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A church is negotiating a land sale with Trammell Crow, which hopes to build a six-story, or larger, office building on the east side of 8th Street NW between G and H Streets. “We hope to get a deal to sell the land and get enough money to renovate the two buildings,” says Al Neilson, chairman of the property development committee of Calvary Baptist Church at 755 8th St. NW.

The 37,000-sf site stands in the resurgent East End neighborhood, not far from other new and redevelopment sites including the Tarriff Building, Gallery Place and the Victor Building. Several aspects of the deal, such as the size of the structure and the amount of land sold, remain unclear, officials say.

“It depends on what the government will let us do,” says Jeff Sherman, who is in charge of development for Trammell Crow in Washington. Regulations allow for a six-story building, but that could go higher if city officials decide the rest of the site is underdeveloped. he main concern is satisfying historic preservation officials that new development will not diminish the 140-year-old church in a historic district.

Such concerns have slowed development plans already on this site, which the church has been trying to develop for more than a decade. The last time it had a project lined up it was scotched by the real estate recession.

The church wants to raise money to renovate two buildings where it has classrooms, offices and social areas. These plans must be approved by the Historic Preservation Review Board, so church officials are proceeding cautiously, Neilson says.

Church officials must also decide whether they want to keep and expand a third building they own, or demolish it along with a fourth on land that would be sold. Officials wouldn’t discuss a price.

Trammell Crow has started conceptual design work and scheduled an initial meeting with Historic Preservation Review Board staff. The project could be built speculatively or with a tenant lined up, Sherman says.

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