The federal government began the process Wednesday of selling a 1.1 million square foot complex on North Greene Street in downtown Baltimore that officials expect to be vacant by next year.
The massive Metro West facility, located near the University of Maryland Medical Center and Lexington Market, has been the home to about 1,600 Social Security Administration employees since 1980. The agency announced in 2009 it would move to Northwest Baltimore.
The General Services Administration said Wednesday it will formally solicit ideas from developers about what to do with the site beginning Aug. 8. The agency said it is particularly interested in exchanging the building for construction and repair services on other federal facilities.
Metro West is expected to be vacant by 2014. The 11-acre site on 300 N. Greene St., includes 410 garage parking spaces and surface parking for 108 cars.
"The responses we receive will provide us insight into how we might revitalize a property in Baltimore's central business district, leverage the value of this building, and save taxpayer dollars," Sara Manzano-Diaz, a GSA regional administrator, said in a statement.
The agency stressed that the RFI is only the first step in the process.
SSA employees are moving to a 11.3-acre site near the Reisterstown Road Plaza Metro Station. The $200 million project is one of the most significant underway in Baltimore.
Metro West was hailed as a key to the revitalization of Baltimore's west side when it opened in 1980. Federal employees were expected to help revive the area.