Ground Broken at The Parks at Walter Reed (phased over a 10-15 year period)

by Prince Of Petworth April 24, 2017 at 1:45 pm 22 Comments

Rendering via Walter Reed Local Redevelopment Authority

From the Mayor’s Office:

“Today, Mayor Bowser broke ground on The Parks at Walter Reed, a redevelopment project that will create 3.1 million square-feet of residential, office, and retail space in Ward 4. The project will also create 6,000 jobs, 2,100 units of housing, 432 of which will be affordable, and nearly one billion dollars in tax-generated revenue over 30 years. The Mayor was joined at today’s groundbreaking by Ward 4 Councilmember Brandon Todd, Ward 5 Councilmember Kenyan McDuffie, and representatives from the master development team Hines, Urban Atlantic, and Triden.

“In Washington, DC, we value inclusive prosperity, and through transformative development projects like this one, we can bring jobs, affordable housing, and economic opportunity to thousands of District residents,” said Mayor Bowser. “This effort has been years in the making, and now the future is bright for Walter Reed, Ward 4, and the entire community.”

This groundbreaking makes way for the first phase of infrastructure improvements, including: demolition of Building 2, the 1970s era hospital, which will set the stage for the development of a new town center; preservation of historic buildings; development of a new water main and other utility services; and landscape improvements.

“We are excited to break ground on Walter Reed because it means more local job opportunities and amenities at this catalytic development. Walter Reed is another positive signal of our growing economy and our emergence as a national leader in affordable housing, retail, hospitality and tourism,” said Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development Brian Kenner.

The Parks at Walter Reed will be phased over a 10-15 year period and will include:

· more than 2,100 units of rental and for-sale housing, including 432 affordable units of affordable housing;

· 150,000 – 250,000 square-feet of grocery-anchored retail;

· 185,000 square-feet of office space;

· a 200-key hotel and conference center;

· 30,000 square-feet of arts and cultural space;

· 116,000 square-feet of ambulatory medical care provided by Howard University Hospital;

· the District of Columbia International School (middle-high school) and the Latin American Montessori Bilingual School (elementary school); and

· nearly 20 acres of open space, community parks, and plazas.

“Walter Reed represents the single greatest economic development opportunity that Ward 4 and the District of Columbia will see for generations,” said Ward 4 Councilmember Brandon Todd. “Today’s groundbreaking represents a critical step forward in the redevelopment of Walter Reed, which will bring significant investment, jobs, and opportunity to Upper Northwest DC and the District as a whole.”

“The groundbreaking of The Parks at Walter Reed is an exciting day for residents across the District of Columbia. The jobs, affordable housing, retail, nearly 20 acres of parks, and other community amenities that will accompany the project will enhance residents’ qualities of life and strengthen our local economy. As chairperson of the Committee on Business and Economic Development, this project supports the goal of making District neighborhoods thriving areas for residents to live, work, and play,” said Ward 5 Councilmember Kenyan McDuffie and Chair of the Council’s Business and Economic Development Committee.

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.

In October, the U.S. Army and the Mayor held a ceremonial signing ceremony recognizing the official transfer of the land to the District. This followed the signing of the Walter Reed Development Omnibus Act of 2016, which authorized the District to acquire 66 acres of the former Walter Reed campus from the Army and begin development of a vibrant new mixed-use community.

The DC International School, a non-profit organization selected by the District to occupy space at the project, has already started renovation of one of the historic buildings for their new school. The school, which serves over 700 students, is scheduled to open for the 2017-2018 school year. Additionally, the new Fire and Emergency Medical Services (FEMS) Engine Company 22, also located on the Walter Reed campus, is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2017. The Bowser Administration broke ground on this new $12 million state-of-the-art fire station in 2015.”

  • Anonthony

    It’ll be nice if you’re able to both live and work there, but I think it’s far enough from the Metro that most people will end up driving there.

    • tacopuss

      It’s smack between two major bus routes – the S lines on 16th St and the 70 lines on Georgia. There’s plenty of transit options.

    • Reed_Walter

      I’ve heard this argument before and it is a fallacy.

      It’s the same distance walking from the Takoma metro to the development site as it is to walk from the metro to 18th St in Adams Morgan.

      • Anon

        Many people drive to Adams Morgan.

        • Vonnie

          Where do the park in Adams Morgan

        • Reed_Walter

          Maybe people from Maryland and Virginia. I’ve lived in this area for 10+ years, have a car and literally NEVER driven to Adams Morgan.

          • Anon

            You got it – mostly MD/VA visitors. But that doesn’t negate the fact that a 15 minute walk would dissuade many from taking the metro to this site.

          • Reed_Walter

            Unless you are walking to shop (grocery or Target-ish), a 15 minute walk is NOTHING for city dwellers. Maybe that’s unappealing to people from MD and VA, but honestly people from VA aren’t coming to Walter Reed anyway and you can walk across the border from Silver Spring (or take the 70 or S2/4 buses).

          • Brightwood

            15 minutes is a generous estimate really. A fast walker could do it in 15 minutes, but this is still nearly a mile from the Takoma station. That said, if you’re living this far up Georgia Avenue, I imagine you’re not necessarily a downtown worker who needs to take a bus every day from there. But if you are, that’s a 50 minute commute each way.

          • HaileUnlikely

            Speaking for myself, as somebody who has lived within one mile of this site for 13 years (i.e., a “city-dweller” who has always lived in this much less dense part of the city), having not owned a car since the late 1990’s and not using uber/lyft more than once or twice a month, I disagree that a 15 minute walk is “nothing.” I’ll happily walk 15 minutes from my house to my destination (i.e., that’s the entirety of the trip), and my walk from my house to the metro is about 15 minutes (less for me because I walk fast, but Google maps would call it a 15-minute walk…), but I don’t go many places where I have to walk from my home to transit, and then ride transit somewhere, and then walk 15 more minutes from the transit stop to my destination, except for rare trips to “high-value” locations (e.g., friend has a concert on H street – PITA to get there but I’ll suck it up). 15 minutes strikes me as an off-puttingly long walk from transit to a destination, though it’s possible I’d be less averse to it if I didn’t also have a 15-minute walk on the home-to-transit end as well. This is not to diss the site (I live right near Walter Reed and am really excited about it!), but even as a guy who occasionally commutes from Walter Reed to Metro Center on foot, I don’t foresee large numbers of people taking the metro to Takoma and then walking to Walter Reed from there. Sure, some will, but the vast majority will either walk there from their nearby home, take the bus if they live along one of the major north-south corridors, drive, or else just not go.

          • HaileUnlikely

            Also note that this property is huge. It is about a 15 minute walk to the nearest entrance to the whole property (Georgia & Butternut), but depending where in the whole complex you’re going, that might only be half way there.

          • textdoc

            “a 15 minute walk is NOTHING for city dwellers” — Disagreed. it depends partly on the nature of the walk, but I think people would need to be pretty motivated to Metro to Takoma and then walk 15 minutes to Walter Reed.
            As usual, HaileUnlikely speaks sense on these matters.

          • alurin

            It’s not a mile from Takoma Station. It’s more like half a mile. I live two blocks away from the Georgia & butternut entrance. I can be on the platform at Takoma in under 15 minutes. Plus the 52 bus will take you right there.
            That said, I don’t think it’s trying to be a regional destination. It will hopefully make the neighborhood substantially more vibrant.

          • Duponter

            I think even if only a ten minute walk, Haile’s point stands. And that’s just to get to the spot on GA Avenue where Walter Reed starts. If you have to walk even farther once inside the site, it could easily be a mile and more than 15 minutes. I can’t imagine who would come there without driving or taking the bus. But I think the bigger point is whether living there is less desirable because you’re more than 15 minutes walk to Metro. The market will probably work that out. I think I’d rather hop on the bus right there than walk to Takoma to get downtown. But at least you have the option if you want it. I still think most people who will come there to shop or who will live there will have cars and will drive. I also think it’ll be appealing to people who do not work downtown too.

  • Ben

    Shouldn’t your url be “ground-broken-at-the-parks-at-wegmans-walter-reed-phased-over-a-10-15-year-period”?

  • textdoc

    “116,000 square-feet of ambulatory medical care provided by Howard University Hospital” — Hasn’t Howard University Hospital been having serious problems?

    • textdoc
    • FoggyBottom

      Howard University Hospital has been a serious drag on the university’s finances for years now to the tune of tens of millions of dollars. While they seem to have stemmed the tide a bit, they are still losing millions of dollars a year. Howard University Hospital is generally considered, both financially and based on performance, to be the worst hospital in the district (far below Medstar’s hospitals, GW, Hopkins’ Sibley. This area needs more hospital access, though without the financial backing of a larger hospital group, this could seriously impact Howard University even more (credit already below investment grade)

      • AB

        Yeah, if you’re headed there to a hospital from downtown, you might as well stop at Washington hospital center or drive 10 more minutes to Holy Cross in Silver Spring…


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