Redevelopment of DC’s Armed Forces Retirement Campus Set in Motion

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The National Capital Planning Commission, DC Office of Planning and the Armed Forces Retirement Home have agreed on how the planned redevelopment of an 80-acre portion of the AFRH’s campus in Northwest D.C. should proceed.

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The officials signed a memorandum of understanding, according to the agencies involved.

“This MOU establishes a shared understanding of the review and development process for a key site in the District in alignment with the Mayor’s Comprehensive Plan proposals,” Andrew Trueblood, DCOP’s director, said in a release. “Zoning for this site, paired with ongoing planning for a coordinated vision for the broader North Capitol Crossroads area, will help us achieve citywide policy priorities for mixed-income housing production, expanding economic development opportunities, and true multi-modal mobility.”

Currently, the AFRH’s 272-acre campus consists of more than 100 buildings and ancillary structures, providing both residences and related services for nearly 600 eligible retired and former members of the United States Armed Forces. The campus dates back to 1852. 

Last year, AFRH selected Madison Marquette and Urban Atlantic to serve as the master developer for the site, proposing 4.3 million square feet of new development and an adaptive reuse plan for the historic buildings.

The plan included 2.3 million square feet of residential development, 1.2 million square feet of office space, 290,000 square feet of medical space, 214,000 square feet of retail space and 214,000 square feet of assisted living space. Additionally, the proposal called for a 126,000-square-foot hotel and more than 20 acres of publicly-accessible green space. 

An updated plan is expected to be handed in this fall for approval by the NCPC. AFRH hopes to complete the zoning process outlined in the MOU and negotiations with the selected development team on a long-term ground lease in 2021. 

“We are excited to take this next step forward in bringing this long-anticipated project to fruition,” James M. Branham, AFRH’s chief operating officer, said. “More than helping the Home financially, the development will provide many new amenities that our residents and neighbors will be able to enjoy, as well as expand housing, jobs and revenues throughout our community.”