The General Services Administration (GSA) issued a Request for Qualifications today to interested entities that can provide construction and related services in an “Exchange Consideration” for GSA’s headquarters building at 1800 F Street, NW and for up to three buildings at St. Elizabeths West for use by the Department of Homeland Security in exchange for the Cotton Annex and GSA’s National Capital Region Regional Office Building in Federal Triangle South. This area south of the National Mall has a concentration of GSA-owned office buildings that the agency is looking to either modernize or redevelop.
The Cotton Annex is a nearly two-acre parcel located at 12th and C streets, across the street from GSA’s Central Heating and Refrigeration Plant and cattycorner from The Portals complex. According to testimony given by the GSA in 2012, the Cotton Annex was built in 1937 and was used by the Department of Agriculture until 2007, when the agency vacated the space. The parking lot behind the building has most recently been used by the Federal Protective Service to inspect packages and trucks that visit the Ronald Reagan Building International Trade Center downtown. The building was considered to house the National Health Museum and the National Women’s History Museum was interested in the vacant triangular parcel north of C Street. The six-story building is eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places.
The second property is the GSA Regional Office Building (ROB), a three-acre facility located at 7th and D streets, across the street from HUD headquarters and L’Enfant Plaza. It is a 942,000 square-foot, seven-story office building with one level below-grade that is currently occupied by GSA. These employees would move to the F Street, NW headquarters once those renovations are complete. The rear of the ROB fronts on the L’Enfant commuter rail station and Reservation 113, both of which are recommended for improvements in NCPC’s Southwest Ecodistrict Initiative. The office building is not eligible for inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places, so any redevelopment at the site would be easier to complete. Perhaps part of the land could be used as a “Union Station South” that could be an intermodal transit station with Metro, bus, VRE, MARC, and streetcar service?
Don’t expect activity on these sites to happen anytime soon; however, renovations to the GSA Headquarters and the St. Elizabeths administration buildings must be completed before the parcels are conveyed to the winning developer in Quitclaim Deeds. Responses are due for Stage One of the solicitation by May 22. After that, those that qualify will be invited to a second stage of the solicitation to submit specific proposals. Then, a winner will be selected sometime in 2015. What uses do you envision for these two sites?
Image courtesy of GSA