October 10, 2023
Seize the Moment and Purchase the Intelsat/Whittle Building

Councilmember Frumin’s commentary in the DC line, which proposes purchasing the former Intelsat site, is an indisputably ambitious idea. The site, located a block from a Metro stop at 4000 Connecticut Avenue NW, presents a unique opportunity for the city to acquire a massive property with a variety of potential civic uses. Purposes could include an early childhood education center, senior wellness programs, urban agriculture, a central food processing facility, and space for UDC or another university. To achieve this goal, the proposal suggests the possibility of relocating the high school on MacArthur Boulevard to the Intelsat site, offering a more accessible location proximate to public transportation. The District is about to move into the second phase of the MacArthur High School renovation in the Palisades neighborhood. The MacArthur launch has been an extraordinary success so far, but that very success highlights the challenges of accommodating a proposed program to serve 800 students at its current site. The school is in a difficult-to-reach location, tightly nestled in a residential community on the far western edge…

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