GSA to Trump: You're hired
The General Services Administration has selected famed real estate developer Donald Trump's firm to overhaul the Old Post Office complex in downtown Washington, turning it into a 250-room luxury hotel with restaurants, a spa, and conference facilities.
GSA said it selected the Trump Organization because its proposal "represented the strongest development team, best long-term potential for the local community, and most consistent stream of revenue for the federal government."
"Deciding to move forward with redeveloping this iconic property will save millions in taxpayer dollars each year," said Robert Peck, commissioner of GSA's Public Buildings Service. "The tremendous response from the private sector," he added, allows the government to "better utilize a historic property on our nation's Main Street."
GSA had been expected to make a decision on redeveloping the property last fall, but pushed back the deadline in November.
The Old Post Office has long been used as federal office space, but in 2008, Congress ordered GSA to lease out the facility while making sure its historic features were preserved.
GSA and the Trump Organization now will spend a year figuring out exactly how the building will be redeveloped, making sure that historic preservation requirements are met. If all goes as planned, construction work will begin in 2014 and will be completed by 2016.
In the meantime, GSA will work to relocate agencies who currently occupy space in the building, including the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation, the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities.