Housing Complex

Twelve Colleges Want a Part of St. Elizabeths

The St. Elizabeths master plan puts the academic anchor in repurposed buildings in the Maple Quad and CT Village.

The St. Elizabeths master plan puts the academic anchor in repurposed buildings in the Maple Quad and CT Village.

The redevelopment of the St. Elizabeths East Campus, near the Congress Heights Metro station, is finally moving forward, and a dozen colleges and universities want to get in on the action.

In April, the city issued a solicitation for "academic institutions or consortia that wish to serve as the academic anchor for the St. Elizabeths East Innovation Hub, an integrated center of research, education and private sector commercial activities" on the 183-acre St. Elizabeths East Campus. Responses were due last Friday, and today Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development Victor Hoskins announced the respondents to the solicitation.

Technically, there are three responses: one from Howard University; one from Graduate School USA, an independent educational institution that was created by the Department of Agriculture ; and one from The Consortium of Universities of the Washington Metropolitan Area in partnership with National Institute of Health and Matthews Memorial Baptist Church. But the consortium response includes expressions of interest from 11 colleges and universities:

  • American University
  • Community College of the University of the District of Columbia
  • The Catholic University of America
  • Gallaudet University
  • George Mason University
  • The George Washington University
  • Georgetown University
  • Howard University
  • University of the District of Columbia
  • University of Maryland, College Park
  • Trinity Washington University

The city expects the first phase of the Innovation Hub to be 500,000 square feet and include education and research uses. The search for an academic anchor comes after the city issued and then canceled a request for mixed-use development of four parcels on the southern end of the site. The hope now is that an academic anchor will give the development of St. Elizabeths the momentum needed to spur private development elsewhere on the site.

The responses to the academic solicitation come on the heels of another potential expansion of area colleges. Two weeks ago, the three teams competing to develop the Walter Reed site along Upper Georgia Avenue unveiled their proposals for the site, each of which includes a presence by at least one local college or university.

The city will issue a request for proposals for the St. Elizabeths academic anchor in the winter, and will select a college or other partner next summer.

  • DC Guy

    Should have all been UDC and called it a day. Too late for that.

  • http://distcurm.blogspot.com/ IMGoph

    DC Guy: Amen, amen, amen, amen. A thousand times yes.

  • SEhopeful

    The firs step in a long process. Progress though and glad to see the interest.

  • pat b

    UDC would be nice, they could consolidate to one campus, but, they don't have
    the funds for this. They are barely holding it together as they are.

  • drez

    As others said, they turned down EOTR when land was cheap. May be too late now.

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  • ZackaryP

    This was a great option for UDC at one time. Yes; they could have had the entire Campus. But, no one seemed to believe this tract would be a hot property - lessons learned: It's when no one is looking; that is the time to make your move. People "slept" on the St. E's tract, and now look - it is clearly the hottest property in town. For those that do not know, this property is essentially the last major section of D.C. that is both scenic and strategic. Southeast is headed for a transformation!

  • http://about.me/thesolutionproject2012.com Imoya White

    Would have liked to see an women's college, because of the dynamics in Ward 8, 82% of the households are headed by women and are in poverty. I like Spellman, Oberlin, Trinity or one named after the Frist Lady MOSEA. This is an great opportunity to change the paradiagm in the city.

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