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On Tuesday morning, the D.C. Council unanimously approved a bill that, once finalized, would authorize the District to redevelop the Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Ward 4 into a mix of residential, commercial, and other spaces.
Under the legislation, D.C. would buy dozens of acres of land from the U.S. government located at 6900 Georgia Ave. NW for roughly $22.5 million, paid over two years. D.C. would then lease the property to a master developer charged with horizontally developing the site, a process that’s expected to take between 10 and 20 years. The master developer (TPWR Developer, LLC, a joint venture) would pay the District $25 million for a nearly 30-year lease, in increments.
“The bill is primarily the authorization of a land disposition,” D.C. Council Chairman Phil Mendelson explained in a statement from the dais. “In effect, the District is simply acting as a pass-through entity for the land.”
Still, the chairman noted, the bill requires the developers to enter into first-source and certified business enterprise agreements as well as to reserve 25 percent of the 2,100 anticipated residential units as affordable. In other words, 432 of the units will be priced at 30, 50, and 80 percent of area median income, which in 2015 was almost $110,000 in D.C.
Once the land has been cleared and its infrastructure built, the master developer would in turn apportion the site to vertical developers that would construct buildings and other improvements. The office of the deputy mayor for planning and economic development would oversee this process. D.C. would receive one percent of the parcels’ gross sales price in excess of $35 million as an administrative fee to cover DMPED’s costs, which is project’s local authority.
The redevelopment at Walter Reed will help grow the economy in #Ward4, and its success will ripple across the District as a whole.
— Brandon T. Todd (@CMBrandonTodd) February 16, 2016
A Walter Reed reinvestment fund established by the bill would finance construction, demolition, landscaping, and marketing. On top of housing and retail, the site would include office, hospitality, non-profit, arts, and green spaces.
The master-development team, per the Washington Business Journal and the Committee of the Whole’s report on the Walter Reed plan, consists of Hines Interests LP, Urban Atlantic, and Triden. The portion is more than 66 acres-large.
Photo by Darrow Montgomery; screenshots via Committee of the Whole report