WASHINGTON, DC-A $100-million land deal for a Pennsylvania Avenue property is complete. After six-months of negotiation with the city, the Freedom Forum purchased land at the northeast corner of Pennsylvania Ave. and 6th Street NW to move the Freedom Forum and the Newseum, an interactive museum of news, from Arlington, VA here, according to Lois Zambo, EVP of Julien J. Studley Inc., who represented Freedom Forum in the transaction.

The Department of Employment Services building is currently located on the site. The agency is expected to relocate by July 1, 2001. The Freedom Forum will tear down the existing building and break ground for a new development by the end of 2001.

The Freedom Forum/Newseum development will include the Newseum, the organizations’s headquarters, a international conference center, a restaurant and retail facilities and approximately 100 condominiums. The 476,000 sf project will allow the Newseum to more than double its size.

As part of its bid for the site in July 2000, the Freedom Forum offered the District government $25 million to be used at its discretion for low- and moderate-income housing, contingent on the transaction being completed by the end of 2000. The $25-million grant was paid Dec. 21. The law firm of Nixon Peabody provided legal counsel in structuring the proposal, negotiating the deal terms and facilitating approval processes.

Polshek Partnership Architects and Ralph Appelbaum Associates will lead the design effort for the new facility. A developer for the Pennsylvania Avenue condominiums, to be located on top of the Newseum, will be chosen in early 2001. The design process is expected to take a minimum of one year. Construction and relocation of the Freedom Forum and the Newseum are expected to be completed by mid-2005.

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