HPRB Update

11x17 Rendered Plan w MF Courtyard

On January 29th, Vision McMillan Partners (VMP) appeared before the Historic Preservation Review Board (HPRB) for review of two applications. In the first request, subdivision of the sand filtration site into six parcels, HPRB reconfirmed their October 2013 finding that VMP’s master plan was crafted via a collaborative engagement process starting in the fall of 2007, with the collective design, preservation and architectural elements mitigating the site’s redevelopment. Stated in earlier findings by the HPRB, “the master plan and the proposed site organization as reflected by the subdivision parcels has been developed to retain significant character-defining features of the landmark sufficient to convey its historic character and in a manner that will result in an architecturally cohesive, high-quality and site-specific series of projects that relate to the character of the landmark.”  Following the standard of procedure set in the District’s Historic Preservation Act, HPRB found the subdivision incompatible with the historic landmark, thereby allowing the application to advance before the Mayor’s Agent in an upcoming hearing in March or April.


HPRB Update



In VMP’s second presentation, concept review of JAIR LYNCH’s Parcel 2 mixed-use building, HPRB provided feedback on the proposed design. As anticipated, board members offered praise for some elements and constructive criticism on other components. Over the past few weeks, the design team reviewed alternative concepts with the Historic Preservation Office and continues to improve the proposed building. We look forward to sharing our revised design concept with the community and HPRB at a future hearing in the next few weeks. 



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.




Vision McMillan Partners Hosts Community Forum on Transportation

IMG_5093Last week Vision McMillan Partners (VMP) hosted a community wide forum on transportation to discuss our Transportation Impact Study and allow the community an opportunity to learn more about the study’s purpose, findings and recommendations.  Following a brief presentation by Rob Schiesel and Dan VanPelt of Gorove/Slade Associates (G/S), small group sessions focused on North Capital and First Street improvements were facilitated between the community and the study’s engineers.  The interactive dialog occasioned comments and suggestions that will be considered in the final list of improvements implemented through the PUD process.  Comments and questions were recorded from the community throughout the evening.  G/S and VMP succeeded in responding to a majority of the questions we received over the course of the forum.  Nevertheless, to ensure nothing goes unanswered, we have provided a written response to all the questions we received during the event.  On behalf of G/S, VMP would like to thank everyone who participated in the event and hope you found it to be beneficial.  If there are additional questions on transportation, or the project in general, you may always reach us through our contact page.


Latest News

On November 22nd, Vision McMillan Partners and the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development jointly filed a Planned Unit Development– or PUD– application to the DC Zoning Commission.  The application included both a “Stage One” Master Plan and a “Consolidated Package” depicting the buildings planned for the phase one.  We will keep you updated on the public schedule moving forward, including hearings and meetings.  In the meantime, you can click here to view the application.  Simply click “Search by Applicant/Case Name” and enter “McMillan” as the search term.

Click here to view the Washington Business Journal’s recent coverage of the PUD application.

Take a minute to visit VMP on our new Facebook Page and “like” us to receive news and information via Facebook. We’ll be using the page to solicit your feedback on things like public art and park design and will keep you up-to-date on upcoming hearings, meetings and opportunities to engage in the process.

We look forward to seeing you on Facebook!

Tania Jackson

Neighborhood Outreach Coordinator


McMillan: Fact Vs. Fiction




Fact v. Fiction


  • VMP’s plan creates three parks, including an expansive 6.25-acre central park with a community center and pool. If you add in the South Service Court and other public gathering places, there will be a total of 12 acres of new, public, open and green space. Specifically, of the 3½ block site, the majority – almost 2 blocks – will be open and green space distributed throughout the site.
  •  World-renowned landscape architects Nelson Byrd Woltz will design the public green space. They are famous for their work with urban parks, have garnered over 80 national and regional awards and have been featured in many national and international publications. This community will soon have one of the largest and best-designed parks not only in the District, but also in the region and in the country.
  •  While there was once a small park on the federal side of the McMillan site (near the reservoir, on the west side of First Street), the McMillan land that VMP is redeveloping was never a park. Historically, it was a working industrial site with manholes dotting the landscape every few feet, providing access for workers to the underground cells. In order to deliver water to the city, the site was in use all day and night, cleaning and pumping water.
  •  When the McMillan Sand Filtration Plant first opened, Olmsted, Jr. was commissioned to design a walking path around it that would offer residents a view without disturbing the daily work of the site.  This Olmsted Walk is being restored as part of the plan and will surround the entire redevelopment, connecting the parks and open spaces, providing engaging access and offering tremendous views of both the site and surrounding landmarks.  Every step of the walk will be publicly accessible and maintained. Finally, the fences on the site will be down, and there will be a park for residents to use and enjoy.
  • The very foundation of the VMP plan is a $22 million preservation program that will create exemplary design compatible with this historic landmark.
  •  The majority of the above grade structures will be preserved.  Every silo, every regulator house, every washer and every basin will be preserved and the historic courts will be maintained with special pavers.
  •  While the plan includes repurposing of underground cells, it is not feasible to place grocery retail inside the chambers or use the underground cells for foundation. Not only have retailers expressed opposition to the idea of an underground location here from a sales perspective, but the cost of making the cells safe enough for this type of use alone would make rental rates prohibitive for community and retail uses alike.
  •  Two underground cells (each the size of a football field) will be preserved, and the current plan includes repurposing Cell 14 for retail use.  Cell 28 will be preserved to view through the community center, as part of the planned memorialization.   The park will incorporate many features of a “cell with the lid off” as way of further using the unique structures of the site.
  •  The VMP plan incorporates water as a theme related to the history of the site. For example, the historic fountain currently located on the federal site will be relocated to the site. There will be spray grounds for children, a 25-meter pool inside the community center, a bio pond for water management and water features incorporating the historic silos.  There will also be historical memorialization, including community-planned and executed self-tours.
  •  The Historic Preservation Review Board (HPRB), in a unanimous vote found that VMP’s revised master plan “has been developed to retain important character-defining features of the site sufficient to convey its historic characteristics.“
  • Buildings will increase in size to the north west of the site, while eastern and southern sides of the plan will step down to work with the scale of existing neighborhoods.
  •  Two thirds of the total area of the site will be open and green space.  The remaining one third of the site will include local serving retail with a premium grocery store anchor, restaurants, community and cultural space. There will also be housing and offices on site.
  •  VMP’s plan will result in 3,200 new, permanent jobs, 3,000 construction jobs and generate $1.2 billion in new tax revenues. 35% of the local contracting opportunities are required to go to certified local, small and disadvantaged businesses and more than half of all jobs created must be offered to District residents.
  • On October 31st, 2013, the HPRB voted unanimously that VMP’s revised master plan and design concepts satisfied their requirements.  Because they cannot vote on demolition, they referred the project to the Mayor’s Agent.  The project now moves forward to the Mayor’s Agent and Zoning Commission for additional approvals.
  • In 2006, the National Capital Revitalization Corporation (NCRC) issued an RFQ to select a development partner for the McMillan site. The selection process spanned several months and included several community meetings and community votes. The initial process was conducted by former Mayor Fenty, signed off on by MAG leaders and later evaluated and held up by former Mayor Gray.
  •  The eventual five bidders were judged on their land development capabilities, vertical development capabilities and financial capacity.  Community members attended tours of the vertical development projects for all five bidders. In July 2007, Vision McMillan Partners was selected from among the five bidders by the NCRC because of their collective experience with complex redevelopment projects that present a number of overlapping priorities such as historic preservation and open space.

McMillan Park

Approvals Progress on Halloween!

Yesterday the Historic Preservation Review Board voted unanimously to accept the Historic Preservation Office’s staff report, which recommended accepting the Master Plan and building design concepts, which moves the project forward to the Mayor’s Agent and the Zoning Commission.  We’ve been working long and hard on this project, refining the vision to reflect both community wants and desires, and HPRB’s recommendations so that McMillan will be a special place for everyone to enjoy.

Thank you to all of the community members and interested people who came to HPRB to testify today.  Thank you to all of you who have provided input and feedback; we truly appreciate your desire to make McMillan great.

If you haven’t seen it, now is a good time to check out our Vision Video, which made its debut today at HPRB.  And for more detailed information on the building designs, come to our community open house at St. George’s Episcopal Church on Saturday, November 16th anytime between 10AM and 1PM.

See you soon,

Tania Jackson

Neighborhood Outreach Coordinator

HPRB This Week

Dear Friends of a New Vision for McMillan,

First, I thought you’d be interested in the editorial on McMillan that appeared in Saturday’s Washington Post.

Second, I want to remind you that we have another hearing before HPRB on Thursday at 330 pm at 441 4th Street NW, 2nd Floor. If you’d like to testify, email Tania at and she will get you signed up.

If you can’t make it, please consider submitting a brief note regarding your opinions to the HPO and policy makers. Here’s a list of email addresses to which to address your letter and some text to get you started:

Please email Steve Calcott, at HPRB; and your City Councilmembers:  Kenyan McDuffiePhil MendelsonAnita BondsVincent OrangeDavid GrossoDavid CataniaJim GrahamJack Evans, Mary ChehMuriel BowserTommy WellsYvette Alexander, and Marion Barry.  In the Mayor’s office, you can email Shiv NewaldassJeff MillerVictor Hoskins and Harriet Tregoning.

To: Historic Preservation Review Board:

I am writing in support of the proposed building concepts for the adaptive re-use of the McMillan Reservoir sand filtration site. I appreciate the variety of innovative architecture employed to reimagine and adapt this historic industrial site for public use in the 21st century. I think there is an appropriate balance of open space, preservation and development in order to create the public amenities the community needs and to reconnect this place to our surrounding communities.

I especially like…

I am concerned about…

I would hate to see the few loud voices and their spread of misinformation to arrest this process. Our community has been waiting for 30 years for the site to be adapted and reused. Meanwhile, its neglect is only damaging the landmark further.

Please send the proposed development to the Mayor’s Agent for expedient review. The landmark nor the community deserves to wait any longer.

I am sorry I cannot testify in person. Please give this letter that same weight.




Meanwhile there is a lot of erroneous information out there right now. The attached fact sheet should dispel many of those myths. If you need more accurate information on our project, please don’t hesitate to ask again at

Thanks so much for your time and support. I look forward to hanging out in the park with you one day soon.

Anne L. Corbett
Project Director

EYA | JAIR LYNCH Development Partners | Trammell Crow Company
202.494.7523 |

4/27 Buildings Open House

On April 27th VMP hosted an Open House meeting at St. George’s Episcopal Church in Bloomingdale.  Attendees got the first look at buildings planned for the site.


In addition to the renderings for the South Service Court’s Community Center, there were pictures of the townhouses that EYA plans to build

Attendees got a look at the Shalom Baranes designed medical office buildings, and the multifamily planned to go over the grocery store space.

Perhaps the biggest news, however, was that Harris Teeter will be coming to the site as the premium grocer onsite.

At the meeting, participants could circulate around and provide feedback that was recorded in its entirety on big pads.  We will be putting up the information we garned from these notes shortly.

Finally, attendees completed a survey designed to get feedback on their thoughts about the current plans for the site.

Of the 47 people who attended, we got 33 surveys back:

  • 97% — all but one respondent said YES they wanted the site redeveloped and opened for public use;
  • Overall satisfaction with the plans — 3.82 (1 was low, 5 was high)
  • What they like most (respondents could pick up to three):
    • Design of park  14/33 or 42%
    • Size of park  11/33 or 33%
    • Grocery store 11/33 or 33%
    • Community center 7/33 or 21%
    • Also mentioned healthcare, trees and water features
  • Top concerns (told to pick 3)
    • Traffic Management 21/33 or 63%
    • Historic Preservation  14/33 or 42%
    • Nothing happening 11/33 or 33%
    • Building heights 7/33 or 21%
    • Stormwater Management,  including DC Water 7/33 or 21%
    • Design of Park 5/33 or 15%
    • Size of Park 3/33 or 10%
    • Community Center 3/33 or 10%
    • Also mentioned: affordable housing, density and parking
  • Retail preferences other than grocery (told to pick 3):
    • Local neighborhood restaurant 24/33 or 72%
    • Coffee shop 17/33 or 52%
    • Fitness/gym 11/33 or 33%
    • Sandwich/Quality Sit down Restaurant 9/33 or 30%
    • Pharmacy 8/33 or 24%
    • Pop up/food trucks 6/33 or 18%
    • Dry cleaner 2/33 or 6%
    • Barber/salon 1/33 or 3%
    • Also mentioned arts/creative, bars, hardware/garden & doggie daycare

We are creating a Survey Monkey version to make available online to neighborhood residents.  We look forward to hearing from more of you!

Next Steps:  VMP and site architects will be attending the ANC 5E and ANC 5A meetings in May and June.  We will also return to ANC 1B’s Design Committee, as well.

As always, please feel free to email me or call me with questions, concerns or comments.

Tania B. Jackson

Neighborhood Outreach Coordinator