Today, Councilmember Kenyan R. McDuffie, Chairperson of the Committee on Government Operations, convened a joint public roundtable with Councilmember Muriel Bowser, Chairperson of the Committee on Economic Development, to explore the surplus declaration and disposition approval resolutions of what is now known as the McMillan Sand Filtration Site. Almost 50 public witnesses attended and testified at the hearing to discuss the proposed plan for the site.
“The redevelopment of the McMillan Sand Filtration Site presents an important and long awaited opportunity to bring a vibrant mixed-use project to the western edge of Ward 5,” indicated McDuffie. “The proposed plan for the site has been well deliberated and reviewed in multiple iterations by all of our community stakeholders, including our impacted Advisory Neighborhood Commissions, civic associations, and residents. I was pleased to see the continued level of engagement on this project at today’s hearing.”
Prior to being elected to the Council in 2012, Councilmember McDuffie served on the McMillan Advisory Group, and continues to live directly across the street from the McMillan Sand Filtration Site. “Even before I took office, I supported the proposed mixed-use development plan, which includes quality townhouses and multi-family housing, retail, offices, and public park space, while promoting the historic preservation of the surrounding area,” stated McDuffie. “I am happy to see the proposed plan in its current form take all of the impacted communities’ recommendations and concerns under advisement, including a storm water run-off system that will ensure the site does not contribute to the century-old flooding problem in the greater Bloomingdale area.”
McDuffie, who authored a bill that will require affordable housing set-asides whenever District-owned land is disposed of for multi-family residential development, also praised the affordable and workforce housing components of the proposed plan. “Our seniors, teachers, first responders, and employees of the Washington Hospital Center will now have a better, affordable selection of housing right here in Ward 5,” added McDuffie.
The McMillan Sand Filtration Site was operational for slow sand water filtration until 1985, when it was decommissioned after the Army Corps built a modernized chemical filtration process plant on the Reservoir side. The site was then designated for surplus and the District government purchased it from the federal government in 1987 for $9.3 million with the intention of redevelopment. In 1991, the McMillan Park Historic District was designated a Historic Landmark and listed on the DC Inventory of Historic Sites.
Currently, the vast majority of the property is vacant and in varying levels of deterioration. It consists of approximately 1,075,000 square feet of land, of which a portion will be reserved by the District for a community center, open space, parks and landscaped areas. In accordance with the law, a public meeting was held in the affected community on June 6, 2013. Furthermore, the proposed development of the site has been discussed in multiple forums, community meetings and other forms of engagement settings since the site was designated for surplus.