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SILVER SPRINGS, MD-Discovery Communications, a cable television management firm, whose most popular productions are The Discovery Channel and Animal Planet, is planning to relocate. Discovery Communications Inc.’s new $165 million corporate headquarters could be ready as early as winter 2002.

According to company officials, this will be a state-of-the-art 500,000-sf headquarters building. According to Discovery spokeswoman Pat Lute, the new site, which will consolidate activities of almost 2,000 corporate employees at six separate buildings in Bethesda, MD, should be finished winter 2002 or early 2003. Corporate employees are now housed in six rental properties — Bethesda Place, Newlands Building, Crescent Building and three separate addresses at East West Towers on the Old Georgetown Road and Wisconsin Avenue.

“The site is Downtown in Silver Springs,” says Lute. “The building is L-shaped with a nine-story wing on one side and six-story wing on the other. The lower wing is going to support a 350-foot tower. The tower will incorporate a curved spire reflecting the curvature of the earth and will rise above the skyline to serve as a beacon marking the center of downtown Silver Springs.”

Maximizing the Discovery experience, Lute says the six-story wing will also feature a large roof garden. Two more gardens, a one-acre area public garden and another for Discovery Communications’ private use, are incorporated into the design.

“The public garden promotes interaction between the campus and the Silver Springs Community,” says Lute.

Three Washington, DC architectural firms are responsible for the headquarters’ building design, says Lute. The Smith Group designed the building. Gensler is handling the interior design and Edaw is the landscape architect.

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