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Call it yet another sign of the impact of harder times on the economy. The Mortgage Bankers Association has puts its award-winning Washington headquarters building on the market less than year after the association bought it.The building is situated at 1331 L Street, NW, on the edge of D.C.’s legal and lobbying downtown corridor.The 10-story, 170,000-square-foot building won an award for environmentally sound business design by gaining a leadership in energy and environmental design gold certification from the U.S. Green Building Council after it was completed in the summer of 2008.Cheryl Crispen, senior vice president for communications for the association, said the LEED designation might help the association sell the building in what is admittedly a tough market.The association notified members, which include some credit unions, with an Oct. 27 letter.“The MBA board came to its decision after thoughtful deliberation and is in complete agreement that a sale of 1331 L Street is the best course for MBA,” the letter said. “The sale of 1331 L Street will allow MBA to continue serving our members in the highly effective manner to which you have become accustomed. MBA will continue to lease a substantial portion of 1331 L Street through 2020 so that the sale will not require the MBA to incur the expense and effort of a move.”“The decision to purchase 1331 L Street was made after recommendations by three separate member-led task forces,” the association continued. “Since the purchase in May 2008, the U.S. economy has suffered one of the most severe recessions in a century, and the residential and commercial real estate markets have materially deteriorated. These factors, coupled with a challenging leasing environment, led the MBA board to conclude that continued ownership of 1331 L Street was economically imprudent and over the long term would impair MBA’s ability to continue providing our members with MBA’s full range of services.”–[email protected]

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