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FAIRFAX, VA-Centex Construction’s Washington area office has been an active building contractor for the federal government. It just finished the Air Force Memorial, located next to the Pentagon in Alexandria. It also worked on the Federal Court House, located next to the U.S. Capitol. Last year, Centrex worked on the Capitol Visitors’ Center. And in early November the Dallas-headquartered firm expects to break ground on the FDA’s new campus in White Oak, Md., part of a $1 billion expansion and consolidation project for the government agency that has been ongoing for a few years. This project, though, is likely to be among the last major government-backed projects that the company will do in the DC area for a while, DC Division President and CEO John Tarpey tells GlobeSt.com.

“Our involvement in the federal sector is decreasing now, mainly because there is less federal work available this year,” he says. Tarpey cites budget cuts “probably due to the war and [Hurricane] Katrina. At any rate, there have been a lot of projects shelved over the last year.”

Tarpey says government work cycles out of favor every three years or so for various reasons, so the drop off is not unexpected or a setback to the company. Centrex is shifting to the private sector.

Last week, Centex Construction announced it has been chosen as the general contractor for the Station Place Building 3 project at 700 Second St. next to Union Station in Capitol Hill. This project, owned by Seven Hundred 2nd Street Holdings LLC, a joint venture with the Louis Dreyfus Property Group and the Fisher Brothers, is the third and final office building in Station Place – a 1.6 million-sf commercial real estate development, that at over five acres is the largest private office development in city. Centrex’s 741,000-sf project will be 10 stories above grade and four stories below grade that will consist of three levels of parking and one level of office space. Construction on the project began in August 2006 and is slated for completion in February 2009.

Centex is finishing an office building at 1101 New York Ave., also for Louis Dreyfus, Tarpey says. It has also broken ground on the second phase of a $100 million condo project in Arlington for Comstock. Meanwhile, Tarpey says, the company has several additional private sector projects in the pipeline from DC area and national developers. “All of this will keep us fairly busy for the time being,” he says.

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