General Services Administration cancels search for Department of Homeland Security offices

Developers in Prince George’s County and the District received some unwelcome — though not altogether unexpected — news last week when the General Services Administration informed them that it was canceling a search for more than 1 million square feet of office space for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

The solicitation was for operations that wouldn’t fit on the former St. Elizabeths hospital campus in Southeast Washington, where DHS has begun building a new headquarters, giving hope to Prince George’s County officials and developers that the additional facilities might be relocated to one of the county’s underdeveloped Metro stations.

But as with a number of other federal real estate plans, the effort to consolidate DHS and find additional space has been battered and delayed by federal budget cutbacks. “When you don’t have the money you have to go back and look at the prospectus,” said Larry Orluskie, DHS spokesman.

The agency’s options, Orluskie said, include proposing a smaller prospectus that would require employees to telework and desk-share, or possibly extend leases the agency currently holds. He said DHS and GSA officials were discussing next steps.

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

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