WASHINGTON, DC-Plans for a massive renovation of the Lafayette Building–a longtime office fixture on Vermont Avenue, just north of Lafayette Square and a stone’s throw from the White House–have taken a big step forward with the selection of an architectural team to head up the design aspect of the endeavor. Choosing from a final list of six qualifying groups, the US General Services Administration awarded the assignment to a team consisting of DMJM Design/McClier and Flack + Kurtz to spearhead the redesign of the 500,000-sf structure that is currently home to the US Department of Veteran Affairs and the Export-Import Bank.

“The Department of Veterans Affairs and the Export-Import Bank play vital roles in our government,” GSA assistant regional administrator Anthony E. Costa notes. “GSA will make sure their employees end up with world-class workspace when it is done.” According to the GSA’s Federal Business Opportunities solicitation dated April 5, the entire project is expected to cost between $90 and $100 million to complete, a figure that is well in excess of the property’s proposed FY 2005 assessed value of $74 million.

Boasting a limestone facade, the Lafayette Building was developed in 1940 by Chicago’s Holabird & Root and, today, enjoys a spot on the National Register of Historic Places. But the property’s historic status extends beyond its architecture. As per documents from GSA’s Historic Federal Buildings Program, the Lafayette Building is also historically significant because it was originally home–and continues to be home–to financial agencies created under the Roosevelt Administration and because it was developed privately as a speculative property for lease specifically to the US Government.

However, it is the historic architectural integrity of the building that DMJM and Flack will be responsible for maintaining during the upgrade; the first such major procedure the building has undergone in its lifetime.

“The design process will take a couple of years and the construction will occur between 2007 and 2010,” a GSA spokesman tells GlobeSt.com. The project will be conducted in two phases and will allow the building to be partially occupied during the entire undertaking.

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