Phase One of the Parks at Walter Reed is coming to fruition. It may seem impossible that such a gargantuan undertaking has gone through what seems like interminable planning, but two of the first phase of buildings will deliver early next year. The project runs the risk of being both overhyped and understated - DC began planning in earnest in 2006, chose the master planner in 2013, purchased the land from the Army and transferred the site to its developers in 2016, and the first delivery arrives in 2021, with every year in between reporting significant but shifting details. And still the scale defies casual understanding, a 110 acre parcel, largely inaccessible and hidden behind walls, destined for 3.1m square feet of development just on the public portion (the State Department will take the western third of the site) producing over 2100 units of housing, 300,000 s.f. of office, 175,000 s.f. of retail for lease, as well as public spaces.
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Technically, the site has already delivered its first housing - 91 units of affordable housing to former military personnel in a refurbished building, but two new buildings, the Brooks and the Vale, will deliver 89 condos and 300 apartments next quarter, the first new buildings of the site. By the time the decaying military hospital was closed in 2011 and transferred to Bethesda, Walter Reed Hospital had served "millions of military personnel" since opening in 1909. In 2013, the District government chose the master development team of Urban Atlantic, Hines, and Triden, with Torti Gallas as the master architect. More on the development in Part II, coming next week...
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