May 11, 2006


Turning DC's Walter Reed site over to the feds, rather than to developers, might not turn out as bad as DC officials and others fear. The General Services Administration will take 34 acres of the site for an unspecified purpose, while the State Department will take the remaining 79 acres for embassies and training and office space, said the WaPo.

Though the plan does not include tax revenue producing uses, the intensity of the government activity will increase over time. Furthermore, the State Dept. will add some cache. Once the site is built out, there will be greater interest in the residential areas around the site. Eventually.

Mayor Tony Williams and other officials fear and rightly so that these possibilities will go unrealized for years, if not decades. According to the WaPo, DC officials said that the two federal agencies' plans

"remain vague and that the federal government is holding on to the valuable land
without a clear purpose."
While a group like the National Capitol Revitalization Corp. would have really turned the site into something, the federal presence could work out fine as long as we don't have to wait 20 years.

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