WASHINGTON, DC-The District government has backed out of plans to move most of its Metropolitan Police Department to the former Washington Star/Post printing facility at 225 Virginia Ave., SE. A 421,000-sf lease, it was the largest signed in the District in Q2, according to GVA Advantis’ reckoning.

When the lease was signed in December 2006 MPD planned to move its evidence storage, violent crimes, narcotics and special investigation, special operations, the superintendent of detectives, MPD Headquarters and the First District Station to the new digs. All together some 1,100 employees would have moved under the terms of the 20-year lease, according to GVA Advantis data.

Since then, according to Lars Etzkorn, director of the DC Office of Property Management, the District has determined that the transaction would be too expensive. “Fortunately we realized before it was too late that forcing three dissimilar police functions in this building–a local police station and its cell-block, a warehouse for secure evidence storage along with regular office space–is not cost effective,” he says in a statement. “In addition, we have found the facility to be inconsistent with the adjacent neighborhood. OPM is now studying the future of the building.”

Tonya L. Ginter, CCIM and director of Research & Marketing for GVA Advantis tells GlobeSt.com that rising rental rates are making the District increasingly expensive–too expensive in some cases–for many businesses and institutions. “Even in Southeast it is no longer cost effective for many types of operations,” she says. According to Ginter, average rents in the District have increased to $44.97 per sf from $42.74 per sf, just 12 months.

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