Ground was broken last week for the construction of the new headquarters of U.S. News & World Report on a three-acre site at 24th and N streets NW in the District's West End. The eight-story, 150,000-square-foot building, scheduled for completion in late 1983, is the first phase of a $200 million, 900,000-square-foot commercial and residential complex being developed by the employe-owned magazine publishing company in a joint venture with Boston Properties, a national real estate development firm.

The project also will include 400 hotel rooms, a 280,000-square-foot office building with limited retail space, 150 high-rise condominium units and about 20 condominium town houses when construction is completed in approximately five years. The architect for the development is the Washington office of Skidmore, Owings and Merrill.

Other recent developments in commerical real estate in the Washington area:

* The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors has leased 18,529 square feet at Court House Plaza II, 10340 Democracy Lane in Fairfax; the space will serve as offices for two divisions of the county police department. International Research and International Systems, a computer software company, has leased 5,513 square feet at the same address.

* Ground has been broken for construction of a 13-story, 35,000-square-foot office structure at 1710 Vermont Ave. NW. A joint venture of the Hessick Investment Corp. and Washington Federal Savings and Loan Association, the building is scheduled for occupancy next spring.

* IBM Corp. has leased 11,454 square feet at the Maryland Trade Center, 7500 Greenway Dr. in Greenbelt. The firm will use the facility as its mid-Atlantic marketing and distribution office.

* Hudson Supply and Equipment Co., a building material distributor and contractor, has leased 63,000 square feet at 6701 Distribution Dr. in Beltsville.--Robert Galano