Region 2 Newsroom
Welcome to the Northeast and Caribbean Region’s newsroom. Here you will find news briefs, media releases, advisories, and more providing information on regional projects, accomplishments, and activities within New York, New Jersey, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
The Northeast and Caribbean Region’s Public Affairs Office is located at the regional headquarters in New York City. This office issues regional media releases and advisories, manages the region’s social media and public web sites, as well as serves as a local contact for regional press.
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News in the Northeast and Caribbean Region
New York, N.Y. — The U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) has awarded a contract to Northland/Cianbro a Joint Venture, based in Pittsfield, Maine, for the facility-wide modernization and expansion of the U.S. Land Port of Entry at Alexandria Bay, N.Y.
- The project award amount for Phase 1 is $90,875,000 with a contract value inclusive of all options totaling $214,866,000.
- Construction on Phase 1 is expected to begin in summer 2017 and the phased project is expected to be fully completed in July 2022.
- Phase 1 includes construction of a commercial inspection warehouse with inspection bays, commercial inspection lanes (with split-level booths for commercial and non-commercial traffic), impound lot, and a portion of elevated parking. Phase 1 also includes acquisition of necessary parcels of land from Jefferson County and New York State Department of Transportation.
- The contract option for Phase 2 is expected to be exercised in 2018, subject to receipt of congressional appropriations. Phase 2 includes construction of a new main administration building, a new outbound inspection facility, a new veterinary services building, non-commercial inspection lanes, a new non-commercial secondary inspection plaza, ancillary inspection facilities, and employee and visitor parking areas.
Read more about the project.
Proposal includes $132M to fund phase 2 of Alexandria Bay, NY, project, another $126M to invest in Holtsville, NY, and New York City properties
WASHINGTON — Today, U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) Acting Administrator Timothy Horne announced critical investments that are a part of the President’s fiscal year 2018 budget request. The $10.5 billion budget proposed for the agency focuses on ensuring efficient and effective operations supporting Americans with improvements in real estate, security and information technology systems.
"The President’s budget includes investments to bolster the efficiency, effectiveness and security of the federal government,” said GSA Acting Administrator Horne. “The proposed funding will allow GSA to enhance our nation’s infrastructure and security in both real space and cyberspace. Once the budget is enacted, coupled with our government-wide acquisition services, GSA will be positioned to better provide the services and solutions that allow the government to focus on mission-critical activities and more efficiently serve the American people."
The proposed budget reflects the Administration’s commitment to strategic investments in our nation’s infrastructure and national security, as well as addressing the government’s common information technology challenges. “In addition to investments requested through the President’s budget, GSA will continue to support key government-wide acquisition goals of speed to value, reducing burden and unnecessary duplication, and improving small business utilization,” added Horne.
The budget request includes $9.95 billion to support the operations of the Public Buildings Service and make necessary investments in GSA’s real estate portfolio. To enhance our nation’s security and commerce, the proposed budget provides $489 million for land port of entry (LPOE) construction projects in New York, California, and Arizona as well as $18 million for a LPOE repair and alterations project in Washington State. These LPOE investments will enhance lawful commerce as well as provide the infrastructure capacity to fulfill traffic demands and support federal inspection agencies in their missions of securing our nation’s borders. The request also includes $135 million for the Department of Homeland Security headquarters consolidation project at St. Elizabeths campus in Washington, D.C., to continue the construction of infrastructure at the campus, which will reduce duplication in leased space and enhance mission effectiveness.
GSA is requesting $278 million for three new initiatives - in technology, real estate management and federal permitting - that will promote government efficiency.
To address the challenge of effectively delivering information technology across the federal government, the President’s budget includes $228 million to support the establishment of the Technology Modernization Fund (TMF). The TMF will provide a central mechanism for retiring and replacing antiquated legacy IT systems that are not cost-effective or pose security risks. The fund will align upfront funding, high-level management and oversight, and technical expertise to enhance the ability of the government to protect sensitive data, reduce costs, and deliver services to the public.
The FY 2018 request includes $40 million to support the establishment of the Asset Proceeds and Space Management Fund, which will implement the recommendations of the Public Buildings Reform Board established in the Federal Asset Sales and Transfers Act of 2016 (Public Law 114-287). The Board, GSA, and other federal agencies will work collaboratively to improve the efficiency of the federal real property inventory.
In addition, GSA is requesting $10 million for the Federal Permitting Improvements Steering Council (FPISC). The council will work with permit-issuing agencies to improve coordination and provide support relating to large infrastructure projects that require federal authorization or environmental reviews. In addition, the Council manages the Federal Permitting Dashboard, an online tool for federal agencies, project directors, and interested members of the public to track the federal government’s environmental review and authorization process for large or complex infrastructure projects.
The budget request also includes $231 million for GSA’s current appropriated activities. This includes:
$53.5 million for the Office of Government-wide Policy to develop and analyze administrative policies and oversee important guidelines such as the Federal Travel Regulations and Federal Acquisition Regulations and reporting efforts including the Federal Real Property Profile.
$45.6 million for the real and personal property disposal programs, Office of the Administrator, and other enterprise-wide management functions in the Operating Expenses account.
$8.8 million for the Civilian Board of Contract Appeals to resolve contract disputes between Government contractors and agencies under the Contract Disputes Act.
$65.0 million to support the independent activities of the GSA Inspector General to identify and correct management and administrative issues within GSA.
$4.8 million to fulfill GSA’s statutory responsibilities under the Former Presidents Act.
$53.7 million for the Federal Citizen Services Fund to support programs and activities that enhance cybersecurity and citizens’ ability to securely interact with federal agencies.
GSA Goes Hollywood
Spring is TV pilot filming season and, believe it or not, GSA often has a role in all the activity and excitement! No less than six television series have filmed so far this spring at GSA-owned facilities in lower Manhattan: “Billions” and “Time After Time” at the Alexander Hamilton U.S. Custom House, “Blindspot,” “The Blacklist” and an untitled Paul Davies project at the Jacob K. Javits Federal Building, and “Salamander” at the Ted Weiss Federal Building.
In fact, buildings in the region’s portfolio have a long and busy history of serving as location shoots for television and film, from Oliver Stone’s “Wall Street” 30 years ago to more recent fare like the 10-time Oscar nominated “American Hustle,” “The Wolf of Wall Street,” and the upcoming “The Wizard of Lies” starring Robert DeNiro as Bernie Madoff. It is all part of Region 2’s pioneering work in GSA’s national Film and Event Outleasing Program.
“Film and television location scouts search the area for ‘film-friendly’ buildings all the time, and they find many of our buildings as ‘film-friendly’ as can be,” said Allison Arias, the Region 2 film outlease coordinator. “The Javits Federal Building, the Ted Weiss Federal Building and the Mollo Federal Building are all in high demand, and the U.S. Custom House at One Bowling Green is the most sought after of all.”
“Scouts and production crews love Bowling Green both for its own great beauty and for the fact that it can stand in for other city locations they might not be able to get, like the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Both Bowling Green and The Met are prime examples of Beaux-Arts architecture, so the substitution is pretty convincing,” said David Anthone, program manager of R2’s Film and Event Outleasing Program and Historic Preservation Officer.
“Not that these crews don’t go all out to get everything else right,” he continued. “For a series called ‘Time After Time,’ set dressing was so thorough that fake museum displays, plaques, brochures and TV monitors were installed to create an H.G. Wells museum space within the Custom House.”
That sort of attention to detail is mirrored on GSA’s end by ensuring that all film shoots are properly licensed and managed, including security, insurance, janitorial services and accounting.All is done so as not to interfere with the federal business within the buildings; most shoots take place after hours and on weekends.
“Production companies pay to paint or refinish surfaces to what they need and then pay to put them back,” Anthone said. “The team from ‘Ugly Betty’ had to pay about $15,000 to paint and repaint at Bowling Green some years back. Sometimes it also happens that the work was exactly what we wanted and we don’t have them undo it, such as the time we permanently kept the drapes from when Bowling Green was used as a set for ‘Inside Man,’ or the wall sconces from when Bowling Green was also used as a set for ‘Boardwalk Empire.’”
Besides further showcasing and documenting the architectural legacy of GSA buildings to the public, film and television outleasing also generates revenue. All overtime and reimbursable expenses for security, property management and janitorial services are recovered from the production companies, which also pay a licensing fee for the use of GSA-owned facilities. Last year in Region 2, such licensing fees amounted to $300,000, which were transferred into a special GSA historic preservation fund used for restorations within the region’s landmark buildings. Recent awards from that fund include the decorative ceiling restoration at the Thurgood Marshall U.S. Courthouse, artwork conservation at the James T. Foley U.S. Courthouse in Albany, and work done at a U.S. land port of entry—all at no expense to taxpayers.
Finally, Region 2 has used its experience to conduct national training and further develop these programs in other regions, such as Region 4 in Atlanta and Region 5 in Chicago. For more information about the outleasing for film and TV program, “have your people call our people,” Allison Arias at firstname.lastname@example.org or David Anthone at email@example.com.
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