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March 17, 2011

Mayor Vincent C Grays Economic Development Agenda Gets Big Boost from Walter Reed Boundary Reconfiguration 

Mayor Vincent C. Gray’s Economic Development Agenda Gets Big Boost from Walter Reed Boundary Reconfiguration

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(Washington, DC) – Today Mayor Vincent C. Gray announced the new federal surplus boundaries for the Walter Reed site, which give a significant boost to one of his top economic development priorities. The new boundaries (map attached), were negotiated over the last few months by Eric Jenkins, the District’s Project Director, in consultation with senior officials from the U.S. Army and State Department.

Joining Mayor Gray for a celebration of the new boundaries were Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton, Councilmember Muriel Bowser, Councilmember Harry “Tommy” Thomas and Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development Victor Hoskins.

“This new boundary map greatly increases the development and job creation potential for the District by extending the District’s control of the entire Georgia Avenue frontage,” said Mayor Gray. “It will also allow for better connectivity across the site with new entrances off of 16th Street.”

“I have been working with GSA ever since this land became available to make sure that D.C. could own at least the Georgia Avenue frontage,” said Congresswoman Norton. “Now D.C. and Ward 4 will be able to build in amenities that are worthy of this community.”

“In four short years and after much negotiation, we’ve gone from having no part of the Walter Reed Medical Center Site to potentially having access to more than half of the campus and the entire Georgia Avenue frontage,” said Ward 4 Councilmember Muriel Bowser. This project will be a major economic driver that will revitalize a corridor and deliver better access to quality affordable housing, retail and green space for the residents of the District and my Ward 4 constituents.”

Deputy Mayor Victor L. Hoskins expressed excitement about what the new District footprint could mean, saying, “We look forward to reengaging the community on the planning process to get their input on the new opportunities presented with the boundary shift. We will also continue to work closely with our federal partners to comply with all BRAC (Base Realignment and Closure) requirements."

The new federal surplus designation by the Army will require the District to revise its Draft Reuse Plan and reconsider its Notice of Interest recommendations of homeless assistance providers and non-profit public benefit organizations which took place most of last year. The planning process is expected to start sometime this spring and is anticipated to last between seven to nine months.

The District began its work in this BRAC process in September of 2009 and completed a reuse plan and the federally required recommendations for homeless and public uses in October of 2010. Prior to the revision of the boundaries, the General Services Administration held claim to the northern 34 acres of the site. Once GSA relinquished their claim to that property late last year, the District began to meet in earnest with its federal partners to negotiate a set of property boundaries more suitable for future development.

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