Transformative Project Will Create Over 6,000 Jobs, 134 Units of Affordable Housing and Produce More Than $1B in Economic Activity
Mayor Muriel Bowser, Ward 5 Councilmember Kenyan McDuffie, and Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development (DMPED) Brian Kenner broke ground on the McMillan Sand Filtration Site, a 25-acre development located at North Capitol Street and Michigan Avenue, NW in Ward 5. The transformative project is expected to create 6,200 jobs and 134 units of affordable housing and produce $1.2 billion in economic activity over 30 years. The groundbreaking represents the first activity at the site in nearly three decades.
“Today’s groundbreaking is the culmination of nearly 30 years of work to ensure the McMillan redevelopment will best serve the residents of Ward 5,” said Mayor Muriel Bowser. “When I took office, I committed to moving big projects forward so DC communities can benefit from the District’s growth and development. McMillan is proof of my administration’s unwavering commitment to getting more residents on pathways to the middle class by creating employment opportunities and affordable housing.”
The $720-million redevelopment of McMillan is the product of a successful community-driven process led by Mayor Bowser. Throughout the planning process and the selection of the development team, the District and its partners convened over 200 workshops and community forums, ensuring residents had a voice in shaping the vision of their neighborhood. Vision McMillan Partners (VMP) will redevelop the site, which will feature: 12 acres of public, open and green space; an eight-acre park; a 17,000 square-foot community center with a pool; a full-service grocery store; restaurants and retail; 655 units of housing (134 affordable); and over one million square-feet of healthcare facility space. All 24 historic buildings and two underground cells will be preserved.
As part of McMillan’s neighborhood focus, the community benefits agreement will include a $1,000,000 workforce development fund, with $300,000 going toward scholarships that will enable community residents to pursue higher education, training, or job-related certification. The scholarship will give preference to residents from Wards 1 and 5 and will encourage long-term career paths such as civil engineering and landscape architecture, or on-site jobs in the medical field.
“I want to thank the community and our public and private sector partners for their years of work and their dedication to starting a new chapter for McMillan,” said Deputy Mayor Brian Kenner. “We are excited to deliver this dynamic project that will preserve the rich history of the site while also serving the community and providing jobs, housing and services for Ward 5.”
“The Department of General Services is excited to be a partner on this historic project,” said Department of General Services Director Greer Johnson Gillis. “When construction is completed, the park and community center will elevate the lives of District residents and visitors by offering an engaging place for everyone to enjoy.”
Constructed between 1902 and 1905, the McMillan Slow Sand Filtration Plant was the first large-scale water purification facility in Washington, DC. The site operated as a water filtration facility until 1986. The District of Columbia government purchased the site from the federal government for $9.3 million in 1987. In 1991, in recognition of the site’s status as a DC historic site and a national landmark, all 93 acres became known as the McMillan Park Reservoir Historic District.
The McMillan redevelopment is part of Mayor Bowser’s efforts to advance long-awaited, major projects in the District. Since taking office, Mayor Bowser has broken ground on a new entertainment and sports arena and infrastructure development at St. Elizabeths in Ward 8 – the first activity at the site in decades; created legislation that led to the successful transfer of 66 acres from the U.S. Army to the District, paving the way for the redevelopment of Walter Reed and creating 5,000 jobs in Ward 4; broken ground on Capitol Crossing, a $1.3 billion project in Ward 6 that will transform a seven-acre site and reunite the East End and Capitol Hill communities in the District; and led efforts to finalize a deal to ensure construction can begin on a 20,000-seat DC United Soccer Stadium at Buzzard Point.