Metro Releases Proposal To Sell Its Longtime Headquarters Near Gallery Place
Metro's longtime headquarters, a 44-year-old building on a prime development site in Downtown D.C., will soon hit the market.
The transit agency concluded it should sell the building at 600 Fifth St. NW as part of its office consolidation strategy, it said in a proposal released Thursday and first reported by the Washington Post.
The Jackson Graham Building, named for the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority's first general manager, has been the agency's home since 1974, two years before the system was operational. It sits one block east of the Gallery Place-Chinatown Metro station and Capital One Arena.
WMATA retained JLL in August to help it come up with a strategy to consolidate the 912K SF of office space it has spread across the D.C. region. The assessment concluded that Metro should sell the Jackson Graham Building, acquire a new D.C. property for its headquarters and two properties in Maryland and Virginia for regional offices, and vacate its five leased offices. The agency would maintain the four additional suburban offices it owns.
The proposal, which must be approved by the WMATA board, says the agency would reduce its occupied offices from 10 to seven and cut its overall footprint by 100K SF, saving $130M over the next 20 years. The strategy aims to help improve the agency's long-suffering financial situation, which received another boost earlier this year when the D.C.-area jurisdictions agreed to a regional funding agreement.
The agency is also seeking to rezone the Jackson Graham Building property to make it more attractive for developers. WMATA in April applied to change the site's zoning to allow mixed-use development up to 120 feet tall, plus a penthouse. The Zoning Commission has not yet voted on its application.