Monday, April 14, 2014
GSA Proposes Building Swap for Federal Triangle South Project
The General Services Administration (GSA) has proposed plans to redevelop a deteriorating federal office complex by L'Enfant Plaza. GSA informed that developers have been showing great interest for more than a year ago. The agency has issued a request for qualifications seeking developers to offer construction and development services in exchange for two federally owned properties at Federal Triangle South.
The selected developer would be responsible for offering the space planning, construction service and other aspects of shifting about 1,500 workers from the GSA's regional headquarters to the GSA's national headquarters at 1800 F St. NW. Besides, the developer will also renovate three historic buildings at the St. Elizabeths campus in Southeast D.C. for the Department of Homeland Security.
The winning bidder would take title to the GSA regional headquarters, 301 Seventh St. SW, and the adjacent Cotton Annex, which is currently an empty building near the regional building. Both are expected to present great redevelopment potential.
Dan Tangherlini, GSA Administrator, informed that the idea of a building exchange for services could play a larger role in how the agency does business if the current proposal is successful. The GSA regional headquarters and Cotton Annex are test cases to that end. He also added that doing these exchanges is relatively new to GSA.
It is expected that request for qualifications will be due by May 22, and the GSA will be able to issue a more formal request for proposals to qualified bidders over the summer, putting the agency in position to make an award by next spring or summer.
The GSA has obtained funding for both projects after great efforts and the building exchange proposal offers the agency a way around the congressional appropriations process. The project would also set the stage for the possible demolition and redevelopment of the old federal buildings.
Federal Triangle South is bounded by Independence Avenue, Sixth Street, Maryland Avenue and parts of D and 12th streets. The Department of Energy and Federal Aviation Administration are also based there, and their buildings could also be considered for a exchange in the future.
Tangherlini informed that this is an opportunity for them to re-examine how to use these buildings and reassess how this space fits within the surrounding community, making sure they are maximizing the utilization of the assets, getting underutilized or vacant properties off their rolls and back into contributing to the economies of the communities of which they are hosted. He said that the GSA requires considering a range of ideas given the tight budgets with which it has had to work over the past few years.