Herb Miller, Vradenburg to help guide St. E’s development

Originally posted in Washington Business Journal on Wednesday, August 24, 2011
Written by Michael Neibauer

One developer, one philanthropist and one educator will lead D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray‘s advisory panel on the redevelopment of the 183-acre St. Elizabeths’ East Campus.

Herb Miller, chairman of Western Development Corp., will join former AOL executive George Vradenburg and Trinity Washington University’s Telaekah Brooks, dean of the school of professional studies, to head the advisory board pro bono.

“The ability to build great environments for people — mixed-income, mixed-use — that’s our goal,” said Miller, the developer responsible for Gallery Place, Georgetown Park and Washington Harbour.

Miller, who will chair the advisory panel’s real estate committee, called his role a “once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.” Vradenburg, president of the Vradenburg Foundation, will head the innovation committee and Brooks the education committee. The group will guide development of the east campus, Gray said, fashioning a common vision, a plan and an execution strategy.

The remaining members of the advisory board will be named in September.

Miller, Vradenburg and Brooks agreed to take no financial benefit from the site — a Gray administration prerequisite that may explain why no east of the river business leaders were chosen to lead the group.

The District is moving forward with the east campus development despite the stalled effort to build a new U.S. Department of Homeland Security headquarters on the west campus. The new U.S. Coast Guard headquarters there is expected to open in early 2013, bringing some 3,700 employees to Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue SE. It is a prime opportunity, officials said Wednesday, to establish D.C.’s campus as an innovation and security employment hub.