4 Reasons Why NLC Is Moving to a New Building – And What It Means for Cities

The National League of Cities is relocating from its Pennsylvania Ave. headquarters to 660 North Capitol Street in Washington, D.C. Here’s why that matters.

The new headquarters of the National League of Cities. (photo: Greg Roth)

The new headquarters of the National League of Cities as of July 4, 2016. (photo: Greg Roth)

Location matters. It determines your neighbors, your amenities, your children’s schools – and, if you’re a business, your workforce. Residents and businesses rely on their community to provide critical public infrastructure, connecting them to clean water, transportation, jobs and much more.

With this in mind, city leaders work to cultivate a quality of life that attracts, develops and retains diverse families and businesses. As NLC moves from Pennsylvania Ave. to Capitol Hill, we’re following the example of our members by creating an environment that helps us achieve our mission. Here are four reasons NLC’s new building helps us do that.

1. A “new look” that better reflects our values and priorities

A stark contrast to the traditional D.C. architecture that surrounds it, our new space is a bold statement about the forward direction of NLC. With floor-to-ceiling windows and a modern open concept design, 660 North Capitol Street features state-of-the-art conference rooms and offices for visiting members. LEED gold certified, the building is both energy conscious and efficient, setting an example for our member cities. Our new space invites innovation and collaboration, mirroring NLC’s capacity to always think and look forward to the future.

Why Move?
Thanks to the vision of NLC leadership in the 1970s and 80s, NLC owns a 30% share of its current building at 1301 Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, D.C. After a thorough analysis, the ownership partners have decided to replace the current outdated structure with a new, state-of-the-art building beginning this summer. NLC will retain its ownership share, but will need to relocate. Once the new building is complete, NLC will lease its share of the new building to provide a strong revenue source to help support NLC’s mission.

2. The location better positions us for federal advocacy

Federal policy can have an immense impact on local governments. As a unified voice for America’s cities and towns, we lobby to influence laws and regulations that affect our members. Our new presence just six blocks from the Capitol Building gives us convenient access to Congress, helping us maintain the relationships we need to serve our members.

3. We’re collocating with NACo

The National Association of Counties (NACo) will be in the same building as NLC, and the two organizations will share a conference center on the building’s first floor. Our partnership will strengthen the ties between cities and counties and encourage collaboration between our two organizations. By working together on the many areas where our interests align, we will present a united voice of local government on Capitol Hill.

4. The building offers unique features that will enable staff to be more productive and collaborative

With an open concept design and abundant space for meetings, our new office facilitates collaboration and free exchange between departments and staff members. A café on the main floor welcomes open dialogue and creative solutions. Our conference center with NACo will enable us to host in-person and online meetings that are sure to increase information sharing among our members and national experts in local government issues.

We look forward to sharing more about the new “city hall” in the nation’s capital as we prepare for and complete our move.

About the Author: Meridith St. Jean is the Associate for Marketing, Communications & Technology at the National League of Cities.