McMillan Water Features Now Concrete

For Immediate Release, DC for Reasonable Development
Contact: Chris Otten 202 810 2768

Prominent Water Features to be Concrete in McMillan Development

Change Called “Bait & Switch”


Key water features that were promised to the public and the DC Council by the developers of the 25-acre McMillan Park will now be concrete, according to plans submitted to the DC Historic Preservation Review Board for consideration on Thursday, May 26.

The storm water retention pond, prominently featured in the promotional materials for the project, is to be a largely concrete slab, and a waterfall, that was to be integrated into and around an existing sand storage silo, will be concrete steps.

In addition, some of the sand bins and regulator houses to be preserved may become public restrooms.

“It is unacceptable for the developer, Vision McMillan Partners, to sell its plans with these key water-related attractions and, once approved, remove them.” said Andrea Rosen, a longtime member of the Friends of McMillan Park.  “It’s classic bait-and-switch.”

The change from water to concrete was tweeted to Council Chairman Phil Mendelson by @bloomingdame.

The tweets feature images of the original recreational pond and waterfall and the present concrete replacements:

The pond and waterfall were part of the original VMP presentation in November 2014 to the Council and were highlighted in full-page illustrations (see pages 2 and 14).

Rosen and others are asking Chairman Mendelson, who oversees DMPED, HPRB and the DC Preservation Office, to request that the Board postpone consideration of the VMP request to give the community a fair chance to respond to this major change in McMillan’s development.  They are also asking him to tell VMP to withdraw this request and fulfill its promises.

The HPRB meets tomorrow, Thursday, at 441 4th Street NW, Room 220 South; the schedule calls for McMillan to come up at 1:45 pm.

Despite widespread resident opposition and lawsuits, as well as fundamental District of Columbia planning documents showing that vast majority of the historic McMillan Park should remain as open public space, two years ago the DC Historic Preservation Review Board approved a project that destroys nearly 20 acres of historically significant underground water cells, and paves over more than two-thirds of the 25-acre park with 2+ million square feet of high-density commercial and residential redevelopment at the intersection of North Capitol and Michigan Avenues in Northwest DC.

Again, see the plans from 2014, click here.

And the 2014 plans showing central water fountain, click here.

Now the recent 2016 changes, click here.

These water features were among the few connections to McMillan’s clean-water history as a national and local landmark.

HPRB agenda, click here.

Envision McMillan Partners plans, click here.


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