Long-closed Army medical center to become new DC community

WASHINGTON — It’s been nearly six years since doctors, nurses, therapists and many others served the medical needs of active and retired military men and women at Walter Reed Army Medical Center.

Now, the complex in Northwest D.C. is due to live again — as a new neighborhood that will be home to thousands of people, businesses, schools, community venues, parkland and a hotel.

“This project represents an incredible investment,” said D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser at the groundbreaking ceremony for what will be known as The Parks at Walter Reed.

According to the developers, the finished project will include:

  • More than 2,100 housing units, including rental and for-sale — both market rate and affordable units set aside for low-income families, veterans and seniors;
  • Retail space, to be anchored by a full-service grocery store;
  • Office space;
  • A 200-room hotel and conference center;
  • Arts and cultural spaces;
  • Medical facilities to be operated by Howard University Hospital;
  • New campuses for District of Columbia International School and Latin American Montessori Bilingual Public Charter School;
  • Nearly 20 acres of open space, parks and plazas.

“We have charted a course that will meet the needs of residents and businesses for many years to come,” said Ward 4 Councilman Brandon Todd.

A rendering of Aspen Arts Park, a community center inside The Parks at Walter Reed. (Courtesy Walter Reed Army Medical Center Local Redevelopment Authority)

Bowser, Todd and many other city and community officials joined top executives from the three development companies that have formed a partnership to build The Parks over the next 10 to 15 years.

But getting to this day was no overnight feat.

“This groundbreaking has been almost 12 years in the making,” said Vicki Davis, managing partner of Urban Atlantic, which joined on about four years ago.

“Before that, it was really an initiative of the community and the city,” said Davis.

Urban Atlantic has joined Hines, Triden Development Group and Eagle Bank in the task for renovating some of the most historic buildings on the Walter Reed campus, demolishing others and providing the entire 66 acres with state-of-the-art infrastructure.

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