines chose has a long history of working with Wegmans. Likewise Wegmans has been in the Takoma and Shepherd Park community recently. So the part about it just being Whole Foods who is interested is very out of date. Wegmans is looking like the most likely grocery partner. The whole story is that Wegmans was upset that their developer did not get in, but Hines has drawn them back into the project later. The people who think its just whole foods, have not been keeping up with this as it has developed.

    With that being said, this entire project, because of it’s large scale will take over a decade to complete. The Grocer is one of the first entities. It should also be noted that Harris Teeter is opening a store a few blocks north of Georgia as well on the border of Silver Spring and DC. We are likely to see a flurry of development activity and these two spots are not the only things happening. The Shepherd Park Library right now is also being rennovated. I think in the next five years the area will look dramatically different. There is a bit of retail blight in the area now, I don’t think that will last.


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