McMillan Surplus and Disposition Resolution Receives Final Approval

Capping off a series of recent approvals by the Zoning Commission and DC Council’s Government Operations and Economic Development Committees, the four resolutions granting the surplus and disposition of McMillan received unanimous passage during the December 2nd Legislative Meeting.  The first resolution, The McMillan Surplus Declaration and Approval Resolution of 2014 (PR20-1081), declares the McMillan Sand Filtration Site surplus property pursuant to DC Official Code §10-801, thereby allowing the sale of a portion of the site.  In separate actions, the Council unanimously passed Resolutions PR20-1082, PR20-1083 and PR20-1084 granting the sale at fair market value to VMP partners – EYA, JAIR LYNCH Development Partners and Trammell Crow Company.


Decommissioned in 1985 following construction of a modernized chemical filtration plant on the adjacent reservoir site, the District purchased the 25-acre site from the federal government in 1987 for redevelopment.  In the ensuing years, the District issued several unsuccessful solicitations with no viable proposals materializing due to the complexity of the site.  In March 2006, the District transferred jurisdiction of the property to the National Capital Revitalization Corporation (“NCRC”) and after a year-long solicitation and rigorous vetting process, NCRC selected Vision McMillan Partners (“VMP”) in July 2007 to develop the McMillan site.


Since 2007, over 200 meetings took place to engage the community on redevelopment plans for the site, including building designs, traffic management, storm water management, preservation and public amenities.  During this period, the master plan constantly evolved fulfilling community priorities and to accommodate DC Water’s Clean River Project.  Today’s development plan is the culmination of years of extraordinary engagement between the District, development team and community, brought to life by the design vision of talented planners and architects.  For more information on the history of the project, see our recently published timeline.


In the coming year, VMP will focus on final schematic design and permitting in anticipation of breaking ground in early 2016.  When complete, McMillan will lead the area’s transformation from a crossroads of diverse and unrelated land uses to a walkable mixed-use community supporting and enhancing the fabric of existing neighborhoods.  Balancing an architecturally cohesive and distinct new construction element with a carefully considered preservation program and adaptive re-use strategy, McMillan is the next great community in our city.




WaPo Architecture Critic Roger K. Lewis recommends VMP Plan for the #NewMcMillan

McMillan plan combines preservation, urban design and inventive architecture

VMP Plan for the New McMillan“The fate of the McMillan Sand Filtration Plant has been the subject of heated controversy ever since the federal government closed the water purification facility in 1986 and sold the 25-acre site to the District of Columbia. During the years, dramatically differing opinions and ideas for transforming McMillan have led to multiple contrasting plans for the site.

But next month the destiny of the historically landmarked McMillan site may be determined and the disputes rendered moot. The D.C. Zoning Commission is reviewing the latest plan (, a well-conceived, pragmatic work of urban design and architecture.”

Read full article here.

RSA Publishes Final McMillan Structural Report

Retained by VMP to perform a structural investigation and feasibility analysis for potential restoration and/or adaptive reuse of the slow sand water filtration structures, Robert Silman Associates (RSA) finalized their McMillan Structural Report last Friday.  The full version of their findings and analysis is available for download on our Resources Page.

As detailed in their thorough analysis, slow sand filters are industrial structures, never intended to provide the level of safety and serviceability required for occupied use.  Unsafe conditions currently exist at McMillan due to the age, soil settlement and unreinforced nature the vault structures, which are susceptible to sudden collapse.  All adaptive reuse options and restoration work will require extensive repair and retrofitting dependent on the type and intensity of the proposed use, following further testing of the bearing capacity of the sub-grade.









Community Center Concepts Shared

Community Center Concepts Shared

This past Saturday VMP shared its proposed concept for the community center at McMillan. Playing on the history of water filling the underground chambers, EEK has sketched a facility centered around a pool housed in one of the preserved filtration cells.

Light would stream through the manholes and windows along the exposed sides of the cell into both a fitness center and a 20M pool. A glass walled multipurpose room would be perched above the cell with dramatic views across the new Central Park to the east and the federal reservoir to the west.

Locating the facility in the cell will maximize its accessibility as well as leverage the preservation funds, thereby maximizing the facility’s size within the existing District budget for the project.

What do you think of the concept?