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Trump Administration Moving Another Federal Agency Out Of D.C. Region

The office building at 20 M St. SE

The federal government is continuing an effort to relocate agencies away from the Washington region in a move that could hurt the D.C. office market. 

Interior Department officials told Bureau of Land Management employees Tuesday that 81% of the agency's headquarters staff, more than 300 jobs, would move from D.C. to Grand Junction, Colorado, by the end of next year, the Washington Post reports

The Bureau of Land Management is based at Lerner Enterprises' 20 M St. SE office building. It signed a 10-year, 94K SF lease in 2009 to occupy roughly half of the 191K SF building. Sitting one block from the Navy Yard Metro Station and Nationals Park, the building is also occupied by Booz Allen Hamilton

The agency plans to keep roughly 60 of its 360 headquarters employees in D.C., while the rest of the jobs will move west. An Interior Department official said the move would save the government money because BLM's D.C. lease is set to expire and costs would be cheaper out West, the Post reported.

JLL Senior Managing Director Brian Tucker, who leases the 20 M St. SE building on behalf of Lerner, said the team's forecasting always assumes tenants will leave at the end of their lease term. 

"This is always a possibility [a tenant doesn't renew]," Tucker wrote in an email to Bisnow. "With that in mind, we are always trying to position our asset for the future, and with this lease expiration in sight, this is no exception."

The Bureau of Land Management is not the first D.C.-based federal agency to be tapped for a relocation away from the region this year. 

The U.S. Department of Agriculture last month announced it plans to relocate over 500 jobs from two agencies, the Economic Research Service and the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, from D.C. to the Kansas City region. D.C. Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton has taken steps aiming to prevent that move, and she vowed Tuesday to fight the BLM move. 

"Yet again, the Trump administration is attempting to disrupt the lives of hundreds of federal employees and sabotaging their important work to fulfill a misguided politically inspired change," Norton said in a statement. "Just as I have fought the misguided, politically motivated relocation of the USDA, I will fight this relocation will all tools at my disposal."