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ST. LOUIS-The US General Services Administration is asking for developers to submit proposals to build 900,000 sf of office and storage space, in two separate buildings, for the National Archives and Records Administration. The buildings will replace older facilities now used for military and civil service records storage, but will be more modern and secure.

One site has already been selected; the GSA has purchased 23 acres at 1829 Dunn Rd. for the construction of one facility for the Administration’s National Personnel Records Center. When complete, the new building will be about 520,000 sf, with 280,000 sf for storage and 240,000 sf for office space. The majority of the offices moving are coming from the Federal Records Center at 9700 Page Ave. about 10 miles away.

A spokesman for the GSA tells GlobeSt.com that developers will now be solicited for the Dunn Road project. “They’ll contact us with their information, and we’ll short list it, probably select no more than five. Then they’ll do up to a 30% submittal, and we’ll have a selection panel award the development rights,” he says. Developers such as Duke, Opus and Panattoni Development have expressed an interest in this project.

The purchase option will be assigned to the selected developer for the construction of a build-to-suit lease. The new property reportedly could cost up to $37 million to build. Ron Hindman, director of the center, said in statement that the new facility will meet stringent environmental standards for preserving these irreplaceable records, “and will provide great work space to the agency employees, genealogists and historians who perform research in the records, as well as to our 600 national archives employees who answer over 1.5 million requests each year.” The building is expected to be complete by fall 2009.

The GSA is also looking to have built a 400,000-sf National Archives building to replace a current records facility at 111 Winnebago St. However, the site for this has not been chosen, though it must be within 50 miles of the current storage area. “The site will be selected by the developer,” says Ron Noll, the coordinator of this project. This building is reportedly expected to cost up to $28 million to build.

The 1.5-million-sf Page property also houses the Army Reserve Personnel Command, though the department will be moving to Fort Knox by 2010. The GSA spokesman tells GlobeSt.com that other government agencies will get a crack at occupying the Page and Winnebago properties, then space will be offered to the homeless, and then local governments will be asked if they want the buildings. “Ultimately, if none of these entities take the buildings, they’ll be offered up at auction,” he says.

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