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.

Helping agencies save big on leasing costs


Finding ways to help federal agency partners save money on their rental rates is a key priority for GSA. Recently, the Great Lakes Region helped two federal agencies save more than $6.5 million on leasing costs.

Exterior image of FDA's new leased office space in Detroit, Michigan
The FDA’s flagship office in Detroit (Thomas Owoc photo)

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s flagship office in Michigan has unique laboratory needs. Finding a new location for the agency could have been a difficult and costly task. GSA worked with FDA to understand the agency’s needs and negotiate a new lease agreement with significant savings.

The new lease saves the government and taxpayers nearly $1.7 million on what would have been the remaining two years of agency’s old lease, and locks in this competitive rate for a new 15-year lease at this specialized space. Additionally, GSA was able to reduce the cost of the remaining tenant improvement repayment from the current lease by $292,000.

Another cost-saving effort involved the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Since the mid-1970s, NHTSA has housed its research, development, test, and evaluation laboratory in central Ohio. The agency, under its own leasing authority, had multiple operation and maintenance contracts in addition to the lease. They asked GSA to solicit for a new lease to simplify many of these actions and allow them to focus on their mission.

With the facility in a remote location, GSA did not have comparable data when initial lease negotiations began. GSA was able to negotiate a new lease for NHTSA at the current location, bringing together many of the previous operational contracts into one lease. Additionally, GSA secured a lower rate from the initial offer, reducing the potential payments by $4.8 million over the lease’s 15-year firm term.

By taking the time to understand the needs of both FDA and NHTSA and learning the local real estate markets, GSA was able to create greater efficiencies and realize significant savings for these federal agencies.

News Around the Region

Four Historic Michigan Lighthouses for Sale Via Online Auction


Long shot of Poe Reef Lighthouse in Lake Huron
Poe Reef Lighthouse in Lake Huron off the coast of Cheboygan, Michigan

If you'd like to own a historic Michigan lighthouse, four more are now for sale via public online auction at

The following offshore lighthouses are available for public sale starting July 26, 2017:

  • Detroit River Light (1855), a 55-foot light marking the entrance to the Detroit River approximately two miles offshore in Lake Erie
  • Fourteen Foot Shoal Light (1929), a 36-foot light, painted white with red lantern roof, located at the northern end of Lake Huron, marking a narrow, 14-foot-deep passage ships must navigate to Lake Michigan
  • Lansing Shoal Light (1928), a 69-foot square masonry light sitting on a square concrete basement atop a stone filler crib and located 11 miles north of Beaver Island, Michigan, aiding ships navigating the Straits of Mackinac
  • Poe Reef Light (1929) a 71-foot light, painted white with black markings and a red lantern-room roof, located in Lake Huron and working in tandem with Fourteen Foot Shoal Light to mark a shallow reef for ships heading west to Lake Michigan

Interested bidders will need to complete an online registration form and submit a registration deposit. Information can be found on These lighthouses occupy Great Lakes Public Trust bottomlands owned by the state of Michigan. The state will require any purchaser to enter into a Private Use Agreement for lease of bottomlands prior to any use or occupancy of the lighthouse. The lighthouses will also serve as an active aid to navigation, which will remain the personal property of the U.S. Coast Guard.

print Share Icon Last Reviewed 2017-09-07