As the Frank D. Reeves Center, on the northwest corner of 14th Street and U Street Northwest, gets redeveloped into a mixed-use hub, it will have an important new tenant: the NAACP’s National Headquarters.
The District announced the plans in a news release Monday.
Currently in Baltimore, the NAACP has signed a letter of intent with D.C. to move its offices as soon as space in the redeveloped Reeves Center is ready.
The Reeves Center of Municipal Affairs is scheduled to undergo a redevelopment in the near future. The city’s announcement noted that it will ask firms for proposals to include a transit hub, affordable housing and “neighborhood-serving amenities” at some point this year.
In the announcement, Mayor Muriel Bowser called the intersection “iconic and culturally significant” with “deep connections to the NAACP.”
“As we continue fighting for change and working to build a more fair and just nation, we look forward to welcoming this iconic civil rights organization to Washington, D.C.,” Bowser said.
Derrick Johnson, the NAACP’s President and CEO, emphasized that the organization will better be able to engage in and influence change in D.C. than in Baltimore.
“As we have witnessed over the last month, our country is on the cusp of real change that is long overdue,” he said in a statement. “A new home in Washington will allow us to not only fully participate in the growth of this great city, but to also amplify the voices of the Black people as we fight for the crucial policy changes and economic empowerment needed in communities across the country.”
John Falcicchio, D.C.’s acting deputy mayor for planning and economic development, stressed the value of having the NAACP as a partner in guiding the development of the Reeves Center, which opened in 1986.
Franklin D. Reeves was a lawyer and Civil Rights activist who worked with the NAACP and shaped the Brown v. Board of Education case that made segregated schools unconstitutional.