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Mayor Bowser Re-issues Frank D. Reeves Center EquityRFP

(WASHINGTON, DC) – Today, Mayor Muriel Bowser announced the re-issuance of the Frank D. Reeves EquityRFP. It was revised and updated to eliminate complexities that created potential barriers to entry that might hinder the EquityRFP initiative’s goals to increase access to development opportunities for entities or organizations owned or majority controlled by individuals determined to be part of a socially disadvantaged population, particularly for Black, Brown, and people of color. The new Reeves EquityRFP process is structured to create these opportunities for equitable development while ensuring the project stays on track with the initial timeline.

“Together with our partners on the Council, we have invested in the future of the Reeves Center site and removed some of the complexities that created a high barrier to entry and deterred potential respondents,” said Mayor Bowser. “The new Reeves EquityRFP makes space for more partners to compete for this historic project while staying on track with the initial schedule.”

DMPED acknowledged that this process has taken more time than initially expected and expressed appreciation for the community’s patience as multiple agencies coordinated the relocation of complex mission-critical IT and data center infrastructure. The capital cost of such mission-critical infrastructure relocation approximates $47 million. In order to recover the schedule and keep the Project on track to break ground in the summer of 2025, DMPED is managing a tightly controlled RFP process with Proposals due on January 20, 2023, DMPED anticipates Selection within 30 days, and DMPED and the selected respondent committing to concluding negotiations within 60 days thereafter. DMPED also acknowledged the continued importance of community input and will maintain the traditional community engagement process including a public Disposition Hearing followed by a comment period in coordination with the site’s Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC).

The Reeves EquityRFP seeks proposals to transform the large site, consisting of over two acres (97,600 square feet) of land area, into a transit-oriented, mixed-use development with office space, affordable housing, daytime uses such as a hotel, and neighborhood-serving amenities in a way that reflects the site’s history and culture. Given the U Street Corridor’s role in African American identity, culture, and life, DMPED will prioritize proposals that embrace the parcel’s historical significance and honor the legacies of Black Broadway, Marion Barry Jr, and Frank D. Reeves.

“In 2020, Mayor Bowser launched a program with the intention of opening doors, creating space, and building capacity for developers of color to lead large site developments that advance equity while preserving our history,” said Deputy Mayor John Falcicchio. “This EquityRFP will keep the project on schedule while honoring the history of the 14th Street and U Street Corridors.”

In addition, the District is continuing to partner with the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) to relocate its national headquarters to the site and Respondents are to include the NAACP as a foundational anchor tenant and a development equity partner.

"This is a pivotal step in the relocation of the NAACP national headquarters to Washington, DC. Strengthening our footprint in the nation's seat of power will bolster our advocacy work, and extend the voice of our grassroots leaders across the country,” said NAACP President and CEO, Derrick Johnson. "The NAACP will continue to push for policy change that best serves our communities and continue working to make real change in America. We would like to thank Mayor Bowser and the city officials for sharing our vision and helping to move this forward."

The intersection of 14th and U Streets Northwest is a civic and historic crossroads directly linked to Black history and culture, the District’s Home Rule movement, and civil rights activism. From the late 19th to mid-20th Centuries, this corner stood at the heart of Black Washington, with U Street serving as home to more than 300 Black-owned businesses, including hotels, banks, offices, and theatres. For decades, the arts and entertainment scene flourished along the corridor, affectionately known as Black Broadway, and the prominence of nearby Howard University served as an anchor attracting notable Black intellectuals and public figures from throughout the country.

In July 2020, Mayor Bowser announced the EquityRFP initiative to enhance racial equity in the District’s development projects. The District prioritizes equity inclusion to increase access to development opportunities for entities or organizations owned or majority controlled by individuals determined to be part of a socially disadvantaged population. To date, the District has issued seven EquityRFPs and awarded four. In total, these projects will provide approximately 2,685 units of much-needed housing, encompassing approximately 2,867,586 square feet of development. 

For more information on this project and to see the Reeves EquityRFP visit https://dmped.dc.gov/page/reeves-center-0.

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CONTACT:   
Natalia Vanegas (DMPED) – (202) 716-3185; [email protected]