- The Washington Times - Monday, March 25, 2002

ASSOCIATED PRESS
The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation is moving about 1,100 jobs out of the District and into a new building in Northern Virginia.
"This was the most economical thing to do and of the greatest benefit to the FDIC," says Michael J. Rubino, associate director of administration for the agency.
After investigating leasing opportunities in the District and elsewhere in Northern Virginia, agency staffers recommended construction on the FDIC's Virginia Square campus in Arlington.
Within four years, a nine-story office building, as well as a special-purpose room that can be used as a cafeteria or auditorium, will be built adjacent to existing FDIC offices. The 422,000 square feet of space will be used by employees currently working in four leased buildings in the District. Those leases expire next year, but extensions will allow workers to remain until the $111 million project is completed.
"We already have a 354-room student residence and training center. It was planned that we'd eventually consolidate staff at this site," Mr. Rubino said in an interview. The project will save $78 million over 20 years, according to agency projections.
The relocation may add about 10 miles to the commute of some staffers. According to agency records, 48 percent of the affected employees live in Maryland and 12 percent live in the District. The rest are Virginia residents.
The buildings being vacated are near the White House, making them attractive locations.
"Our landlords have other interested tenants, so there should be no problem backfilling this space," Mr. Rubino says.
"The landlords can demand considerably higher rents," says Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton, District Democrat. She says private tenants would also contribute to the District's efforts to broaden its tax base.
Mrs. Norton has used her position on the House Public Buildings and Infrastructure Committee to discourage federal agencies from leaving the District. But as an independent not-for-profit government corporation, the FDIC is allowed to make its own real estate transactions outside General Services Administration control.
The FDIC pays property taxes on its headquarters and a nearby office building less than a block from the White House. It is otherwise exempt from the District's other taxes.
"They have assured me that their headquarters will remain in D.C.," Mrs. Norton says.


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