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CM Todd: “The redevelopment of Walter Reed is undoubtedly the greatest economic development opportunity the District of Columbia will ever see”

by Prince Of Petworth October 27, 2016 at 2:45 pm 28 Comments

Rendering via Walter Reed Local Redevelopment Authority

But will there be a Wegmans?!?!

From a press release (yesterday):

“Today, Mayor Muriel Bowser was joined by Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton, Ward 4 Councilmember Brandon Todd, Assistant Secretary of the Army Katherine Hammack, and Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development Brian Kenner for a ceremony recognizing the transfer of the Walter Reed Campus to the District Government.

“The wait is over and a new beginning is in sight at Walter Reed,” said Mayor Bowser. “Today marks an important milestone for Ward 4 and for residents across all eight wards. The Walter Reed Campus is one of the most important development projects in the District – it will bring jobs, affordable housing, economic opportunity and pathways to the middle class for thousands of residents.”

The Walter Reed development project is the result of a successful community-driven process led by then-Councilmember Bowser and now by Mayor Bowser. The District and its partners convened over 100 public meetings throughout the planning process, which began in 2009; a strong example of what can be accomplished when residents have a voice in shaping the future of their neighborhoods. In meeting the local and federal requirements necessary to acquire the Walter Reed site, the District underwent an extensive planning process, steeped in community engagement and resulting in the development of two Council-approved plans. The WRAMC Base Reuse Plan established the framework for mixed use development, and the WRAMC Small Area Plan provided land use and design guidance and a transportation analysis – all of which guided the zoning process.

Earlier this year, Mayor Bowser signed the Walter Reed Development Omnibus Act of 2015, which authorized the District to acquire 66 acres of the 110-acre Walter Reed Campus from the U.S. Army. Development of the catalytic project will create over three million square feet of residential, office, and retail space and bring nearly 5,000 jobs to Washington, D.C. Under the terms of the agreement, the District will pay about $22 million for the property.

“Walter Reed is a clear example of this Administration’s commitment to moving major projects forward in the District,” said Deputy Mayor Brian Kenner. “Our goal is to deliver a transformative project that meets and exceeds the expectations of the community, and to make Walter Reed a national model for job creation and urban development.”

Today’s ceremony follows recent activity at the Walter Reed Campus led by the Bowser Administration. Last month, Mayor Bowser announced that the District and U.S. Army came to terms on a license agreement that will expedite construction of the District of Columbia International School (DCI) at the campus, ensuring 775 students will have a facility by the 2017 school year. And last year, Mayor Bowser broke ground on Engine Company 22, a new $12 million state-of-the-art fire station that is part of the Walter Reed Campus development project. Soon after the transfer, construction will begin on one of the largest development projects in the region.

“Today begins a new chapter for Ward 4 marked with much-needed community amenities and housing,” said Congresswoman Norton. “As the federal base closing process began in 2005, we saw Walter Reed as a prize Ward 4 and D.C. had to have. Our main competitors for these 66 acres were federal agencies, but in the end the U.S. Army and GSA agreed with us that the transfer to D.C. was the best fit.”

“The redevelopment of Walter Reed is undoubtedly the greatest economic development opportunity the District of Columbia will ever see,” said Councilmember Todd. “It presents an incredible opportunity for Ward 4 and our City. It will enhance the quality of life for our residents and businesses, and provide growth opportunities for our most Northern neighborhoods.”

“The list of memorable individuals who spent their last days at Walter Reed Army Medical Center is synonymous with American history itself: Dwight Eisenhower, John Pershing, Douglas MacArthur, John Foster Dulles, Creighton Abrams, Everett Dirksen, Leslie Groves.  The transfer of 66.25 acres from the Army to the District of Columbia, which we are recognizing today, will mark a new chapter in the storied history of this land. That chapter is about economic rebirth and revitalization,” said Assistant Secretary Hammack.

The Walter Reed development project is part of Mayor Bowser’s continued commitment to providing economic opportunities for residents across all 8 Wards and getting more residents on pathways to the middle class.”

  • Anonymous

    Can I please have a safe space where you don’t rub in the lack of a Wegmans deal? I’m still quite upset about that.

    • NYgirl

      I’m not convinced Wegman’s is totally dead. The most recent quote from Wegman’s was ““We have been unable to reach an agreement on economic terms or on an acceptable development plan. We are doubtful that a deal will be struck.” which doesn’t sound great.

      However, what else is the developer (Hines) going to put there?

      In terms of grocery stores, within 2 miles there are already 2 Safeways, 2 Giants, a Whole Foods and a (to be built) Harris Teeter. So I don’t see that space being attractive for any of those chains. The space is too big for a Trader Joe’s.

      What else could go there? There is already a Walmart a mile away. Maybe Target? What else?

      Wegman’s has a specific store space/parking model that greatly limits where they could put a store in DC. I think Walter Reed is by far the most appealing space for them (otherwise I think they are looking at deep NE or deep SE in order to have the parking requirements).

      So while I don’t doubt the negotiations haven’t been fruitful, my speculation is that there is still hope.

      Anyway, as a NY native, I hope the status changes!

      • FoggyBottom

        As a former Rochesterian, I have longed for a Wegmans to come to this area without a Virginia address attached to it. It may never come to pass I’m afraid.

        • Anon X

          You mean, besides the one in Maryland?

  • logandude

    Perhaps even more concerning: the streetcar in previous renderings appears to have been replaced by a scooter.

  • Anonymous

    Will it break ground before McMillan? McMillan is 1/3 the size of this.
    My wife and I came really close to purchasing in Shepherd Park but it was just a little to suburban. This development is a game changer for that corridor.

    • Anonymous


    • Anon

      The scooter will carry more people

      • textdoc


    • NH Ave Hiker

      I like the suburban feel there.

    • stacksp

      First time I’ve heard that Shepherd Park was too suburban. I guess if it doesn’t have random loiterers, drunks and shootings it isn’t city enough for some.

      • Anonymous

        Yes I long for “random loiterers, drunks and shootings” or maybe on the 16th street (SW) end of Shepherd Park there are no stores or restaurants of any kind and it is long walk to the Metro (though the S bus is reliable.) That is why the Walter Reed development is a big deal because it will bring the amenities to an already nice neighborhood. Crestwood is similar to Shepherd Park but closer to Metro, restaurants etc. so less need to drive and less ‘suburban’ which apparently was taken as put down.

        • stacksp

          I’m in interested in the development as well for the same reason as a potential relocation area but I wouldn’t mind one of those detached homes on 16th in Shepherd park

    • On Capital Heels

      It will be a game changer for sure, and I’m so happy that my neck of the woods is finally going to see some economic progress and development. I hope that this will benefit the current residents of this wonderful area first, and not simply all the newcomers who will begin flocking here.

  • Anonymous

    Save Walter Reed Park!

    • Amazing!!!!!

    • Bloomingdale Resident

      It was never a park!

      (But McMillan was a park.)

      • Anon

        And we were once ruled by the Brits!

    • JS

      They better not build on historic Walter Reed Plaza.

  • Ashy Oldlady

    If we can’t get a Wegman’s, maybe we can get a really big gay bar that caters to straight women.

    • Anonymous

      To be fair, that’s probably a big driver for economic development than the streetcar. Unless, it IS the streetcar!

    • Planner

      And Trump supporters!

  • Anonymous

    Redeveloping RFK and its surrounding parking lots would easily be “the greatest economic development opportunity the District of Columbia will ever see”.

    • ET

      Given the restrictions currently on the space I don’t know about that.

    • rubydogdc

      They are waiting for the Redskins to decide where the next stadium is going. I don’t think they re-develop the RFK area into anything other than a Redskins stadium as long as that is still a possibility

  • NH Ave Hiker

    Hopefully some sort of battlefield remembrance? Maybe at least a plaque?

  • stacksp

    So when are they breaking ground?

  • CPinDC

    What’s a license agreement? Why was this agreement signed AFTER a developer was chosen? Why is DC purchasing for $22M 66 acres rather 110 acres? Am I misremembering that Eleanor Holmes Norton initially wanted a federal office (GSA) on this property?


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