Walter Reed: Teams bid for right to develop

The competition is heating up to redevelop 67 acres of prime land in upper Northwest Washington that used to be Walter Reed Medical Center.

Three different developers want the job, all of them with much different plans.

It’s coming up on two years since the patients left Walter Reed in D.C. for the new facility in Bethesda. This week developers will unveil their plans of what they would do with the site.

Neighbors have their ideas, which include a shopping mall.

“It would bring jobs in and that’s going to be the key. Employment is important,” says Clayton Smith, who has lived in the area for 34 years.

In a community meeting Thursday night, three competing developers, Forest City Washington, Hines-Urban Atlantic and Roadside Development, will present their plans. Wegmans has made an offer with Roadside Development to build, and Georgetown University has confirmed it has partnered with Forest City to build a satellite campus facility if the developer is selected.

“I think it would add to the neighborhood,” says one resident.

Residents who have lived here between 30 and 40 years lament the loss of the hospital and the neighborhood’s character, but are resigned change is coming.

“If anything comes over there I’d like to see the neighbors get some amenities from it... some reduction in our taxes…” says Rosa Leak Clayton, a 42-year resident.