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As plans for the McMillan sand filtration site have sat on the shelf, and a new battery of studies gets underway, the Vision McMillan development team has quietly hired a new master planner to knit the vast site together. Ehrenkrantz, Eckstut and Kuhn, an unspellable architecture firm based out of New York with offices in D.C., will also serve as the primary interface with the community. The guy in charge, Matthew Bell, has done several projects in the area: master plans for George Washington University and the Armed Forces Retirement Home, as well as the just-opened Deanwood Community Center and Library.
I say “quietly” because Jair Lynch and EYA, the two major players in the deal, have not returned repeated calls for comment. A representative of the Lessard Group, the architectural firm that’s been with the project from the beginning, says that they would continue to be involved on the residential elements of the development, and that even more firms may be brought on to design other parts of the 25-acre site. It’s unclear at this point how much money the city will be kicking in to help pay the bills.