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‘A Building With A Mission’: Experiencing Life As A Tenant In D.C.’s Most Iconic Office Building

The Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center in Washington, D.C.

Elements of American and international culture, influential politics and integral policymaking are the essence of Washington, D.C. — and perhaps no building in the city has a seat closer to the action than the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center.

The RRB/ITC is located at 1300 Pennsylvania Ave. NW on “America’s Main Street,” just blocks away from the White House and the U.S. Capitol. Designed to be one of the area’s most iconic buildings when it opened 26 years ago, the RRB/ITC has a rich history of bringing together business, government, and international trade and culture. 

Then-President Ronald Reagan signed the Federal Triangle Development Act into law in 1987 to provide more than $350M to construct a 3.1M SF international cultural and trade center in the heart of the city. The building, constructed upon the site of a parking lot, was the first mixed-use federal building in D.C., designed for both federal and private sector uses. 

Its mission was — and remains — to assist American companies in the global marketplace and provide facilities that promote all business sectors, with special attention to small and midsized businesses. 

Through this public-private partnership with the federal government, TCMA, A Drew Company, is the exclusive manager for all aspects of the RRB/ITC, including private sector office space, food court space, retail, cafés, a museum, conference and event space, building common area interior and exterior spaces, as well as the District’s largest public parking garage. 

Opening its doors in 1998, the RRB/ITC remains within walking distance of some of the nation’s top businesses, federal agencies, and dining and hospitality destinations. It is also the only office building designated for both government and private use in D.C. 

Bill Jacobini, vice president of leasing for TCMA, said this combination of factors allows tenants to leverage strategic partnerships, forge unique workplace connections and experience opportunities that may not occur in other office spaces across the city.

The RRB/ITC features approximately 150K SF of office space, 80K SF of which is available for lease, in addition to 22 event spaces — including full event staff, planners and a five-star culinary team — that span 65K SF. These spaces include an atrium and rotunda, an amphitheater, conference halls, suites and an expansive 36K SF outdoor courtyard called Woodrow Wilson Plaza

“People in today’s office market want a new kind of work-life balance,” Jacobini said. “They want to be in a prime location with things to do and be able to take advantage of a variety of amenities and activities. They want to make the most out of their workdays, and our building allows tenants and guests to do exactly that.”

Ample amenities and access are what makes the RRB/ITC a prized asset in the D.C. area, Jacobini said. They are also what today’s office tenants value most. JLL researchers predict that by 2025, properties with a “diverse roster of amenities” will garner 12% higher demand than those without a similar range of amenities.

From the 30K SF food court with 17 different dining options to dry cleaning services, two on-site daycare facilities and the city’s biggest parking garage, amenities at the RRB/ITC cover nearly every aspect of what prospective tenants are searching for, Jacobini said. 

Other notable amenities include an on-site Metro station, award-winning architecture, original works of art and the National Children’s Museum as one of the building's major tenants, he said. Free summer concerts, food and arts markets, exhibitions and book fairs fill the building throughout the year for tenants to socialize and forge new connections. The building is also LEED-certified and plans to become fully electric, cutting its energy consumption by about 9%.

What really catches the attention of prospective tenants is the high visibility the building brings to its businesses, Jacobini said. 

Beyond its central location and amenities, the RRB/ITC houses three federal agencies, each complete with its own entrance and tower — the U.S. Agency for International Development, the Environmental Protection Agency, and Customs and Border Protection — in addition to private organizations such as Link Strategic Partners, the U.S. Energy Association, Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg and

Jacobini said it is unusual for private companies and federal agencies to be able to collaborate so seamlessly. It provides them with the opportunity to enhance each other’s missions and goals in a city where this type of relationship is paramount, he said.

“Visibility and access are top priorities for us here at the RRB/ITC,” he said. “There are just natural opportunities that evolve here. Opportunities exist here that aren't going to exist anywhere else because of the mix of business that is coming in and out of our doors every day.” 

Jacobini said that given the RRB/ITC’s designation as the official World Trade Center, Washington, D.C., or WTCDC, it’s not merely an office building — it’s a place for commerce and cultural exchange, fostering meaningful connections and global trade through networking events, cultural days, brand activations, trade shows and conferences.

WTCDC is part of the wider World Trade Center Association, a network of 750,000 businesses and 330 trade centers across more than 100 countries. Through its World Trade Center designation, companies of all shapes and sizes looking to extend their reach into the global marketplace will find that the RRB/ITC offers a blend of trade resources that promote international discussion and economic opportunity. These resources include trade consulting services, event promotion and policy forums.  

“RRB/ITC is a dynamic place with a rich history. Our tenants have so many opportunities right in front of them without having to leave the building,” Jacobini said. “We’re a building with a mission, and we have one goal: to help businesses flourish and help enrich not only D.C. but the global community.”

This article was produced in collaboration between TCMA, A Drew Company, and Studio B. Bisnow news staff was not involved in the production of this content.

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