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GSA Delays Auction of West Heating Plant

The auction will take place in the fall, instead of this summer.

The EBay-style auction of the West Heating Plant — the federal property on 29th Street just north of K Street in Georgetown — has been pushed back until the fall. 

Initially the General Services Administration (GSA) had hoped to have a draft Environmental Assessment (EA) readied by "late spring" and to auction the property off beginning in late summer.

With June just around the corner, the agency is re-evaluating its timelines, now hoping to release the draft EA in June and a final report in late summer. The property would then go to the auction block in the fall.

The draft EA will include data collected about the site and offer an evaluation of the existing condition and potential impacts the sale would have on the property and community nearby. When the GSA releases its draft report there will be 30 days for public feedback. 

Currently, the property is not zoned, meaning there is no prescribed preferred use for the site, such as residential, commercial, etc. Additionally, GSA has no way of prescribing the future use of the site through its auction process — a concern to many residents who spoke at the January ANC meeting.

"The use in any subsequent redevelopment will be essentially whatever the local planning and zoning authorities determine what it should be used for. Typically our sales are as is, where is," .

The two acre property near the Riverfront Park and adjacent to Rock Creek has attracted the attention of residents and developers alike.

In the May Citizens Association of Georgetown Newsletter, Jennifer Altemus wrote that residents are hopeful that at least some of the property might be set aside as a continuation of the . Altemus said she hopes GSA might consider making park land a part of the sale conditions.

"I know that several developers are interested in it and I know that the Four Seasons would love to annex it to their current plot. From what I saw, it's going to cost a fortune to redevelop. But the spectacular views from the rooftop make it all seem worthwhile," wrote Altemus in the newsletter.

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