Locating Federal Facilities on Historic Properties

The federal government acknowledges the importance of strengthening our towns and cities to make them attractive places to live and work. In addition, executive agencies, when operationally feasible and fiscally prudent, must give consideration to using historic buildings and locations in historic districts.

In accordance with the National Historic Preservation Act and Executive Orders 11593, 12072 and 13006, as amended, prior to acquiring, constructing or leasing buildings to carry out their missions, each federal agency must use, to the extent feasible, historic properties available to the agency. Executive Order 13006 further directs federal agencies to use and maintain, wherever operationally appropriate and economically prudent, historic properties and districts in qualified opportunity zones (as defined in 26 U.S.C. 1400Z-1), other distressed areas, and centralized business districts.

Executive Order 13946: Targeting Opportunity Zones and Other Distressed Communities for Federal Site Locations

Expands the city-center focus of Executive Orders 12072 and 13006 to include state-designated, low-income rural and urban communities, as well as other distressed areas, reflected in amendments to both orders

Executive Order 13006: Locating Federal Facilities on Historic Properties in our Nation's Central Cities

The order reaffirms the government's commitment to "strengthen our Nation's distressed communities by encouraging the location of Federal facilities in qualified opportunity zones, other distressed areas, and centralized business to provide leadership in the preservation of historic resources...and to acquire and utilize space in suitable buildings of historic, architectural, or cultural significance."

Executive Order 12072: Federal Space Management

Covers federal acquisition and use of facilities in urban areas, encouraging investment in distressed communities, while promoting the efficient acquisition, utilization, and disposal of federally owned and leased space

GSA Historic Property Leasing Price Preference [PDF - 284 KB]
This regulation revises the existing provision on historic preference. It aligns definitions of historic property and historic districts with definitions in the NHPA and Title 36 of the Code of Federal Regulations. It also establishes how historic preference is applied to site acquisitions. The regulation creates a "price preference" (permitted additional cost) for historic buildings (10%) and undeveloped sites in historic districts (2.5%).

The 10 percent preference is intended to offset additional rehabilitation costs required to comply with the Secretary of Interior's Standards, under Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act. The 2.5 percent preference considers potential development constraints associated with historic district regulation, but without the interior building restrictions applied to historic buildings.

Last Reviewed: 2020-12-04