The Federal Communications Commission is expected to pay $198,000 to a Washington real estate firm as compensation for $3.5 million in fees the firm claims it lost when the FCC was forced to abort its planned move to Rosslyn, commission officials said yesterday.
While that move is dead, agency officials said the FCC still is considering relocating its 1,500 employes from downtown Washington to a new office building planned near the Telegraph Road intercharge with the Capital Beltway in Alexandria. Although that site unanimously was disapproved by the commission this spring, it remains under consideration, according to agency officials.
Those officials said yesterday the proposed payment for the abandoned move to Arlington would go to the firm of Julian J. Studley, which got the FCC last year to agree to move to the Washington area's tallest buildings, Rosslyn's Twin Towers. The FCC abruptly cancelled the relocation several months later in face of congressional and employe opposition.
Studley had received an exclusive contract for the move, independent of the General Services Administration, which finds housing for almost all other federal agencies. The lease of 22 floors of the Twin Towers, which Studley arranged, would have cost the federal government about $180 million over 20 years and given the real estate firm $3.5 million in commissions, according to FCC documents.
The FCC won its unusual leasing authority from Congress in 1980 after complaining that GSA was not doing an adequate job of finding office space. Congress at the same time voted to redefine the District of Columbia to include areas within two miles of the city borders, an action that would permit the proposed Rosslyn move. The FCC's 1934 charter requires that it be located in the District of Columbia.
While Congress has rescinded the FCC's leasing authority, GSA actively is seeking new office space for the FCC. A tract near Telegraph Road and a new Metro subway stop was apparent low bidder on GSA's request for about 350,000 square feet of office space for the FCC. The site is barely within two miles of the District of Columbia's southernmost boundary, underneath the Woodrow Wilson Bridge.
FCC managing director Edward J. Minkel said yesterday that negotiations also are going on for space in the present headquarters building at 1919 M St. NW and at one or two nearby office buildings. He declined to say where the agency is likely to be housed.