(Washington, DC) Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development Neil O. Albert announced Monday that the District will seek competitive bids to redevelop Poplar Point, a 110-acre site on the southern bank of the Anacostia River in Ward 8.
“Poplar Point is one of the District’s most valuable assets and we are presented with a truly once in a generation opportunity to build a new community on the river,” Albert said. “We need an open, transparent and community-driven process to determine that this site will deliver the maximum benefits to our residents.”
Long isolated by freeways and institutional uses, Poplar Point is being transferred to the District from the federal government. District officials are working closely with the National Parks Service to consummate the transfer, which is expected to close this fall. Under the terms of the agreement, the District must reserve at least 70 acres of the property for a waterfront park. The District will also engage in an extensive wetlands restoration, including Stickfoot Creek.
Most importantly, Poplar Point’s redevelopment will reconnect residents of nearby Barry Farm, Hillsdale, Fairlawn and Historic Anacostia to the river. Poplar Point is one of the key sites in the District’s ambitious Anacostia Waterfront Initiative, which calls for more than $10 billion worth of investment—new parks, trails, housing, retail, office space and cultural amenities—along the river’s banks during the next 20 years.
Initial planning studies indicate Poplar Point could accommodate more than 3.5 million square feet of development during the next 15 years. Desired uses for the site include a mix of housing, retail, commercial and cultural space. A soccer stadium has been proposed for the site, though the solicitation will not require developers to include a stadium in their proposals.
At least 30 percent of all the housing built on Poplar Point will be affordable for moderate and low-income families, in accordance with a District-wide affordable housing policy announced by Mayor Adrian M. Fenty last week.
The District will issue a solicitation to developers by the end of August. District officials expect to select a development partner before the end of the year.