Region 5 Newsroom

GSA's Great Lakes Region Public Affairs Office, located in Chicago, issues media releases and advisories to provide the public with important information on GSA projects and activities within the six states of Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin.


Kalayil, Cooke Bring GSA’s 'Economic Catalyst' Focus to Gary, Ind.
- FEB Meeting spotlight's Gary's 'Strong Cities, Strong Communities' revitalization -

Medium shot of GSA Regional Commissioner John Cooke, Regional Administrator Ann Kalayil, and Gary Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson talking around a breakroom tableAs part of the Chicago Federal Executive Board’s meeting in Gary, Ind., Sept. 10, GSA Regional Administrator Ann Kalayil and PBS Regional Commissioner John Cooke brought GSA’s role as "Economic Catalyst" to Gary, a participant in the White House’s Strong Cities, Strong Communities (SC2) initiative, which provides federal assistance to communities suffering the deepest impacts of the recession. Through federal resources and partnerships with DoT, EPA, GSA, and HUD, the City of Gary is carrying out revitalization efforts, including demolition of a deteriorating hotel, restoration of two train stations, revitalizing brownfield areas, and turning residential demolitions into green spaces. Staging the FEB’s most recent Executive Committee Meeting in Gary helped introduce the partnership players and informed all members of Gary’s ongoing SC2 efforts.

(Photo Caption: PBS Regional Commissioner John Cooke and GSA Regional Administrator Ann Kalayil discuss the Strong Cities, Strong Communities revitalization efforts in Gary, Ind., with Gary Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson.)

Historic Michigan Lighthouses Hit GSA Auction Block
- Online auction allows public to own a piece of history -

Long shot of 59-foot tall, white Skilligalee Light Station on grassy knollThree lighthouses in Michigan are up for public sale via a GSA online auction in an effort to find new owners for these historic structures. The lighthouses include Gravelly Shoal Light, a 65-foot concrete/steel tower constructed in 1939 on the western side of Saginaw Bay, Lake Huron; Spectacle Reef Light, an 86-foot gray conical tower with a small white building attached, constructed in 1874 about 11 miles east of Bois Blanc Island, Lake Huron; and Isle Aux Galets Light Station, commonly called Skilligalee, a still-active a 52-foot structure constructed in 1888 on a gravel shoal seven miles offshore from Cross Village in Lake Michigan.    Read Press Release>    Go to Online Auction>

GSA Requests Proposals to Exchange State Street Buildings for Renovation Work

Long shot of 202 South State Federal Building and the rest of the block looking southGSA issued a Request for Proposal (RFP) July 9 for four properties located at 202, 212, 214 and 220 S. State Street in Chicago. Through this RFP, GSA seeks qualified developers to fund elevator improvements at the Ralph H. Metcalfe Federal Building and tuckpointing and masonry repairs at the Federal Archives and Records Center in Chicago in exchange for the four buildings. This is part of GSA’s ongoing efforts to make more efficient use of the government's real estate assets. The RFP,  viewable on, is open July 8 through October 15.

Read Press Release>


News Around the Region


Finance & Commerce Recognizes Whipple Renovation as 'Top Project'


Long shot of the front entrance of the renovated Whipple Federal BuildingThe Bishop Henry Whipple Federal Building Renovation was chosen recently as a Top Project of 2014 by Finance & Commerce, recognizing Minnesota's best new construction, significant addition, or remodeling projects from all nominations. The Whipple renovation is featured in the July 10 print edition of the magazine and will be recognized at an awards presentation at the Muse Event Center in downtown Minneapolis on Wed., Oct. 21.


Michigan, Wisconsin Lighthouses Sold at Public Auction


Medium shot of red house and light tower of Sturgeon Bay LighthouseIn an effort to save tax dollars while preserving the past, GSA recently sold two lighthouses to public citizens via online auction. The Sturgeon Bay Ship Canal North Pierhead lighthouse in Sturgeon Bay, Wisc., sold for $48,500 to Gordon Krist of Paris, Kentucky, on Sept. 12, 2014, while the Round Island Passage lighthouse near Mackinac Island, Mich., sold for $65,500 to Edward Glosemeyer of St. Louis, Missouri, on Sept. 29. Visit for additional lighthouse and auction information. Read Press Release of Original Offering>

Regional Administrator Kalayil Participates in Federal Surplus Donation with Rep. Tammy Duckworth


Photo of GSA Regional Administrator Ann Kalayil, Congresswoman Tammy Duckworth, and three members of the Glendale Hts., Illinois, VFWGLENDALE HTS., IL – Great Lakes Regional Administrator Ann P. Kalayil recently participated in a Federal Surplus Program computer donation at the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 2377 in Glendale Heights, lll. GSA, along with the State of Illinois Department of Central Management Services (CMS) and the National Association of State Agencies for Surplus Property, partnered with Congresswoman Tammy Duckworth to donate laptop computers to local VFWs and American Legions. These laptops will help the organizations assist veterans with writing resumes, finding skilled employment, and applying for veteran's benefits.

Kalayil Visits Local School and Shares Personal Leadership Story


Regional Administrator Ann Kalayil speaking to students in classroom

CHICAGO – Great Lakes Regional Administrator Ann Kalayil recently visited with 50 ninth grade students at the Young Women’s Leadership Charter School in Chicago. Kalayil talked to the young women about public service leadership in her role as the first woman to be appointed GSA's Great Lakes Regional Administrator. The students shared how they identify with women leaders and how these leaders give them the confidence and courage to pursue their passion and interests in the future. Kalayil also met with school administration and discussed GSA resources available to schools, such as purchasing options through GSA schedules and the Computers for Learning program.

Renovated Chicago Federal Building Wins AIA Design Excellence Award


Exterior night shot of 11 West Quincy Court Federal Building, Chicago

CHICAGO – The American Institute of Architects, Chicago, recently recognized GSA’s 11 West Quincy Court Federal Building at its 58th annual Design Excellence Awards. GSA’s renovation of the building was selected as one of 12 winners out of more than 100 entries in the Distinguished Building Category. By renovating the former Bond department store, GSA preserved a building with deep ties to the local economy and Chicago’s historic State Street. GSA’s renovation preserved the building's architecturally significant exterior while providing a modern, glass-enclosed, energy-efficient interior, which has earned Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED®) Gold certification. The project also transformed Quincy Court from a service alley to the building's new main entrance, tying the building into the Federal Campus. (Christopher Barrett photo)


Last Reviewed 2015-05-14