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New Citizens Group Formed to Promote Development of McMillan Site

For immediate release:

October 15, 2020 –Today we announce the formation of a new citizens group: Develop
McMillan. Formed in September 2020 to support the development and revitalization of
the McMillan Sand Filtration site, this group of citizens from Bloomingdale, Stronghold
and other local neighborhoods numbers 300 members strong and grows each day.
This decommissioned industrial site has sat vacant, decaying and unused for decades
thanks to needless delays.
The McMillan project has been in the works for many years, with input from the
community going back as far as 2007. During this time, the site plan has undergone
multiple design changes in order to meet the challenges of this historic site and
preserve its unique character. The developers, in concert with community groups, have
been thoughtful with their evolving plans, and have met the conditions and guidelines
from the Historic Preservation Review Board (HPRB), the Office of Planning, the various
zoning authorities, and other interested stakeholders. This design process has led to the
park and community center portion of the development growing to 8 acres, creating the
most public green space the surrounding neighborhoods have had in over 75 years. In
addition, numerous other community amenities were added, including a much-needed
grocery store, pass through streets and traffic signals to ease traffic congestion and
improve pedestrian access and safety.
Despite substantial majority support for the McMillan development, a small opposition
group has held the project hostage through years of lawsuits and appeals – many on
the most tenuous of grounds. This vocal minority, many not even living near the site,
has derailed this project year after year, but our neighborhoods’ silent majority has now
organized to make it clear that we support this development.
Opponents of the development have long touted that the entire McMillan Sand Filtration
site was once a park. The reality, as noted by the DC Court of Appeals on May 16, 2019
is that, “The Filtration Complex has always been industrial in nature and inaccessible to the
public, except for a landscaped walk around its perimeter that the federal government
closed in World War II and has never reopened. Since then, apart from a few tours
conducted in recent years, the entire Filtration Complex has been closed to the public.”
Our local community and neighbors have waited far too long to get this project
underway. While opponents of development are content to have McMillan wallow in
legal limbo, we will no longer sit back and allow the site to remain a vacant and
decaying eyesore, closed off to public access.

We deserve the planned park and green space, community and recreation center,
grocery store, affordable housing, medical offices and other amenities the site will offer.
Our neighboring communities will greatly benefit from the revitalization of this 25-acre
parcel. For the broader District, this project will create jobs at a time when so many are
struggling; provide greater access to health services to under-served parts of the
District; and, add desperately needed affordable housing units at a time when many
District residents are being displaced.
Starting today, Develop McMillan will begin to spread the word about our group and its
mission beyond our local community and neighborhood, and to excite the broader DC
community to get involved and join us. We are kicking off this outreach campaign with
the creation of Yard Signs for residents to proudly display (please see attached image).
#DevelopMcMillan #BuildMcMillanPark

Points of Contact:
Tom Boeke Chris Kyle Kevin Rapp
434-996-7374 210-313-1200 202-999-8182