Arent Fox on Monday notified Congress it is lobbying for a private real estate investment firm on changes to Washington's Union Station, a local landmark.
The law firm is advocating for New York-based Ashkenazy Acquisition Corp. on the "redevelopment of Union Station," according to a lobbying registration filing. The company bought the lease to the U.S. government-owned train station in 2007.
Neither Arent partner Jon Bouker, who is handling the account, nor an Ashkenazy representative could immediately be reached for comment.
Union Station has 213,000 square feet of retail space, 109,700 square feet of office space and 63,800 square feet of Amtrak concourse, according to Ashkenazy. More than one hundred businesses operate at the station, which was completed in 1908. Amtrak’s corporate offices also are in the building.
The non-profit Union Station Redevelopment Corp. manages the building on behalf of the federal government. The U.S. Transportation Department created the corporation in 1982 to help revitalize the station, which endured years of neglect following the decline of rail use in the 1950s.
A multi-million dollar restoration of the station was completed in 1988. But redevelopment of the building isn’t over.
The corporation currently is “shepherding [Ashkenazy] through the historic review agencies approval process to modernize the station, while protecting the fabric of its historical make up,” according to the non-profit’s Web site. Ashkenazy intends to invest about $35 million on renovations that would expand the shops, restaurants and services at the station, according to long-term planning outlined in 2010 in the station’s master plan.