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FDA Hunts For Big Consolidation, Lab Space In Atlanta

Atlanta Office

The Food and Drug Administration is eyeing a bigger plate for its workers in Atlanta in what is now one of the largest potential office deals in the market.


Through the General Services Administration — the federal government's real estate arm — the FDA's Southeastern Regional Office is on the hunt for 162k SF of office space that would consolidate and expand its two separate Atlanta locations.

The new digs would include the Southeastern Regional Laboratories, a specialized lab that tests foods, ceramics, meats, cosmetics, drugs and other products that are monitored by the FDA, according to GSA documents. The SRL also is home to the FDA's nutrient analysis labs, which ensure the nutrition content on domestic and imported foods with nutrition labeling.

“The size of the existing SRL causes the FDA to constantly retrofit the aging space, leading to higher maintenance costs," GSA documents state. "A modern laboratory is needed to properly carry out its mission."  

GSA spokesperson Gregory Andrews confirmed the plans for FDA's office consolidation but did not provide further information as of press time.  


The bulk of the FDA Atlanta presence is at a nondescript building at 60 8th St. in Midtown, called “The Crawford Building" in GSA documents. The FDA also uses 17k SF at Gateway Center I, a nearly 130k SF office building off Convention Center Concourse in College Park, near Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.

Colliers International's Chuck Francis represents the landlord of Gateway Center, and said the FDA's lease runs at least through 2020, adding he was unaware of any plans by the federal department to move. Its lease in Midtown expires later this year.  

The GSA is estimating a lease rate of $37/SF, with an annual cost of nearly $6M for a lease of up to 20 years in the new location, according to documents.

“The new lease will provide a more modem and streamlined office layout," according to the documents, "and improve office utilization from 176 SF per person to 103 SF per person."

The J. Edgar Hoover building

The FDA requirement was part of a larger package of federal real estate deals approved by Congress in December, including the construction of the new $2B-plus, 2.1M SF Federal Bureau of Investigation headquarters that will replace the current HQ in DC, and will be one of the biggest GSA deals, if not the biggest, under the Trump administration.

Other GSA deals include a 562k SF consolidation for the Department of Homeland Security Customs and Border Protection Office of Information Technology that is currently spread across 11 buildings in Virginia; and a more than 800k SF new lease for the National Archives and Records Administration, Federal Records Center now in Lee's Summit, Mo. 

The FDA is part of a flock of larger office users scouting the Atlanta market for space, including AON, which is narrowing its choices down. Sutherland Asbill Brennan (now called Eversheds Sutherland, following its recent merger) with up to 250k SF, and CarMax, searching for 80k SF in the Cumberland/Galleria submarket, are also looking, according to a recent Stream Realty report.