Judge Rejects Redbrick's Challenge Over SEC Headquarters Search
A developer's attempt to bring the Securities and Exchange Commission headquarters to its Southeast D.C. site appears to have failed.
A federal judge Tuesday issued an order rejecting Redbrick LMD's protest over the General Services Administration's decision to pass on its bid for the SEC at Poplar Point, the Washington Business Journal reports.
The GSA in 2017 began its search for a new 1.3M SF headquarters for the SEC, which is located near Union Station at 100 F St. NW. The owner of its current building campus, Property Group Partners, has also filed a protest over the search.
Redbrick filed its protest in May, claiming it was unfairly eliminated from the competition. The developer owns an 8-acre Poplar Point site where it plans Columbian Quarter, a 2.3M SF development. The project has gone through its own legal challenge, with a group appealing its approval in June 2018 before ultimately withdrawing the appeal 11 months later.
The Columbian Quarter project is planned to include 1.6M SF of office, 700 residential units and 52K SF of retail. The project stands to benefit from its location in an opportunity zone and from D.C.'s proposed Comprehensive Plan amendments. Redbrick has sought an anchor office tenant to kick off the project and help draw traffic for potential retailers.
The developer's protest against the GSA claimed it was unfairly rejected because it lacked nearby dining options, arguing that it would be able to sign such retailers after landing an office anchor like the SEC. Its argument was rejected in September by the Government Accountability Office and this week by U.S. Court of Federal Claims Judge Nancy Firestone, the WBJ reported.
The decision allows the GSA to move forward with its search and ultimately award a new lease for the SEC. At 1.3M SF, the requirement is one of the largest potential deals in the federal government's real estate pipeline.