Smithsonian seeks a new headquarters near the Castle

The Smithsonian Institution is seeking a new home close to the National Mall, a search that’s been more than four years in the making and is likely to draw strong interest from prospective bidders — if they can meet the criteria.

The tax-exempt educational organization has set an Oct. 15 deadline for proposals for up to 460,000 square feet as part of a consolidation from multiple locations across Greater Washington. The institution posted its RFP on Aug. 31, with the goal of making an award in February and taking occupancy by May 2021. It is among the largest space searches in Greater Washington.

That big a space requirement is sure to generate interest from developers like Hoffman-Madison Waterfront, with the second phase of The Wharf, as well as from the owners of existing buildings in the District with large blocks of vacant space. The institution is kicking the search into high gear after first floating the idea of a consolidation in August 2014.

The Smithsonian hopes to bring…

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