Grant Program Encourages Small Businesses At DC’s Parks at Walter Reed

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Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser has introduced a new grant program to support and attract new local and minority-owned retail businesses at The Parks at Walter Reed, a 66-acre development on the former Walter Reed Army Medical Center.

When complete, the development — from developers Hines, Urban Atlantic and Triden Development — will consist of 2,099 housing units, nearly 220,000 square feet of retail, more than 300,000 square feet of office space, a 200-key hotel and conference center, and 30,000 square feet of creative and arts uses. The first phases of the development were delivered in 2023. 

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Up to $500,000 has been allocated for the grant program. Grant funds can be used for design and construction costs, to acquire equipment, or to preserve historic spaces while expanding them for retail use. 

“Our vision for the Parks at Walter Reed is a vibrant, amenity-rich community that creates opportunities for District residents and businesses,” Bowser said during an announcement about the program. “This whole process of redeveloping the Walter Reed campus has been driven by the community, and with these grants we have another way of bringing the local business community into the process and the prosperity that we are creating here.” 

The program was launched in coordination with the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development (DMPED).

“We are excited to see the Walter Reed campus continue to grow and thrive, and we want local businesses to be part of that success,” Nina Albert, deputy mayor for planning and economic development, said in a prepared statement. “This grant is one way Mayor Bowser and DMPED are supporting our goal in the Comeback Plan of increasing the share of minority-owned employer businesses here in D.C.” 

The program is open to businesses that have signed leases, or are in negotiations to sign leases, at Walter Reed. A panel will review the grant applications, which are being accepted through March 8. 

Last year, The Parks at Walter Reed saw the openings of three residential buildings, a Whole Foods, the Marketplace Plaza, Chase Bank, and Jinya Ramen Bar, the area’s first sit-down restaurant. 

Keith Loria can be reached at Kloria@commercialobserver.com.