FAA mulls consolidating six offices into one location

The Federal Aviation Administration is considering a major consolidation of its Washington area offices, currently spread among six locations in the District.

The agency, which oversees and regulates air travel, is looking for as much as 270,000 square feet and has considered leasing space in the renovated Southwest office building Constitution Center, according to a source familiar with the agency’s search who was not authorized to discuss it publicly.

“The FAA is looking at ways to operate more efficiently and is considering options to consolidate office space,” FAA spokeswoman Laura J. Brown said. “However, the FAA has no near-term commitments for a consolidated location.”

About one quarter of the 1.3 million-square-foot Constitution Center is available. The Securities and Exchange Commission has leased 900,000 square feet there, but the lease came under immediate scrutiny from Congress, and the SEC announced that it would work with the General Services Administration to find other agencies to take over the lease.

The SEC and the building’s owner, David Nassif Associates, are now engaged in a dispute over whether the agency owes the company rent.

The FAA currently leases more than 287,000 square feet in six buildings in the District, the largest block being 93,000 square feet at 950 L’Enfant Plaza.

Unlike most federal agencies, which rely upon the GSA to broker leases, the FAA has independent authority to sign leases — the same authority the SEC used to ink the doomed lease at Constitution Center.

However, leasing experts do not expect the FAA to move quickly on a deal.

Arthur Turowski, senior vice president at Jones Lang, said the FAA wanted to consolidate, but that its plans were “in the formative stages.”

“I know that they’re attempting to consolidate,” said Darian A. LeBlanc, senior managing director at Cassidy Turley. “I would put that in the same category as the FBI looking to replace the Hoover building. It will happen, but they are not on the precipice.”

Jonathan O'Connell has covered land use and development in the Washington area for more than five years.
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