To make the most efficient, cost-effective use of its real estate assets, GSA evaluates our existing portfolio to find properties no longer critical to the government’s operations. This helps save money by reducing the operating costs of federal buildings, which is a key priority for GSA.
In 2016, after careful review of the current and potential occupancy level, GSA determined the Federal Building and U.S. Courthouse in Danville, Ill., was a building we could move out of our inventory to help reduce costs. Using our property disposal authority, we sought to find a new owner for this historic building.
By working with the National Park Service-sponsored public benefit program, allowing state and local governments to acquire historic properties at no cost, Vermillion County applied and was approved to become the new owner for the 106-year old building. The agreement requires the property continue to be used for public purpose and the building’s historically-significant architectural features be maintained and preserved.
In late October, at a ceremony attended by U.S. Congressman John Shimkus, GSA Great Lakes Region Division Director Jesse Ozuna, and county officials from Vermillion County, GSA turned over the keys and ownership of the building to the county. Through this transfer, the historic building will now enable Vermillion County to consolidate several of its departments into one location in Danville’s central business district.
This recent action in central Illinois is just one example of our efforts to reduce costs and improve transparency of the federal government’s real estate assets. In fiscal year 2017, GSA partnered with other federal agencies to dispose of 115 assets government-wide and generated $102 million in proceeds. Since 2013, GSA has completed more than 1,000 disposal transactions – generating $337.5 million in proceeds – and eliminated more than 64,660 acres of excess land. We will continue to evaluate our existing inventory and work with other federal agencies to find cost saving opportunities with our real estate assets.