Sunday, November 01, 2015

Washington Post Opinion: “Is it too late for McMillan?” -- invitation to initiate a new competitive process for McMillan

Click on the link to read the entire Washington Post Opinion item from reporter Jeffrey Anderson:

Is it too late for McMillan?

November 1 at 3:41 PM

By Jeffrey Anderson

On Monday, D.C. Council Chairman Phil Mendelson is expected to move to a council vote a mayor’s resolution to extend a land agreement on the historic McMillan Sand Filtration Site. The 2-million-square-foot, mixed-use project planned for the 25-acre site, where the city cleansed its drinking water during the 20th century, is “one of the most significant, vigorously discussed projects in the District,” according to the city’s co-developer, Vision McMillan Partners.
That is partly true. Since 1987, when the city purchased the Ward 5 parcel just off North Capitol Street from the Army Corps of Engineers for $9.3 million, a debate has raged about whether to develop it for maximum economic gain or preserve it as a park with an emphasis on green space.
Such polarized rhetoric is misleading, and has obscured issues about how the city does business, a central theme of Mayor Muriel E. Bowser’s (D) “Fresh Start” campaign. In less than a year, Bowser has triggered alarms by undoing a development deal negotiated by her predecessors at the historic Franklin School and by allowing her advisers to form a super PAC fueled by unlimited donations from companies that do business with the District.
Both missteps are characteristic of a culture that in recent years has damaged careers, sent elected officials to prison and embarrassed the District. Now, her handling of McMillan threatens not only to perpetuate a toxic era in local politics but to stick the District with a town center of little distinction that will pave over an iconic site engineered and designed by Post-Civil War visionaries Allen Hazen and Frederick Law Olmsted Jr.

A look at some largely ignored history is in order.


  1. You are being kind when you call that proposed design "town center of little distinction." It's just plain uglyass!

  2. Uglysass (adj.) 1) Having no (none) visual appeal; 2) At a time/place when/where neighbors are complaining about three-story pop-ups, having the City subsidizing Jair Lynch's five-story pop-ups; 3) Eliminating Stronghold's views of sunsets over the reservoir and replacing them with downtown-sized office buildings, 4) Attempting to get away with this by handing out money and positions to City-connected persons, and, the icing on the cake; 5) The Bethesda-based developer hiring an out-of-town "public relations" firm to "neutralize" the neighbors who have the temerity to ask questions about this monstrosity, being built as though there were no Master Plan, historic laws, zoning laws or common sense regarding this little neighborhood's already over-burdened traffic burden.

  3. Replies
    1. it could be an iconic site if developed properly!

  4. That's, like, your opinion man. Have you been on the property and seen the views of the Capitol? There are also clear views of the monuments, National Cathedral, Basilica, Arboretum and, looking south on a clear day you can easily see Tyson's Corner and beyond.

    Also, that is no excuse to ignore all of the laws that are in place to prevent a non-competitively chosen city-connected developer from doing whatever they want to public property.