Armed Forces Retirement Home Redevelopment


Community Engagementfriends Of The Soldiers Home

Wheelchair lends mobility to bedridden veteran

In November 2011, the Armed Forces Retirement Home in Washington and surrounding community held a meeting about ending years of neglect in relating to one another. What blossomed was Friends of the Soldiers Home.

Starting with a Jingo volunteer night in December 2011, Friends went on to partner with the Home to conduct 158 volunteer events through the end of 2015. About 225 people collectively gave more than 1,500 hours of volunteer time in 2015 alone.

Regular events include monthly Jingo, Happy Hour, Saloon Night With Friends and Bowling With Friends. Each spring, the Home and Friends pairs community volunteers with veteran residents to tend vegetable plots together in the Friends Garden Project.

Friends also holds annual community celebrations with the Home, including Spring Fling, which occurs the first Saturday in May, July 4 Fireworks, and Fall Fun Fest, which happens on the first Sunday in October. In December, the Friends and Home residents gather together for the annual holiday tree lighting, and Friends also joins with residents at their holiday dance that month. Thousands of people from the community attended these events to better connect the residents and historic campus with the surrounding nation’s capital.

Volunteer opportunities are available every week of the year and details can be found on the Friends of the Soldiers Home website.

Units And 20 Acres Of Open Space: The Development Plans At The Armed Forces Retirement Home

by Nena Perry-Brown

Nearly two years ago, a development team was selected to help convert 80 acres of DC’s 272-acre Armed Forces Retirement Home into a publicly-accessible, mixed-use extension of the surrounding neighborhood.

Now, as the AFRH works to update its master plan to facilitate that development, more details are coming to the fore.

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As shared at the ANC 4C meeting Wednesday night, the initially-announced 4.3 million square feet of development has now grown to 4.9 million square feet courtesy of a greater emphasis on residential use, delivering over 3,000 units , roughly 300,000 square feet of retail and hospitality uses , up to 1 million square feet of traditional and medical office space , and over 20 acres of open space. Madison Marquette and Urban Atlantic will co-develop the site via a ground lease.

An early phase will involve making improvements along the “Forwood Gate” corridor at the existing entrance to the campus, which is flanked by the old boiler plant and the historic buildings in the “Historic Heart”, the latter two slated for adaptive reuse. Next, the “First Street Market” location, across the street from Washington Hospital Center, will house medical office space, a limited-service hotel, and residential-over-retail that could include a grocery store. Townhouses will frame the eastern edge of “The Pasture”, and “Capitol Glade” and “Pershing Place” will follow to fill in the gaps.

Afrh And The Department Of Veterans Affairs

“When the Civil War began on April 12, 1861, it is estimated America had 80,000 Veterans from previous conflicts, some of whom were treated at a handful of Veterans homes scattered across the nation. The Civil War added more than 1.9 million Soldiers, Sailors, and Marines to the rolls.” The U.S. Soldiers Home and the Philadelphia Naval Home were completely inadequate to this challenge: thus the “National Asylum for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers,” a system of eleven homes with attached hospitals that were built across the country between 1865 and 1930. These institutions, the foundation of the Department of Veterans Affairs , today have the mission of “hospitalization and rehabilitation and return, as soon as possible, of veterans to civilian life …” The VA provides representatives to sit on the “Armed Forces Home Trust Fund.” Otherwise, the Armed Forces Retirement Home, an agency of the Department of Defense, has no connection whatever to the VA, beyond the historical one, and is today primarily a retirement home.

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Madison Marquette Urban Atlantic Win Bid For 43m Sf Armed Forces Retirement Home Project

November 1, 2019 Jon Banister, Bisnow Washington, D.C.

A development team has been selected for one of the largest projects planned in the District. The Armed Forces Retirement Home announced Friday it selected Madison Marquette and Urban Atlantic for the mixed-use redevelopment of an 80-acre piece of its campus on North Capitol Street.

Courtesy of Armed Forces Retirement Home A rendering of the Armed Forces Retirement Home development

The independent federal agency plans to negotiate a long-term ground lease with the development team, which was recommended by a five-member expert panel convened by the General Services Administration following a competition that attracted many of the regions top developers.

Madison Marquette and Urban Atlantics proposal calls for 4.3M SF of development, including a mix of residential, retail, recreational, arts and wellness uses. It is planned to feature a combination of new development and adaptive reuse of historic buildings. It will also have 20 acres of public green space and pedestrian and bike paths.

The 80-acre property is bounded by North Capitol Street, Irving Street, Catholic University and the Washington Hospital Center. The team plans to consult with the Office of Planning, Historic Preservation Office, National Capital Planning Commission, elected officials, retirement home residents and neighbors.

Armed Forces Retirement Home Trust Fund

Armed Forces Retirement Home


There is hereby established in the Treasury of the United States a trust fund to be known as the Armed Forces Retirement Home Trust Fund. The Fund shall consist of the following:

Such amounts as may be transferred to the Fund.

Moneys deposited in the Fund by the Retirement Home Board realized from gifts or from the disposition of property and facilities.

Amounts deposited in the Fund as monthly fees paid by residents of the Retirement Home under section 414 of this title.

Amounts of fines and forfeitures deposited in the Fund under section 2772 of title 10.

Amounts deposited in the Fund as deductions from the pay of enlisted members, warrant officers, and limited duty officers under section 1007 of title 37.

Interest from investments made under subsection of this section.

Availability and use of Fund

Amounts in the Fund shall be available solely for the operation of the Retirement Home.


The Secretary of the Treasury may invest in obligations issued or guaranteed by the United States any monies in the Fund that the Chief Operating Officer determines are not currently needed to pay for the operation of the Retirement Home.

Reporting requirements

The Chief Financial Officer of the Armed Forces Retirement Home shall comply with the reporting requirements of subchapter II of chapter 35 of title 31.

§1410, inserted “Armed Forces” before “Retirement Home Trust Fund” in section catchline.

Effective Date

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The Armed Forces Retirement Home Campus Redevelopment

Washington, DC 20011 Category Commercial, Entertainment/Recreation, Heavy and Highway, Residential Sub-Category Apartments/Condominiums, Fitness Center, Retail, Site Development, Theaters/Auditoriums Contracting Method Conceptual Design, Construction start expected June 2024 Bids Due View project details and contacts Description

About Afrh Master Plan And Projects

In 2008, NCPC approved a master plan for the entire AFRH campus. The master plan divides the campus into two primary zones:

  • The AFRH Zone, which houses the main AFRH campus that will be retained for federal use .
  • Zone A, which will be leased for private mixed-use development. Options include residential, office, research and development, institutional, medical, retail, and hotel uses .
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    Preservation Of Historic Buildings And Grounds At The Armed Forces Retirement Home

    Historic nature of facility

    Congress finds the following:

    Four buildings located on six acres of the establishment of the Retirement Home known as the Armed Forces Retirement Home-Washington are included on the National Register of Historic Places maintained by the Secretary of the Interior.

    Amounts in the Armed Forces Retirement Home Trust Fund, which consists primarily of deductions from the pay of members of the Armed Forces, are insufficient to both maintain and operate the Retirement Home for the benefit of the residents of the Retirement Home and adequately maintain, repair, and preserve these historic buildings and grounds.

    Other sources of funding are available to contribute to the maintenance, repair, and preservation of these historic buildings and grounds.

    The Chief Operating Officer and the Director of the Armed Forces Retirement Home-Washington may apply for and accept a direct grant from the Secretary of the Interior under section 470a of title 16 for the purpose of maintaining, repairing, and preserving the historic buildings and grounds of the Armed Forces Retirement Home-Washington included on the National Register of Historic Places.

    Requirements and limitations

    Amounts received as a grant under subsection of this section shall be deposited in the Fund, but shall be kept separate from other amounts in the Fund. The amounts received may only be used for the purpose specified in subsection of this section.

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    Update On Afrh Zone A Development

    On Thursday, June 2, 2022, the National Capital Planning Commission had a public meeting for an amendment to the Armed Forces Retirement Homes Zone 1 development plan. Neighbors have long desired that any development at the AFRH would lead to increased access to green space. While Urban Turf has briefly covered this meeting, this is a good opportunity to share my thoughts on the develpment and next steps.


    In short, I remain deeply disappointed and underwhelmed by the AFRH development plan and dispite the many successful community events that the Friends of the Soldiers Home has organized on their grounds, the AFRH leadership seems to be reverting to a position of resisting community access. In my assessment, this will only change with strong community involvement moving forward.

    On to the AFRH Zone A master plan. This is the large development that has been in the works for over a decade and is located near the cloverleaf at Irving and North Capital Street . Only three people testified before the NCPC: myself, ANC4C Commissioner Jonah Goodman, and John Hughes of the Friends of the Soldeirs Home. No one testified from Ward 5.

    Many of the NCPC Commissioners heard this position loud and clear. While they approved the amendment, the also included the following request in their report .

    Next Steps

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    Memorandum Of Understanding Signed For Armed Forces Retirement Home Redevelopment

    Washington, DC On July 28, 2020, representatives from the National Capital Planning Commission , DC Office of Planning , and the Armed Forces Retirement Home signed a Memorandum of Understanding that identifies the process for redevelopment of an underutilized 80-acre parcel of land on the AFRH campus by a private developer.

    The document outlines the shared review and development process for Zone A and allows the project to move forward. The MOU recognizes the respective interests of NCPC and the District of Columbia in the planning of this important site and ensures a single, clear set of land-use regulations and building code standards. The AFRH Master Plan, after significant public input and comment, was approved in 2008, amended in 2018.

    The MOU also provides the agencies and the public opportunities for comment and input. Under the terms of the MOU, DCOP will recommend zoning consistent with the AFRH Master Plan and the District of Columbias Comprehensive Plan, which will serve as guides for the DC Zoning Commission in zoning the AFRH site.NCPC will review any future amendments to the campus master plan and all projects outside of Zone A in accordance with the National Capital Planning Act. The MOU replaces one signed in 2007.

    Signing the MOU were Marcel Acosta, NCPC Executive Director Andrew Trueblood, DCOP Director and James M. Branham, AFRH Chief Operating Officer.


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