Two federal agencies are getting new headquarters buildings in Washington, D.C., while other offices will be consolidated as part of a $300 million plan funded by the Inflation Reduction Act, officials from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and General Services Administration said on Tuesday.
The Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency and Immigration & Customs Enforcement will be relocating to DHS’ St. Elizabeths campus, where it will be joined by a new 1,500-space parking garage, to serve as a central office for a majority of agency employees.
“As public servants, we have a responsibility to the public to make smart, careful use of their money,” said U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas at an event Thursday. “Bringing the DHS, CISA and ICE together under one roof at St. Elizabeth’s will increase departmental mission cohesion and streamline inter- and intra-component collaboration, which helps make a stronger and better positioned to mitigate the new and evolving threats America faces.”
St. Elizabeths’ west campus, situated in southeast D.C. on a pastoral hill overlooking the Anacostia River, has been a development project for GSA for some time, with goals to maximize its 176 acres into a high-security federal campus that will serve as the management and operations hub for DHS.
The construction, which is set to break ground next year, will yield additional office space for 6,500 personnel, more than doubling the number of employees who currently work there, and further consolidate DHS from 40 locations to six, eliminating the equivalent of 21 football fields of space in the National Capital Region.
This comes at a time when many federal agencies are being urged by the White House to bring employees back to offices, some of which have sat at 25% capacity or less.
“We’ve worked very closely with the Department of Homeland Security about their mission needs here and that includes the people that they need on site here,” U.S. General Services Administration Administrator Robin Carnahan told reporters at the event.
For some years, the White House has been urging federal agencies to better utilize existing space through consolidation and higher occupancy rates, to which the Biden administration added goals for decarbonization of federal buildings and net-zero emissions by 2045.
“With this project, we’re modeling a comprehensive approach to sustainability in the federal footprint — using low-embodied carbon materials, new technologies, and a strong partnership on grid decarbonization with the local utility company,” said Carnahan.
GSA signed a memorandum on Tuesday with utility provider company, Pepco, to partner on electrical infrastructure and electric vehicle charging. Pepco provides energy services to approximately 894,000 customers in the D.C. and Maryland.
Molly Weisner is a staff reporter for Federal Times where she covers labor, policy and contracting pertaining to the government workforce. She made previous stops at USA Today and McClatchy as a digital producer, and worked at The New York Times as a copy editor. Molly majored in journalism at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.