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6 Properties Show How D.C.'s Fire Station Redevelopment Pipeline Is Heating Up

The D.C. government is steadily overhauling its fire station fleet. Over the past five years, D.C. has put a half-dozen stations in the redevelopment pipeline, with the properties either set to become revamped firehouses with additional mixed-use components or be fully redeveloped with the fire stations moving elsewhere.

It is part of an effort by Mayor Muriel Bowser's administration to convert aging assets owned by the city, including schools, the St. Elizabeths East hospital campus and the Reeves Center.

A handful of fire station redevelopments have been completed in the last few years, including the West End's Engine 1, which now includes multifamily and a squash facility; Engine 6, which is now Present Company Public House; Engine 13, which was transformed into a citizenM hotel and multifamily units; and Engine 4, which is now rentable as an Airbnb for $152 per night. But in the past few years, the city has steadily added some of its most prominent stations with large footprints and multiple government facilities to the docket. 

Engine 2

Engine 2 at 500 F St. NW, Washington, D.C.
  • Station Established: 1979
  • Address: 500 F St. NW
  • RFP Release: Fall 2023
  • Size: 19,889 SF

During its March Madness event this year, the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development announced Engine 2 near the Gallery Place Metro station is set to be redeveloped. 

The announcement came a month after the District terminated a 30-year contract to sell the air rights to a limited partnership, which had plans to turn the property into a center for the National Academies of Sciences, the Washington Business Journal reported. A request for proposals is expected to be released in the fall and could spur a big project, as the property is zoned for high-density mixed-use development. 

Engine 3

Engine 3 at 427-439 New Jersey Ave. NW, Washington, D.C.
  • Station Established: 1916
  • Address: 427-439 New Jersey Ave. NW
  • RFP Release: June 2023
  • Size: 13,816 SF

Engine 3 in the East End is set to be redeveloped into a mixed-use project with a modern fire station incorporated in the building. DMPED released a request for proposals for the East End’s Engine Company 3 last month. The city is looking to keep the fire station as well as DC Fire and the EMS Museum on the premises and develop a mixed-income community that incorporates retail, amenities and job opportunities for residents, according to the press release. It is part of the administration's plan to revitalize and transform a historically office-oriented neighborhood.

“The redevelopment of Engine Company 3 and the surrounding property will help us revitalize the Downtown East neighborhood, a vital corridor to Judiciary Square, Union Station, and the Capitol,” interim Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development Keith Anderson said in the release.

“And, of course, this project will ensure that we honor DC’s bravest — past and present — with a modern fire station and museum.”

Engine 7

Engine 7 at 1101 Half St. SW, Washington, D.C.
  • Address: 1101 Half St. SW
  • RFP Release: TBD

Engine 7 is set to relocate from its location at 1101 Half St. SW to a new facility down the block, which will house both the fire station and D.C. Fire and Emergency Medical Services.

The Department of General Services released an RFP for a new facility between the Navy Yard and Southwest Waterfront in March 2021. The current firehouse is listed on DMPED’s development pipeline platform, but there has been no update from the city on plans for that space once the new facility is delivered.

Engine 9

Engine 9 at 1617 U St. NW, Washington, D.C.
  • Station Established: 1960s
  • Address: 1617 U St. NW and 1620 V St. NW
  • RFP: TBD
  • Size: 81,981 SF

A 1.88-acre property on U Street, home to a fire station, police headquarters and fuel station is slated for redevelopment. DMPED announced during March Madness it would release an RFP this May, but it has still hasn't issued the request. DMPED noted the city’s 2021 Comprehensive Plan envisions the land for high-density mixed-use.

The property is going through the Zoning Commission to change the zoning from MU-4 to MU-10, which would convert the usage from low-to-moderate density to medium-to-high density mixed-use development. 

The plans have sparked backlash from neighbors who argue the city didn't seek their input and that the new development would drive up the cost of living in the neighborhood, WUSA9 reported. Hundreds of letters in support of or opposition to the development have been filed with the commission. 

A DMPED spokesperson said the agency continues to support the rezoning and pointed to "extensive" meetings with the community and the support from two local Advisory Neighborhood Commission groups. 

Engine 12

Engine 12 at 513 Rhode Island Ave. NE, Washington, D.C.
  • Station Established: 1987 
  • Address: 2225 Fifth St. NE and 513 Rhode Island Ave. NE
  • RFP: November 2021
  • Size: 30,574 SF

Rift Valley Partners was selected to redevelop Engine 12 near the Rhode Island Avenue Metro station into a 136-unit apartment building with a fire station on the ground level. DMPED announced the award during this year's March Madness event.

The developer proposed a plan to turn the one- and two-story buildings on the site into a six-story structure with 95 market-rate and 41 affordable units and a 16,900 SF redesigned fire station on the ground level.

Old Engine 22

Old Engine 22 at 5764 Georgia Ave. NW, Washington, D.C.
  • Station Established: 1897
  • Address: 5760 Georgia Ave. NW
  • RFP Release: TBD
  • Size: 11,151 SF

After Engine 22 in Brightwood relocated to The Parks at Walter Reed in 2018, the city announced it would put out an RFP to redevelop the original station. A March Madness announcement said the city was looking for a “mix of uses including retail and housing.”

Later that year, Marcus Asset Group and Neighborhood Development Co., which together own most of the commercial block, proposed a 300-unit development with an Aldi on the ground floor, but the city never released an RFP, according to UrbanTurf. Nearly two years later, the city was soliciting feedback about what kind of development the community would like to see, according to the publication.

CORRECTION, JULY 13, 2:30 P.M. ET: This story previously misidentified the neighborhood in which Engine 1 is located. It has been updated.