The Walter Reed Community Advisory Committee held its October meeting on Monday night at the DC International School on Aspen Street NW. The development team has shared many of the items on the meeting’s agenda at several recent Advisory Neighborhood Commission meetings. This update will convey the highlights of Monday’s meeting.
The Walter Reed campus welcomed its first new residents last week. A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held for the south portion of Abrams Hall which hosts 77 units of affordable veterans housing.
ICYMI: Yesterday, as part of DC Housing Week, we celebrated the opening of the @HelpUSA veterans housing development. This new, 100% affordable community delivers 77 units of permanent housing for veterans who were previously homeless.#36000by2025 pic.twitter.com/HhY2l5iYMS
— Mayor Muriel Bowser (@MayorBowser) October 17, 2019
The veterans will soon be join by new neighbors – 80 units of affordable senior housing will open in December.
Construction of Parcel VU at the corner of Georgia and Aspen has been making steady progress. This site will host “The Vale” ( 301 apartments & 19,000 sf of retail) and “The Brooks” (89 condominiums). As any site visitor could see, excavation of the area is now complete. Concrete pouring to build the foundations, parking garage and podium will continue through January. Delivery of the buildings is expected in the Fall of 2020.
Future of Bus Route Through Campus
There was a lengthy discussion about mapping the bus route for the campus. Challenges include continuing to provide robust service for the apartment buildings on the 14th Street corridor, serving the large campus itself and judging the ability of buses to climb the steep hill on Aspen Street NW.
This map shows the current configuration of the 54 bus, which runs between the Takoma Metro station and Columbia Heights. Ideas for updating the route from the audience and the Committee included shifting the route to Main Drive through the campus from Aspen Street, but still serving the apartments at the head of 14th street. The idea of shuttle between Walter Reed and the Takoma Metro was also raised.
Ultimately, WMATA will make the decision about the bus route. Councilmember Todd’s Office has already begun discussions with the agency about the topic.
Arts Park & Playground Update
We’ve covered the development team’s plans for an Arts Park and Playground in previous blog posts. Due to the historic protections of the site, even these changes need to go before the city’s Historic Preservation Review Board. The Committee voted to pass two resolutions supporting the preliminary designs for both projects.
This blog post also appears on LoveLivingDC.com