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Microsoft and two other technology firms have been qualified by D.C. economic development officials to pursue high-tech developments at the former St. Elizabeth's Hospital site in Southeast D.C., according to the Washington Business Journal.
The eastern portion of the abandoned former mental institution in Ward 8 is poised to become a high-tech hub over the next few years, according to District officials.
Microsoft is interested in building an Innovation Center to research national security issues. SmartBIM, an Atlanta-based technology company, would like to build a conference and training facility there in partnership with a Rockville, Md. firm, Treasury Advisory Services. The third company, Citelum, the U.S. subsidiary of a French lighting company, has expressed interest in building a facility to research lighting technology.
The firms would anchor a mixed-used development of more than 4 million square feet. The three companies made the final cut from a larger list that responded to a request for proposals from the District for development of the sprawling complex east of the Anacostia River. The discussions, however, are still in the preliminary stages.
Development on the western side of St Elizabeth's is much closer to completion. The U.S. Coast Guard will open its new headquarters next year, and the Department of Homeland Security will follow suit a few years later.