DC and Anacostia Waterfront Corp. (AWC) officials are making plans for an official "kick-off" ceremony on Tuesday, April 24, for the $1.3 billion "Hill East" waterfront development, a new, mixed use project at the long-neglected and vacant Reservation 13 site along the western shore of the Anacostia River. The 60-acre plot, located to the south of RFK Stadium, now contains the DC General Hospital and DC Jail campuses. According to the Hill East Master Plan, approved by DC in 2003, this project will transform the area into a mixed-use neighborhood featuring "tree-lined streets, recreational trails, an attractive monument circle, a beautified Metro station, new 'green roof' construction, and the extension of Massachusetts Avenue all the way to the waterfront." In all, almost 800 new housing units and 35,000 sf of retail space are expected as part of this development.
The Hill East project gained traction last year, when Congress agreed to give the District management and control over Reservation 13 (as well as other land, including the McMillan Reservoir sand filtration site), with the stipulation that 12 acres be turned back over to the Federal government for a congressional mail sorting facility. Final and formal transfer of this land is still to occur. In the meantime, city officials are moving forward with preliminary work, such as demolition and environmental clean-up. Developers are expected to begin work on the south part of the site by demolishing the old DC Department of Human Services psychiatric facility. The north site work will come next, including preparation for construction of the new National Capital Medical Center. The full development of all 67 acres of the Hill East project is expected to be completed in 2015.