The District government has signed a 20-year, $216 million lease for a new office building on North Capitol Street that will serve as temporary city government headquarters while the District Building is being remodeled, city officials announced yesterday.

The mayor, the D.C. Council and scores of other city workers will have to leave the District Building next summer to make way for a multimillion-dollar renovation and asbestos removal program for the structure, which has served as city hall since 1908.

The renovation is expected to take three years. The new office building, at 800 North Capitol St. NW, will be used to consolidate other city offices after the District Building work is completed.

The North Capitol Street site was among several being considered by city officials. In addition, council members John Ray (D-At Large) and John A. Wilson (D-Ward 2), saying they were concerned the city was not considering cheaper options, had introduced legislation authorizing the construction of a new District Building at 500 C St. NW, the current site of the D.C. Department of Employment Services.

The North Capitol Street complex is being developed by a partnership that includes lawyer Richard A. Bennett Jr., a campaign contributor to Mayor Marion Barry, and former Washington Redskins all-star safety Brig Owens.

The building will have about 293,000 square feet, officials said, and is expected to become a catalyst for the continued redevelopment of the H Street corridor.