GSA Selects NoMa for 521,000 SF Department of Justice Lease in Washington, D.C.

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The U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) has selected Constitution Square, a new mixed-use development in the NoMa (north of Massachusetts Avenue) neighborhood of Washington, D.C., for a 521,000 square foot 15-year lease for the U.S. Department of Justice.

The U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) has selected Constitution Square, a new mixed-use development in the NoMa (north of Massachusetts Avenue) neighborhood of Washington, D.C., for a 521,000 square foot 15-year lease for the U.S. Department of Justice (DoJ). Justice will move about 2,000 employees into Two Constitution Square, located at 145 N Street, N.E., in the second quarter of 2010, consolidating offices currently scattered in several different buildings.

Located adjacent to the New York Avenue Metro station on Metro's Red Line and directly south of the new U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) headquarters, Constitution Square is under development by affiliates of StonebridgeCarras of Bethesda, MD and Walton Street Capital of Chicago, IL.

"First NPR, now the Justice Department -- this week has been an incredible ride for NoMa," said Washington, D.C. Mayor Adrian M. Fenty. "We've promised to drive investment in emerging neighborhoods, and the investments we've made to help secure these two anchor tenants are the quintessential examples of just what we are trying to accomplish."

Constitution Square's first phase of development, scheduled to break ground in April and deliver in 2010, will total 1.6 million SF and comprise not only Two Constitution Square but One Constitution Square with 340,000 SF of office space, a residential building with 440 apartment units, and 80,000 square feet of retail space including a planned 50,000 SF high-end grocery store. Both office buildings are being designed by HOK Architects of Washington, D.C. to achieve the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold rating from the U.S. Green Buildings Council. Clark Construction Group is the general contractor.

The final phases of Constitution Square are planned to include an additional 400,000 square foot office building and an additional residential building with approximately 500 units. The seven-acre complex will cover an entire city block bounded by M Street, N Street, 1st Street, and the New York Avenue Metro Station.

Darian LeBlanc, Zeke Dodson, and Mark Sullivan of Cassidy & Pinkard Colliers represented the landlord in the lease transaction. Studley's team representing GSA included Julie Rayfield, Neil Levy, Mett Miller, Rick Barnett, and Todd Valentine. This transaction is the largest commercial lease in Washington, D.C. since 2002, when GSA leased 1.35 million square feet of space for the Department of Transportation at the Southeast Federal Center.

"The Constitution Square development provides the true mixed-use environment - office, retail and residential - that employers now seek," commented StonebridgeCarras Principal Doug Firstenberg, who also serves as Secretary/Treasurer of the NoMa Business Improvement District (BID). "Two Constitution Square provided the best combination of design, planning, efficiency and economics for the Department of Justice. The project's amenities include a planned grocery store,
30,000 square feet of additional retail space, and direct access to both entrances of the New York Avenue Metro station."

"Along with the NPR relocation announced on Wednesday, NoMa has entered a new stage of accelerated development with this long-awaited lease," said Elizabeth Price, President of the NoMa BID. "By the time DoJ moves in, the NoMa neighborhood will be well on its way to realizing its mixed-use vision with a total of some 20 million SF of new office, retail, residential, and hotel space. The area will be alive with restaurants, shops, and thousands of people in a pedestrian-friendly environment. NoMa's convenient location just north of the U.S. Capitol on Metro's Red Line makes it an excellent location for businesses and residents alike."

NoMa is an emerging mixed-use neighborhood north of the U.S. Capitol and Union Station in Washington DC. Private developers have invested approximately $1.5 billion to date with plans to develop over 20 million square feet of office, residential, hotel, and retail space in the area covered by the NoMa BID over the next 10 years. The BID provides daily street and sidewalk cleaning, safety ambassadors, marketing, events, and other services to make NoMa a clean, safe, and vibrant neighborhood for businesses, residents, and visitors.

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LESLIE BRAUNSTEIN
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