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SILVER SPRING, MD-It has been a few years in the making, but the new 550,000-sf Discovery Communications worldwide headquarters building has opened its doors at One Discovery Place. The global media and entertainment conglomerate’s new accommodations allow it to bring under one roof its approximately 1,500 local employees who formerly had been scattered throughout five different locations totaling about 400,000 sf in nearby Bethesda. The Clark Construction Group Inc. was on board as the general contractor for the sprawling project, which–as per writings earlier this year in the Washington Post– is reported to have cost about $150 million-plus to develop.

Designed in an L-shaped fashion by architectural firm SmithGroup, Discovery’s new headquarters occupies a 4.5-acre parcel of land on the city’s Silver Triangle, an area within the central business district that is enclosed by Georgia Ave., Colesville Rd. and Wayne Ave. The complex offers two different wings–at ten stories and seven stories high–as well as two public open spaces designated as Discovery Garden and Discovery Plaza.

It was in 1996 when Discovery’s broker, a joint venture called Freeman-Galbreath, began rethinking the company’s long-term space needs. Discovery and Freeman-Galbreath ultimately decided to leave Bethesda for Silver Spring. “We felt that our presence could help spur growth and renewal in Silver Spring,” Discovery Communications CEO, chairman and founder John Hendricks explains of the relocation plan. Once the decision to start from scratch was in place, the company had to make room for its colossal development at its chosen location, the Silver Triangle. The clearance included the 2000 relocation of a Montgomery County Historic Landmark, the prefabricated Tastee diner, to another street in the area. Clark broke ground on the project in 2001.

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