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WASHINGTON, DC-Construction has begun on a new 229,000-square-foot headquarters for DC’s Department of Employment Services. Located next to the Minnesota Avenue Metro Station in Northeast Washington, the $48-million building is expected to deliver in early 2011.

Besides providing an employment and business center, the five-story building will also include retail space for local businesses, a ground floor community meeting room and office space for about 500 DOES employees. Plans also call for a green roof and a 100-space underground parking garage. Locally-based EEC and Forrester Construction are developing the building, which was designed by Devrouax & Purnell of the District.

This building is a legacy from the previous city administration of Mayor Anthony Williams, a city spokesman tells GlobeSt.com. “They were anticipating building government centers at many of the metro stops in the city,” but for various reasons a lot of these plans were derailed. In one instance, local residences objected to the move of the Department of Motor Vehicles to their neighborhood. Instead, that particular development, slated for the Georgia Avenue-Petworth Metrorail Station, was awarded to Donatelli Development as a $70-million, 156-unit housing and retail mixed-use project that is expected to open this coming spring. Now under Mayor Adrian Fenty, the District’s approach is to use city-owned or controlled properties for its operations, the spokesman adds.

For instance, the District is moving its Department of Housing and Community Development to Anacostia Gateway, a 63,000-square-foot building that it owns at 1800 Martin Luther King Jr. Ave.

The District is also taking space in Forest City Enterprise’s Waterfront Station. The first phase of the project, expected to deliver in 2010, includes two office buildings with ground floor retail that total 628,000 square feet. The District of Columbia has leased the office component.

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