Lydia DePillis reports from a panel of bigwigs who know just what to do with the MLK library downtown:

Over the past week, a panel of real estate, marketing, and library experts have been interviewing dozens of local figures, pouring over market statistics, and touring the surrounding neighborhoods to figure out what to do with Washington’s central library. The experts, coordinated by the Urban Land Institute at a cost of $125,000, evaluated three scenarios: The library remaining in Mies van der Rohe‘s landmark building as the sole tenant, another tenant coming in to share the space, and the city selling the building and moving somewhere else entirely.

This morning, they came back with their recommendation: Add two floors on top of the four that already exist, and lease it to somebody else, which would generate between $4.1 and $5.5 million annually in rent. The co-tenant would have their own entrance on the northeast corner. That, in turn, could help finance renovations on the rest of the building, estimated to cost between $200 and $250 million (which also drags down the potential return to the city should it choose to sell the building outright; the panel estimated it would only fetch between $58 million and $71 million in the current market).

Read the rest at Housing Complex.