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Home arrow Working with Section 106 arrow ACHP Case Digest arrow Summer 2004 arrow District of Columbia: Transfer of the Southeast Federal Center
District of Columbia: Transfer of the Southeast Federal Center

Agency: General Services Administration

The Southeast Federal Center in Washington, DC, once played a key role in the Nationís defense during World War I and World War II. An annex to the Washington Navy Yard, the center was the site where ordnance was produced and naval ships repaired.

As part of a plan to transform the commercial area along the cityís Anacostia River into vibrant neighborhoods and public parks, the U.S. General Services Administration intends to sell or lease most of the Southeast Federal Center to private developers for mixed-use development.

The agency is currently attempting to determine the long-term effects of the planned development on the centerís historic properties.

The U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) plans to transfer approximately 42 acres of Washington, DC’s Southeast Federal Center by selling them and/or leasing them to a private developer for mixed-use development.

Southeast Federal Center, Washington, DC



Southeast Federal Center, Washington, DC
(photo courtesy of GSA)




The center is in the National Register-eligible Washington Navy Yard Annex Historic District. The transfer project will affect six contributing structures within the historic district as well as the contextual industrial naval history of the site.

In addition, the site is adjacent to the Washington Navy Yard, which is a National Historic Landmark, and the D.C. Water and Sewer Authority Main Pumping Station of 1908, which is eligible for the National Register. GSA has also identified four National Register-eligible archeological resources at the site, eight areas of archeological potential, and four other properties that must be further evaluated.

The Southeast Federal Center is located in the commercial area along the Anacostia River that city planners hope to transform into neighborhoods and public parks.

The center is also a vital component of the Southeast Federal Center Public-Private Development Act of 2000, and supports the vision outlined in the National Capital Planning Commission’s report, Extending the Legacy Plan: Planning America’s Capital in the 21st Century.

GSA is currently developing a Programmatic Agreement with the project’s 11 consulting parties and signatories, including the ACHP; U.S. Navy; National Capital Planning Commission; National Trust for Historic Preservation; District of Columbia State Historic Preservation Office (D.C. SHPO); D.C. Office of Planning; Capital Hill Restoration Society; and the developers.

The agreement will ensure that the site’s development is compatible with the Southeast Federal Center’s historic nature and complies with the Secretary of the Interior Standards for Archeology and Historic Preservation. Historic covenants are also being created to establish the rights and obligations of the agreement’s signatories if the land is transferred by ground lease or sale.

The ACHP and the DC SHPO have revised the draft agreement, and a meeting will be held with the project’s consulting parties in mid-July 2004 to discuss the draft. GSA has not yet fully determined the long-term effects of the planned development activities, which the developers will carry out parcel by parcel or in phases.

Staff contact: Hector Abreu Cintron

Posted August 9, 2004

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