D.C. Picks Team For Huge Reeves Center Project With NAACP HQ, Dave Chappelle Club
Four years after announcing a plan to redevelop the Frank D. Reeves Center of Municipal Affairs at the prime intersection of 14th and U streets NW, the D.C. government has selected a team to take on the 534K SF project.
Reeves CMC Venture, a collaboration between CSG Urban Partners, MRP Realty and Capri Investment Group, was selected to develop its vision for the historic landmark. Its proposal includes 322 mixed-income residential units, a 116-room hotel, 108K SF of office — partially leased to the NAACP for its new headquarters — and 22.5K SF of retail, including a new restaurant from Top Chef star Carla Hall and a comedy club from Dave Chappelle.
At least 30% of the residential units will be affordable, with some reserved for renters making up to 30% of the median family income, equating to $45,200 for a family of four. Other units are to be set aside for those at or below 50% MFI, or $75,350 for a family of four.
In a joint statement provided to Bisnow, CSG’s Simone Goring Devaney and Charles King and MRP’s Bob Murphy thanked Mayor Muriel Bowser's administration and neighborhood residents for helping the project move forward.
“When we at CSG and Capri offered MRP the opportunity to join us in the pursuit of the Reeves Center redevelopment, our team immediately coalesced on our common goals and vision,” the joint statement said.
“From that start and going forward, we are committed to the importance of broad inclusivity and paying true homage to the unparalleled combination of dance, and music this area has always afforded – alongside the education and continuation of the culture that brings. This redevelopment with world-class entertainment will not only support our tenants, such as the NAACP, but the surrounding businesses, retail, and generations of neighbors."
The Reeves Center at the corner of 14th and U streets was built in 1986 in the heart of "Black Washington" near Howard University, where hundreds of Black businesses and an arts and entertainment corridor nicknamed Black Broadway flourished between the late 19th and mid–20th centuries.
The new development aims to pay homage to that history. In addition to housing the NAACP and minority-led businesses, venues at the center will boast legendary Black Washingtonians. Plans include a Marion Barry Jr. Amphitheater and a Fredrick Douglass Plaza.
In a press release Friday, Bowser positioned the project as an important component to her Comeback Plan for the city and as an equity initiative.
“The Reeves Center is symbolic of DC’s resilience, and as we make our comeback – this is an opportunity to double down on our commitment making our prosperity more inclusive and preserving the history and culture of our community,” she said. “As we welcome the NAACP to DC, we are being intentional about redeveloping this site so that it meets the needs of our residents and moves us toward a more equitable future.”
The selection comes after a lengthy process. Bowser announced the plan to redevelop at a March Madness event in 2019 and issued a request for proposals in 2020, calling for a mixed-use development including office, affordable housing, hotel and retail.
Two finalists were selected in the spring of 2021: Reeves CMC Venture and a partnership from Dantes Partners and Menkiti Group. Movement stalled until December 2022 when D.C. put out a revised RFP, changing the plan to have the city fund $47M in infrastructure work that developers said would be too burdensome for them to shoulder. The finalists resubmitted their proposals in January.
The Reeves Center is one of seven EquityRFPs issued since the Bowser administration launched the diversity-focused initiative in 2020.