- The Washington Times - Thursday, September 16, 2004

The U.S. Government Printing Office selected the Staubach Company, a Dallas real estate advisory firm, to help direct its efforts to find a new headquarters facility in the District and to choose a company to redevelop its existing offices.

The GPO said in February that it wants to downsize into a smaller facility and turn its current 1.5-million-square-foot North Capitol Street headquarters into a mixed-use complex. The change will save taxpayers as much as $35 million per year by using money from the redeveloped property to pay for the new one, GPO officials said.

Staubach’s involvement in the project is still subject to a contract negotiation. All parties, however said the company will be in charge of finding about 500,000 square feet of available space for the new GPO headquarters. The company said it is exploring existing buildings, and may suggest that the GPO operate at more than one site, according to Greg O’Brien, president of Staubach’s Northeast division.

Constructing a brand-new facility for the GPO also remains an option, he said.

GPO will solicit proposals from developers willing to transform the existing headquarters site. The GPO said that, ideally, it would like to lease the property to a developer rather than sell it, but that it is exploring all options.

“Staubach has a considerable amount of development experience in D.C. with public-private partnerships,” said Bruce James, public printer of the United States and chief executive officer of the GPO. “They did a good job of aligning their interests with ours.”

Staubach won a “Residential Project of the Year” award in 2000 for representing the District in a public-private partnership to build the James F. Oyster Bilingual Elementary School in Northwest. It also has partnered with the Navy, NASA and the U.S. Army Reserve on real-estate projects.

The GPO said that it also selected Staubach because the company always has represented the government side of the public-private partnerships with which it has been involved.

GPO representatives attended a conference of the Urban Land Institute in May in New Orleans, meeting with many of the nation’s top real-estate-advisory firms.

“I wanted them to know this project was coming down the pike,” Mr. James said. “This could be one of the largest redevelopment projects in the history of Washington.”

Indeed, the location — about two blocks from Union Station in an area already targeted for redevelopment — could produce one of the most profitable real estate projects in recent memory.

“This is one of the larger blocks of space in an infill site,” Mr. O’Brien said. “Based on that, I would say it will have an impact on the District.”

The GPO said it hopes to move into a new building by December of 2007, with full development of the new site occurring during the next 10 to 15 years.

In other news…

• The District chose CSG Urban Partners, LLC and Trammel Crow Company to develop 201 Florida Ave. NE, a 31,000-square-foot piece of land just north of the New York Avenue Metro Station. Plans for the site include a 174-room hotel, street-level retail stores, a sit-down restaurant, food court and fitness center.

Property Lines runs Fridays. Tim Lemke can be reached at [email protected] or 202/636-4836.

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