On Monday evening, the Walter Reed Community Advisory Committee met at Shepherd Elementary school. The audience was engaged and eager to hear updates on the massive development project that is certain to transform the surrounding neighborhoods.
What is the Walter Reed Community Advisory Committee?
The Community Advisory Committee (CAC) was created by the Walter Reed Army Medical Center Community Advisory Committee Amendment Act of 2013. The CAC provides input on a range of topics relating to the implementation of the project, such as construction concerns, traffic, connecting residents with employment and business opportunities and a host of other issues. The members include:
- Randall Clarke, Shepherd Park neighbor and representative for Deputy Mayor for Planning & Economic Development Brian Kenner
- Sherryl Newman, representative for Ward 4 Council Member Brandon Todd
- Stephen Whatley, representative for ANC 4A
- Tanya Topolewski, representative for ANC 4B
- Margaret Singleton, representative for the Brightwood neighborhood
- Leila Batties, representative for Shepherd Park neighborhood
- Alice Giancola, representative for the Takoma neighborhood
- Caroline Kenney, representative for Hines | Urban-Atlantic | Triden, the project Master Developer Representative
Parcel WXY Townhome Update
Managing Directory Vicky Davis reprised her presentation from the recent ANC 4A meeting to share information about the new proposed townhouse project. The plan called for 54 to 60 townhomes to be built along Aspen Street NW. The total number of units varies and will depend on the mix of 16-foot wide and 20-foot wide homes built.
The three-level townhomes would be built on slab, meaning there will be no basements. However, each home would have a rooftop deck featuring a terrace that could provide extra living or recreational space.
The target price for these homes ranges from $700,000 to $1 million. The developer is voluntarily making a portion of these home affordable for families at 80% of Area Median Income, which equates to $88,240 for a family of four.
The Walter Reed Community Advisory Committee voted to support the townhouse project.
Building 38 Demolition Update
Two months ago, the developer proposed the demolition of three buildings on the site. The purpose would be to add integral infrastructure elements in their place, including a newly constructed 12th St and to allow for the widening of Aspen Street NW. Though small and individually unremarkable, the buildings are protected because of the historic designation for the entire campus. Neighbors along Aspen Street were vehemently opposed to the demolition, however. They expressed themselves very vocally at two consecutive ANC 4A meetings, which compelled that Advisory Neighborhood Commission to oppose the work.
At Monday’s meeting, the developer conceded the point. Development principal Caroline Kenney announced that Hines | Urban-Atlantic | Triden would withdraw its proposal to demolish the two sheds along Aspen Street (buildings 31 and 84). Instead, it would work with the DC Department of Transportation on a compromise plan to widen Aspen Street.
That left the less controversial building 38 still standing along Dahlia Street, which will be a main retail entrance in the northern portion of the campus. The developer requested support to demolish this single building. They displayed a series of exhibits that were designed to show how inappropriate the existing, two-story building would look when juxtaposed with future mixed-use buildings on that block.
After some consideration, the Walter Reed Community Advisory Committee voted to support the demolition of Building 38. ANC 4A representative Stephen Whatley voted against the measure to remain in sync with his Commission’s vote on the matter.
Both decisions now move to the city’s Historic Preservation Review Board.
The master developer currently sponsors a Fitness in the Parks series on Tuesday evenings at 6:30 pm. Word on the street is that the trainers are excellent and very accommodating for some of us less active folks. Come out and join the team every Tuesday through September.
A new upcoming series will be Jazz In The Parks, a free summer jazz concert on Walter Reed’s Great Lawn. The series will launch on July 21st from 4 pm to 7 pm. All neighbors and friends are invited to attend…bring your own lawn chairs or picnic blankets! Use the Butternut Street NW entrance.
The development team of Parks at Historic Walter Reed intends to create a world-class community. To help achieve that goal, they conducted a survey of recreation options that the community would like to see as the beautiful open spaces of the campus are reactivated. Options included:
- Outdoor movie screenings
- Seasonal Outdoor Ice Rink
- Farmer’s Markets
- Pop-up Mini-golf
- Kids programming
- Holiday Celebrations
It is not too late to make your voice heard. Reach out to the developer at @TheParksDC .