ICE melting away

The Immigration and Custom Enforcements (ICE) agency is moving out of the Chester A. Arthur Building (425 I Street NW) to Southwest DC. The move has been ongoing for weeks and will be completed by year end.

The seven-story 384,520 s.f. class B office building has served as the headquarter for ICE (formerly INS) for 30 years. The agency is moving to JBG’s Potomac Center North at 500 12th Street SW.

The Australian based Paramount Group purchased 425 I Street in 2005 for 135.5 million dollars, or about $352 per square foot. Given the high cost per square foot razing the building would not seem to be an option. Paramount will transform the building into Class A office space and is considering adding two stories, an atrium and/or re-skinning the building. The face lift will likely take 12 months while they search for a new tenant.

With the next tenant not likely to be GSA the concrete planters along Eye and 4th Streets that I detest so much should be removed. While the building is vacant, lack of eyes on the street could become an issue. One of my neighbors at Madrigal suggested to me that the early morning activity in the parking lots from the ICE workers each morning allows the walk to Results Gym to be less sketchy.

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  1. 1

    PQS says

    This is fantastic news. That building is an eye sore and was starting to stick out. But you raise a good point. The transition could be a bit sketchy. Hopefully the Dumont will figure out what they are doing and people can start to move in to improve foot traffic. I always walk on I St to get to Safeway, using the security guards as ‘eyes’ rather than walking up to K st. Hopefully the sidewalk on Mass Ave. will open up soon so we can just use that.

  2. 2

    Adam K City Vista says

    Agreed completely. This is bad news until the Dumont construction EVER finishes and we again can walk along the north side of Mass Ave between 4th and 5th.

  3. 3

    mediocre bad guy says

    about 6 months ago I moved my unit from the 10th floor of the Dumont to the 13th as I realized the 10th floor unit was staring right at the mechanical penthouse. It would be a bittersweet moment to see them upgrade/block my view again!

    sigh. this Dumont thing really is jinxed! it’s a shame bc I really heart the building. If it goes apartment I would totally love to rent in the building.

  4. 4

    fourthandeye says

    @MBG – hey you’re still alive! and you still support the DuMont! Just when I thought all the DuMont bandwagoners jumped off and I would finally be able to rant against the building =)