The District has sold a 25-acre plot of land in Northwest for $17.3 million.
The McMillan Sand Filtration site will now be a mixed use development with promises of affordable housing, according to the city. The McMillan development, at North Capitol Street and Michigan Avenue Northwest in Ward 5, will eventually contain 146 townhouses and more than 450 apartments.
John Falcicchio, Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development, said the new development adds to Mayor Muriel Bowser’s goal of creating 36,000 new homes by 2025.
“This actually adds homeownership opportunities at an affordable level, and it also adds over 100 affordable rental units,” said Falcicchio. “What McMillan allows us to do is create another set of new homes, and another set of new affordable homes in a high opportunity neighborhood with great access to transit, with great access to jobs.”
Though the city has sold the property to private area estate developer Vision McMillan Partners, it will still invest around $100 million into the project.
“What we’re really excited about is to also have community amenities that include an 8-acre park, and a 17,000 square foot community center with a pool,” Falcicchio told WTOP. “It’s a $100 million investment in public infrastructure and community amenities.”
The development will also feature space for medical facilities. Negotiations are underway with Children’s National to occupy the space just across the intersection from its main campus.
The McMillan Sand Filtration Plant was a large-scale water purification facility throughout the early 20th century. It was closed in 1986.
Large sand silos still sit in rows every few hundred yards on the property. Falcicchio told WTOP many of those will likely be preserved: “Those silos are going to be activated as some cool retail space … this is an opportunity for us to preserve that history, and make it part of the site’s future.”
The acreage was mired in legal battles for years. The D.C. Court of Appeals ruled in favor of the city last year in a lawsuit over demolition permits. It was filed by a neighborhood group, Friends of McMillan Park, which wanted to see the lot turned into green space.
“There was a lot of twists and turns if you could think back to where you were in 1986, when the District first purchased this land for redevelopment, and how many different turns and twists this story took,” said Falcicchio. “It really is amazing that we’ve gotten to this point.”