Tuesday, February 4, 2014

AEI's New Headquarters to Cost $50 Million

As Think Tank Watch has previously noted, the conservative think tank American Enterprise Institute (AEI) is moving its headquarters to 1785 Massachusetts Ave., next to the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace (CEIP) and the Brookings Institution.

The cost of the project to turn that location, one of Dupont Circle's most historic buildings, which has been occupied for years by the National Trust for Historic Preservation: $50 million, according to The Current newspaper.

Yes, $50 million sounds like a lot, but it is chump change compared to the whopping $100 million that the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) paid for its new building.

Last month AEI earned formal support from the area's advisory neighborhood commission for its renovation plans.  Dupont Circle commissioners reportedly supported construction and landscaping designs for the think tank's new home, with a unanimous vote on January 8, 2014.

There will be 14 bicycle spaces outside AEI's new headquarters, and AEI will be providing showers inside the building for those who bike to work.

But will AEI compete with CSIS for the fanciest chandelier at a think tank?

Think Tank Watch recently explored the site of the soon-to-be new headquarters, and noticed a massive asbestos removal project taking place in the building.  Grunley Construction Company, Inc. is the firm that is renovating the location.  Grunely says that the construction budget is $40 million, and will continue through August 2015.

1785 Massachusetts Ave., NW was built in 1917, and originally served as a luxury apartment building and home to Andrew Mellon.