Fannie Mae plans to sell its Washington, D.C., headquarters building within the next three years as it consolidates several office sites into a single location, the mortgage finance company announced Thursday.
Fannie Mae has space in five owned and leased buildings in the area, including its headquarters at 3900 Wisconsin Ave. The decision to sell the organization' real estate stemmed from two leases that will expire in coming years, deteriorating conditions in the headquarters building and the chance to consolidate employees from five locations into one, Fannie Mae spokesman Pete Bakel said.
The company prefers to lease a single location in downtown Washington, officials said.
Last year, as Congress debated dissolving both Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, speculation mounted that the organizations real estate may go up for sale. Bakel said in an interview that the decision had nothing to do with the debate about possible changes to the nations housing finance system.
"This move comes ahead of the expiration of two leases on buildings that house many of our employees in the District. While an exact location has not been determined, we are focused on making responsible real estate decisions to ensure the wise use of resources, the safety and soundness of operations, and flexibility to adapt to changes in our future workplace needs," Bakel said in a statement.
Fannie Mae employs 2,800 in the Washington, about 40% of the companys workforce. The move could happen in 2016 or 2017, officials said.
"At this point in time were moving forward to help build a better system for the future," Bakel said. "So we are just trying to improve everything about our business, including infrastructure, and part of that infrastructure is the housing of our operations."
Bakel added that possible reform by Congress, "doesn't play into our planning because we can't predict the future. I don't think anybody does."