The District government has received many proposals from government agencies and non-profits for redeveloping 62.5 acres of the 113-acre Walter Reed campus in northern DC.

In 2005, the Pentagon decided to relocate the Walter Reed Army Medical Center to the campus of the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda.  Last year, the State Department selected 18 acres on the west side of the campus to host foreign embassies, much like the former National Bureau of Standards campus in Van Ness.

The General Services Administration (GSA), which manages much of the Federal Government’s office real estate, chose to keep 32.5 acres on the northeast corner of the site.  The remaining 62.5 acres will go to the District for certain acceptable uses.

One would expect DC to auction the site to the highest private bidder, but the federal base closure process requires proposals from government agencies or non-profits.  The “public benefit conveyance” (PBC) requires using the land for homeless assistance, parks, recreation, wildlife conservation, lighthouses, historic monuments, education, public health, jails, law enforcement facilities, HUD self-help programs, airports, seaports, veterans cemeteries, or emergency management facilities, among other uses.

In April, the District selected Perkins + Will as the master planner of the city’s allotment.  The Deputy Mayor for Planning & Economic Development has posted all the proposals online.

More than half of the applicants propose a combination of affordable, workforce, senior and rehabilitative housing.  Five applicants propose public charter schools and Howard University proposes relocating its medical schools and hospital from their current campus.  DC Fire and EMS proposes to relocate Engine 22 to the site while DDOT proposes testing highway materials.  Even WMATA proposes a building a new bus garage on part of the site.

Social Services:

  • Help USA: 75 units of permanent supportive housing for chronically homeless veterans
  • So Others Might Eat: 277 units of rental housing for the chronically homeless, the elderly, the mentally ill, veterans, and others requiring rehabilitation
  • Transitional Housing Corporation: 120 units of mixed-income affordable and workforce housing, 110-120 units of affordable housing for the elderly, 3500-4000 sq. ft. of office space for the program
  • Zenith Community Arts Foundation: housing for 20 artists over age 50, an art gallery, art classrooms, parks
  • Concerned Citizens: housing for seniors
  • Manna, Inc.: 30 units of affordable and workforce housing
  • DC Dept. of Housing and Community Development & DC Dept. of Mental Health: Artist housing, homeless housing, student housing, Section 8 housing, market-rate rental housing, first-time homes, and senior housing
  • Veterans and Military Family Life Progress: two-year transitional housing for veterans
  • DC Dept. of Human Services: family shelter and permanent supportive housing
  • Urban Matters/ Emory Beacon of Light: 146 units of permanent supportive housing for veterans, the chronically homeless and families and 209 units of workforce housing
  • Veterans and Military Family Life Progress: (unknown)
  • Ayeni International Inc.: job training and emergency, transitional, and permanent housing for homeless and low-income families.

Public Services:

  • DC Fire and EMS: Relocating Engine 22 and building a community service unit.
  • DDOT: Materials testing and research laboratory
  • WMATA: garage for 100 - 250 buses

Education and Health:

  • Building Hope: Charter school incubator facilities.
  • Center City Public Charter Schools: New public charter school teaching pre-K through 8th grade
  • Friendship Public Charter Schools: New public charter school teaching pre-K through 12th grade; 1,125 students, IB program.
  • Latin America Montessori Bilingual: New public charter school teaching pre-K through 6th grade; 200 students.
  • Washington Yu Ying Public Charter School: Relocation of existing school, expansion to teach pre-K through 12th grade; IB program.
  • T & T Healthcare -(unknown)
  • Howard University (and Howard University Hospital) - relocation of Howard University’s existing hospital and medical schools.

The deputy mayor’s office will soon determine which applicants are qualified to continue and, over the coming months, will award the site to one or several of the applicants. Since many of the applicants do not propose using the entire site and since the city has hired a planning firm for the site, it seems highly likely that Walter Reed will host several of these projects together.

What would you like to see at Walter Reed?