WASHINGTON, DC—Taking the local broker community by surprise, the General Services Administration announced on Monday evening that it is seeking a new facility to house the US Labor Department. The alternative, it said in its announcement, would be a “costly renovation” of the 1.8 million square foot Frances Perkins Building — a 41-year-old building that is in need of modern heating, electrical, plumbing and elevator systems, according to the GSA.

But it doesn’t appear as though GSA is seeking a new building to lease and indeed, there are no viable candidates in the District that are large enough for the Labor Department’s needs. (The law requires that Cabinet-level departments are located within the District of Columbia.) So the GSA has issued a Notice of Intent that it is “exploring an exchange of the current headquarters and the underlying approximately 10.5-acre parcel.”

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