Last Friday, National Public Radio dedicated its new 400,000-square-foot world headquarters in Washington. We sold our old facility in a prime real-estate zone at the peak of the market, a transaction named by business press as the “sale of the year.”
We bought into a blighted neighborhood that the District of Columbia was seeking to revive by freezing real estate taxes for 20 years, and financed the $200 million building — where Chesapeake & Potomac Telephone Co. once distributed phone booths — at record-low borrowing rates, from the sale of our old building and through the generosity of our donors. We received no government funds except for $5 million to move the satellite distribution system that serves the nationwide public radio system.
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Richard Rampell is an accountant in Palm Beach. He serves on the NPR Foundation Board of Trustees.