Word is filtering to me that the mayor has scheduled a press conference for 11 a.m. to announce that the city is going to
sublease 225 Virginia Avenue
--the wording sounds like they've got someone lined up, but I don't know who (we do know that NPR apparently has been looking at the building
as a possibility for its new headquarters, but I don't know if they're the ones actually getting the building). The city is paying $6 million a year to rent 225 Virginia (aka the old Star Plant, aka the old Post Plant), so this would actually be a sub-sub lease. And the building's ownership structure itself is very complicated, in a way I don't understand enough to adequately or correctly explain.
Mayor Fenty will also apparently announce, as I speculated yesterday
, that the police department's First District station will indeed be moving to Bowen Elementary after it is closed at the end of the school year, allowing the Consolidated Forensics Lab to be built on the site of the current 1D station at Fourth and School, SW. It was the idea of moving 1D to 225 Virginia, hatched in the waning days of the Williams administration, that got the city into the lease in the first place. The plan then expanded to moving a bunch of other MPD functions there as well, including the executive offices and the evidence lockup, but it was scuttled after much community opposition to the traffic/parking issues, plus feelings that it just wasn't the right use for the building given its somewhat residential location. (You can browse my entries on 225
for more background.)
It will be interesting to see Phil Mendelson's reaction to all of this, given that he clearly has continued to hold out hope that 225 Virginia would still be able to be used for some MPD functions.
UPDATE: See this entry
for the more updated information from the press conference, and for any subsequent media coverage.