The District finally has plans for its $400 million investment in Southeast D.C.
The vacant building near Nationals Park — the former printing plant for the Washington Star — will get a makeover complete with a green roof, large windows and an art gallery, according to D.C. Department of Real Estate Services Director Robin-Eve Jasper.
The District leased the building at 225 Virginia Ave. for two years without using it before buying it for $85 million in October 2009. It then entered a lease-leaseback agreement with real estate developer StonebridgeCarras.
Costs for renting, purchasing, leasing and operating the building will total $400 million, The Washington Examiner reported in March.
After the $86 million makeover, the building will be home to three District agencies — the Child and Family Services Agency, the Office of the Chief Technology Officer and the Commission on the Arts and Humanities.
Windows will be a major change.
"It has almost no windows right now. It's kind of like a warehouse," Jasper said.
Jasper said the exterior design plans for the building were "well under way" and that the agency is starting on the interior design now.
Douglas Firstenberg, a founding principal at StonebridgeCarras, said construction is slated to begin in November and the entire building should be open by late spring 2012.
"Essentially, we're taking down the entire facade and replacing it with lots of glass," Firstenberg said. "We're taking a building that's almost 100 percent concrete and converting it to look like a more contemporary building."
Jasper said the green roof would be the largest on any city-owned building. The deck will be easily accessible and offer views of the Capitol and other monuments, Firstenberg said.
The building also will house a data center for securely storing computer servers. The district requested offers for leasing 50,750 square feet of data center space July 1. Offers are due July 30.