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SUITLAND, MD-The National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration is staying put at the 137,004 square foot World Weather Building here, located at 5200 Auth Rd., for at least a few more years. NOAA has signed a short term extension of its lease with the building owners, a partnership of local investors. The reason – there is a giant question mark over the NOAA facility under development in College Park, Md. Specifically, there is a work stop on the Opus East project, with legal issues between the now bankrupt developer and GSA still pending. “No one really knows when or even if NOAA will be able to move in,” Kurt Stout, SVP with Grubb & Ellis’ Government Services Group, tells GlobeSt.com.

Stout, along with Charles Dilks, vice president, and Keith Lavey, vice president, facilitated the transaction. Even if the legal and financial issues surrounding that project do straighten out, there is a possibility that NOAA would maintain a presence in its current building. The building owners, Stout says, are hopeful that might happen.

In general, the federal government is proving, once again its worth to the District – NOAA’s contracting issues and how they may have impacted Opus East aside. The Department of Agriculture, for example, just inked a 330,000-square-foot deal at Patriots Plaza III. Stout says there is more than one million square feet of GSA leases currently looking for space. More will be joining – the Department of Homeland Security released a prospectus for one million square feet a few weeks ago, which could be one large lease or two or three smaller ones, Stout says. GSA will start looking at properties for that deal shortly.

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