Battle heats up over DOT HQ move

Plans to relocate the headquarters of the U.S. Dept. of Transportation have touched off an unusual battle between the DOT and its current landlord. In July, the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) approved the DOT’s effort to move its headquarters to a brand new facility located in Anacostia, near the Navy Yard, in Washington, DC. The proposed move would consolidate all of DOT’s branches –

Plans to relocate the headquarters of the U.S. Dept. of Transportation have touched off an unusual battle between the DOT and its current landlord.

In July, the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) approved the DOT’s effort to move its headquarters to a brand new facility located in Anacostia, near the Navy Yard, in Washington, DC. The proposed move would consolidate all of DOT’s branches – except the Federal Aviation Administration – under one roof, totaling some 1.35 million square feet of new office.

However, the landlord for the DOT’s current headquarters, David Nassif Co., is making an aggressive attempt to keep the DOT at its current Seventh Street SW location in the nation’s capitol. Nassif has gone so far as to hire public relations firm Powell Tate and launch a media campaign to sway public opinion against the proposed move.

Largely overshadowed by last week’s terrorist attacks in New York City and in Washington D.C., Powell Tate has created a web site that highlights what it calls ‘environmental hazards’ at the proposed site for DOT’s new headquarters. The web site has caused a lot of grumbling at the DOT because it lists the telephone numbers and e-mail addresses of Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta and others.

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