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WASHINGTON, DC-Redevelopment plans for the Old Post Office Building, on the table since 2001, become more tangible now that the US General Services Administration has issued a Request for Information for the overhaul of the federally owned 375,000-sf property. The historic 12-story facility–originally developed for the US Post Office and the Washington, DC Post Office–currently houses 140,000 sf of office space with government agency and private tenants, 53,000 sf of retail offerings, a 3,000-sf observation tower and a 100,000-sf annex.

The Old Post Office building was constructed in a Romanesque revival style in 1899 at 1100 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, and holds the distinction of being the District’s first skyscraper. The building sits in the Federal Triangle area on a site that is equidistant from the MCI Center, the White House and the US Capitol. Respondents to the RFI– the first step in a three-phase endeavor to come up with a repositioning plan–will provide the GSA with an idea of the degree of interest in the project among private developers.

While the GSA is open to ideas involving redevelopment of the main structure and/or annex, the tower–which gives the building its maximum height of 315 ft–is off limits to prospective redevelopers as it will remain under the direction of the National Park Service. The soaring steeple, accessed by glass elevators, has long been a top tourist attraction. And since the property is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, builders will have to comply with the Secretary of the Interior’s renovation guidelines for historic properties.

As for a time frame for the project, there isn’t one. “We’re taking this one step at a time,” a GSA spokesperson tells GlobeSt.com. “We don’t know what kind of interest is out there. So if the RFI response is good, we’ll do a Request for Qualifications, and if the RFQ is good, we’ll do a Request for Proposals.” Likewise, there is no development cost attached to the project, as the interested developers must incorporate a corresponding figure into their respective proposals. The RFI submission deadline is June 21.

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