GSA sells former VA campus for $1

January 17, 2020

Eleven people stand behind a row of seven people seated for a group photo
GSA Heartland Regional Administrator Michael Copeland (back left), Region 7 Branch Chief John Robinson (front left), Project Manager Dana Hatfield (back, second from right) and Real Property Disposal Officer Melvin Freeman (back right) pose for a photo with local dignitaries from Knoxville and Marion County, Iowa, after a press conference Jan. 15. Photograph by Alison Kohler

By Alison Kohler

KNOXVILLE, Iowa — The former Knoxville Veterans Affairs Campus turns 100 years old this year, and it has a new owner after years of collaboration among several federal, state and local entities.

Fast facts

  • The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs notified GSA in January 2018 that their KVAC property was excess to their needs.
  • GSA Region 7 worked diligently the past two years with partners through an intricate sequence of steps in the federal government’s process to dispose of real property.
  • The property is 151 acres and includes 39 buildings.
  • GSA worked with the Department of Veterans Affairs, the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation, the Iowa State Historic Preservation Office, Marion County and the City of Knoxville over the past two years.
  • Marion County and the City of Knoxville hosted a press conference Jan. 15 to announce the signing of memorandums of agreement and deed transfer to Marion County. GSA employees signed the necessary documents, including an offer to purchase the property for $1, and handed over dozens of keys for the campus after the event.
  • GSA employees involved in the multi-year collaboration include Real Property Disposal Officer Melvin Freeman, Project Manager Dana Hatfield, Realty Specialist Joseph Potter, Branch Chief John Robinson, Regional Appraiser Craig Blaire, Heartland Regional Historic Preservation Officer Sylvia Augustus, Federal Preservation Officer Beth Savage, Heartland Regional Administrator Michael Copeland, and Senior Advisor to the Regional Administrator Judy Dungan.
  • Marion County and the City of Knoxville plan to make the property development-ready by removing structures, replacing infrastructure, and attempting to sell Buildings 27 and 28. The first focus for development, planned for the south side, is residential with a mix of types, ownership and price points through a private developer. The property is to be called the Knoxville VA District.

"It’s been a thorough process to transfer the former Knoxville Veterans Affairs Campus. It's a massive property rich with culture and history," said GSA Heartland Regional Administrator Michael Copeland. "We share in the vision that this property will contribute to the betterment of the people of Knoxville and preserve the rich history of the district."

Last Reviewed: 2020-01-17