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WASHINGTON, DC-Next month the District will break ground on a $220-million Comprehensive Forensic Laboratory. The facility represents a growing trend in the Fenty Administration to use city-owned or controlled facilities instead of leasing private office space. Another example of this new direction is the construction of a 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. Another example is the city’s decision to move the 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.

“We are continually working to manage our public facilities more efficiently,” Mayor Adrian Fenty says in a prepared statement. “In many of these cases we will save millions of dollars over the long term by moving our operations out of leased space and into government-owned facilities.” The mayor’s office did not return a call from GlobeSt.com in time for publication.

The six-story Comprehensive Forensics Lab will house the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, Public Health Laboratory and Metropolitan Police Department Forensic Services Division. It is expected to deliver by late 2011.

Despite the trend towards city-owned facilities, the District is leasing space in Forest City Enterprise’s Waterfront Station. Its first phase is expected to deliver in 2010. The District of Columbia has leased the office component space.

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