Housing Complex

Got a Spare Seven Acres? Metro Launches Search For New Bus Garages

The Friendship Heights location, priced to move.

Remember that talk about how Metro needed to replace its two bus garages on 14th Street and in Friendship Heights? For a hot minute there, they thought Walter Reed might be the answer, until Mayor Vince Gray and Ward 4 Councilmember Muriel Bowser came out hard against the idea and the re-use plan explicitly forbade it. Still, those barns aren't getting fixed by themselves, and Metro prefers to relocate them entirely—allowing it to sell two prime parcels of land.

That kind of land, though, isn't easy to come by in the District. So Metro has hired real estate services firm Jones Lang Lasalle to beat the bushes for suitable sites, and they've launched a page where property owners can volunteer their parcels (Metro's in a weird position on this one, usually being the one selling land, not buying it). The requirements: Seven acres for one garage or twelve acres for a consolidated one. It's got to be in D.C., and the Northeast or Northwest quadrants are preferred.

"The primary consideration is operating cost efficiency, meaning the facility should be close to the routes that will be operated from it," writes Metro spokesman Dan Stessel. "Over the long run (decades), this reduces the operation of empty buses traveling to/from the service area, saving fuel and labor costs. Also, generally, we want the replacement facility to be in the same jurisdiction as the one we are replacing."

So: Where? Fort Lincoln? Fort Totten? Reservation 13? Buzzard Point? Old Soldiers Home? Some cobbled-together site around the railroad tracks? A private owner probably has a better chance to complete the sale, given that no councilmember will want to put up with the screams of their constituents if it goes on public land. Alright folks. You've got until June 1.

The 14th Street and Decatur location.

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