Denham Statement on Latest GSA Proposal to Redevelop Highly Valuable Properties in Metropolitan Washington DC Area

Dec 3, 2012 Issues: Government Waste

WASHINGTON, DC — The General Services Administration (GSA) today announced additional details for the possible redevelopment of highly valuable but significantly underdeveloped and underutilized federal property in the heart of Washington, DC.  Economic Development, Public Buildings and Emergency Management Subcommittee Chairman Jeff Denham (R-Turlock) called the GSA proposal a long overdue but positive step forward.

The GSA has released a notice of intent for a proposed swap of the J. Edgar Hoover Building on Pennsylvania Avenue for the construction of a new Washington-area campus facility to house the Federal Bureau of Investigation.  Their latest plan also includes a proposed redeveloping the Federal Triangle South area of Washington.  This includes the empty Cotton Annex, the Department of Energy Forrestal Complex, the Federal Aviation Administration’s Orville and Wilbur Wright Buildings and the GSA Regional Office Building.  This area comprises 22 acres on Independence Avenue adjacent to the National Mall.

Denham and the Transportation Committee have held hearings since the beginning of 2011 in valuable but empty and underutilized federal buildings – including the Cotton Annex – in Washington, DC, and across the country.  Today’s GSA proposal is the latest example of the Committee actions pressuring the agency into long-delayed positive movement on these assets.

“I appreciate the continued cooperation of Acting Administrator Tangherlini, and hope this proposal is a sign of the GSA’s seriousness about eliminating waste and increasing efficiency in our government,” said Denham. “This announcement by GSA is an acknowledgment that there is real value to be found by redeveloping and selling off these properties and should be a model for the rest of the nation."

H.R. 1734, the Civilian Property Realignment Act – legislation introduced by Denham and passed by the House earlier this year – would significantly improve federal real property management, and create savings by shrinking the federal footprint and selling or redeveloping underutilized buildings through a BRAC-like process.  Although not in the House-passed measure, the Committee approved an earlier version of the bill that required GSA to act on the inefficient DOE headquarters complex, which is also included as part of GSA’s announcement today.

Additional Committee hearings focusing on GSA’s mismanagement of the federal government’s real estate include:

  • August 17, 2012: Hearing in Los Angeles on a proposed but unnecessary new courthouse, the construction of which would create another empty federal building
  • August 6, 2012: Hearing at the empty David W. Dyer Courthouse in Miami
  • June 19, 2012: Hearing at the empty Georgetown Heating Plant
  • March 22, 2012: Hearing at the empty Cotton Annex
  • February 9, 2012: 2nd Hearing at the empty Old Post Office Annex
  • February 10, 2011: 1st Hearing at the empty Old Post Office Annex