At the Walter Reed Local Redevelopment Authority meeting last week, the main topic of discussion was the key implementation phase of the redevelopment. The LRA had asked Victor Hoskins, the District’s deputy mayor for planning and economic development, to perform an analysis of the implementation procedure.
The report (below) details the pros and cons of three different types master developers – a group made up of DC government agencies; a for-profit developer; or an SPE, a non-profit development corporation with DC government Board representation and funded through private capital, federal and other grants.
Hoskins intends to submit the final reuse plan to HUD in March, and HUD's approval is expected by August. LRA director Eric Jenkins said the goal is to have a master developer selected between March and August (a period of time that is craftily referred to in a timeline within the presentation below as “The Sweet Spot”).
The LRA will be dissolved once the final reuse plan is completed; then the city will establish an new LRA to advise on implementation.
“The goal of the ILRA (Implentation LRA) for Walter Reed is to be prepared to sit down with the Army in July to negotiate how the land would be be paid for and work out the terms of conveyance,” said LRA committee member Alice Giancola. “Selection of a Master Developer as a consultant is only one step in the direction of preparing a case for the Army that the City is a reliable buyer.” Going the private developer route would slow down the process significantly because an RFQ and RFP would be required; the SPE option would be also be slow due to the organizational structure and vetting process it would involve. The redevelopment process would be fastest if the District served as the master developer, but that would require the District to produce the funds to purchase the land from the Army...funding that isn't readily available.
Walter Reed Redevelopment Implementation Report