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Plan would transform fed-heavy Southwest D.C.

Jul. 13, 2012 - 03:56PM   |  
By ANDY MEDICI   |   Comments
(National Capital Planning Commission)

Southwest Washington — home to the Energy, Education, and Housing and Urban Development departments — would undergo dramatic changes over the next 20 years under a">preliminary plan released Thursday.

Existing federal office space would be improved to accommodate 19,000 more employees, and 1 million square feet of new private and federal office space would be created under the plan, released for public comment by the National Capital Planning Commission.

The commission approves federal construction and renovation projects and decides federal zoning issues in the Washington area.

The plan includes an expanded Virginia Railway Express station for suburban commuters, redeveloped tree-lined streets with expanded, pedestrian-friendly sidewalks and bike lanes, a new park with fountain, and more shops and restaurants.

The plan covers 110 acres over 15 blocks south of the National Mall and is scheduled for completion in 2030. The U.S. Postal Service, General Services Administration and the Federal Aviation Administration also have offices there.

The plan, developed in coordination with federal agencies, also is expected to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 51 percent and potable water consumption by 70 percent, and to divert 80 percent of current waste away from landfills.

Those goals would be accomplished by renovating existing buildings, improving storm water management and collecting rainwater for irrigation purposes, and recycling construction materials.

A public meeting on the plan is scheduled for July 19. Public comments also are being accepted until Sept. 10, and the commission will review the final plan in January.

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