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WASHINGTON, DC-The Freedom Forum has signed a contract to buy land at 6th Street NW and Pennsylvania Avenue, where it plans to build a new headquarters and museum on journalism. The nonprofit has transmitted the first $10 million installment on the purchase to Riggs Bank.

DC Council must still approve the sale, which is unusual in that normally the city puts its properties out for competitive bid. The Arlington, VA, nonprofit offered $100 million for the property–an amount that local real estate industry officials called far above any probable competing offers.

The offer includes $25 million for housing in the District.

Freedom Forum wants the land to expand its cramped administrative and museum operations. It will build 100 condominiums on 146,000 sf, build a minimum of 30,000 sf of retail and restaurant space and pay real estate taxes.

The completion of construction and relocation of the Newseum and Freedom Forum are expected by late 2004 to mid-2005.

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