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ALEXANDRIA, VA-It has been years in the making, but development of the new headquarters locale for the US Patent and Trademark Office, a division of the US Department of Commerce, has finally become a reality with this week’s official opening of the first of several office structures that will ultimately grace the 15-acre compound. The Remsen Building accounts for just 380,000 sf of what will be a 2.4-million sf, $680-million campus. In the largest federal lease in US history, project developer LCOR Alexandria LLC will lease two million sf of the property’s class A office space to the General Services Administration for USPTO’s use under a 20-year agreement.

The Remsen Building will house 2,600 of the USPTO’s 7,100 employees who have been scattered among 18 different office facilities in Arlington, VA. And while the organization was in dire need of contiguous and upgraded office spaces, it will downsize in the move with the conversion of most of its major components to electronic applications, thereby eliminating a great chunk of its need for filing space.

When all is said and done with construction of the USPTO’s headquarters, the Remsen Building will form a U shape with four other similarly sized pavilion office structures and one dual-tower, 420,000-sf structure on a sprawling green campus. Upon completion, the facility will include an auditorium available to the public, a cafeteria, a museum, and the USPTO Innovation Station Child Development Center, an early learning facility. “This new state-of-the-art facility supports many of our strategic goals including the transition to e-government and, most importantly, the need to attract and retain a highly skilled workforce,” Under Secretary of Commerce for intellectual property James E. Rogan explains.

In addition to the USPTO’s office digs, the complex will also feature two parking garages capable of accommodating up to 3,500 vehicles, as well as two townhouse-style office structures designed to conceal the parking facilities totaling 77,000 sf. Already the Alexandria Police Department has committed to nearly 1,000 sf of that office space. The last of USPTO’s office buildings–the 360,000-sf Knox Building–is expected to go up in April of 2005.

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