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LAKEWOOD, CO-Opus Northwest has broken ground on a $25 million General ServicesAdministration building for the Federal Department of Transportation.According to the GSA, it selected Opus for this project because of its design-build approach.

Located on a 6.6-acre site near the intersection of Union Boulevard and Alameda Avenue in Lakewood, the facility will house a number of federal offices. Occupants will include the Federal Railroad Administration, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, Federal Highway Administration, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the Office of Pipeline Safety and the Federal Transit Administration.

The 128,340-sf, three-story office building is scheduled to be completed next June. “With this project, we are collaborating with GSA and DOT to fulfill their long term function needs while being environmentally friendly,” says Marshall Burton, VP at Opus Northwest. “It will be certified per the United States Green Building Council for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design.”

Minneapolis-based Opus, one of the largest development firms in the country, sees a great deal of opportunity working with the GSA, which handles federal building requirements. “The US General Services Administration houses more than a million federal employees in over 2,000 cities,” notes Burton. “We see this project as the start of a strong relationship.”

These institutional projects come to Opus due to a shift by the federal government toward the design-build approach, he says.Among other institutional projects that the company is working on, University Physicians Inc. hired Opus Northwest and Denver-based Mile High Development LLC to develop the first commercial office structure at the redevelopment of the former Fitzsimons Army Base in Aurora.

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