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The Impossible Is Now Possible As NIH Modifies Master Plan


Apparently the extra parking spaces just weren’t that important after all. The National Institutes of Health has modified the master plan for its Bethesda campus to cap the parking right where it is, despite plans for future growth.

The NIH presented plans last April with hopes of adding 1,000 new parking spaces to accommodate an influx of 3,000 employees. The institute currently has one space per 2.3 employees, well above the National Capital Planning Commission’s policy of one space per three employees for facilities outside DC but near a Metro station, Greater Greater Washington reports.

The plan was rejected by the NCPC, which encouraged the NIH to work towards the 1:3 ratio. Ricardo Herring, the NIH’s facilities director, insisted at the time that such a task would be “impossible” as “high-ranking scientists” would simply not be able to deal without having their own parking spaces.

The NIH has had a change of heart and will now add zero spaces to cap parking at the current capacity of 9,000 spaces. A good portion of the NIH’s surface parking will be consolidated into a few new parking garages, which will actually increase the amount of open space on the campus.

A secondary campus that could span more than 500k SF is also being considered for the NIH in either Montgomery or Prince George’s County. Last month, the GSA posted a pre-solicitation with for up to 539k SF, which would combine two major NIH space needs into one. [GGW]