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NPR Headquarters Nears Completion

Some 760 staff will be moving in soon

A two-story open newsroom, a large performance space and an exhibit about NPR will be part of the network’s new consolidated headquarters when it opens soon.

Some 760 employees will start moving from three locations into the new headquarters in Washington in a few weeks. NPR today issued an update to the project, saying employees will move in phases, beginning in March and ending in late April, after several weeks of training on new gear.

The location should be an easy address to remember, 1111 North Capitol Street NE. Three years of construction ended in December, and NPR said the interior will be finished this month.

City officials will be pleased if NPR again is an early participant in an area’s revitalization; the new neighborhood is a designated business improvement district. NPR has been in D.C. since its founding in 1970. It moved to its current main site at 635 Massachusetts Avenue NW in 1994. That neighborhood has since become a hot entertainment area, and in 2008, NPR sold the building (it says the sale was named best real estate deal of that year by Washington Business Journal). It has a lease agreement there and at two subsidiary locations nearby.

About the new building:

“Visitors will enter the building through a landscaped plaza,” NPR stated. “Upon entering they will find an exhibit and a multimedia mosaic dedicated to NPR’s story, a performance studio that seats up to 250 and the NPR Commons, an events space for small groups and site of the NPR Shop.”

The headquarters features two integrated “blocks,” including part of a historically preserved 1920s warehouse and a new seven-story office block behind it. Total square feet: 440,000. The architectural firm is Hickok Cole; the builder is Balfour Beatty Construction.

“The heart of the building is a two-story open newsroom with broadcast and production studios to accommodate NPR’s round-the-clock schedule,” the company said. “NPR’s news, music, programming and digital staff are co-located on these floors.” The building will also support the Public Radio Satellite System.

NPR highlighted environmental features that it hopes will earn LEED Gold certification, including a “green” roof, a special cooling system and a system that captures street run-off within nearby tree-pits.

NPR Picks Builder for New HQ (2010) 
NPR Planned Move Has Ramifications for Distribution (2009)