The General Services Administration will try to sell 52 federal properties, covering 1,057.1 acres, through the rest of the month--the most offerings since the Reagan administration kicked off its land sales program last October.
The properties available range from a valuable 89-acre U.S. Coast Guard transmitter site at Maili, on Oahu Island, Hawaii, to seven separate U.S. Border Station residences in Maine and Vermont that must be removed from their sites. The offerings include:
A 27.7-acre portion of the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal in Cecil County, Md. The bid deadline is June 29. In Virginia, the only offering in June will be a 39.7-acre portion of the John H. Kerr Dam and Reservoir Project in Mecklenburg County. The bid deadline is June 28. Both properties are unimproved and available for rural residential or agricultural uses.
In Jeffersonville, Ind., an old supply depot building on 4.6 acres of land will be sold June 29; in Pittsfield, Mass., a 0.2-acre part of the Naval Industrial Reserve Ordinance Plant will be sold June 22; in Mississippi, a Social Security Administration Trust Fund Building in Gulfport and a 12-acre Federal Aviation Administration property in Jackson will be sold June 24. In Freemansburg, Pa., a former U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Center, including 4.4 acres and two buildings, will be sold June 30. Also on June 30 will be the sale of a valuable GSA supply depot property in Shelby, Ohio. Other urban commercial properties are available in Parkersburg, W.Va., and San Antonio, Tex.
In Rome, N.Y., the federal government will try to sell aerial cables used in the telephone system for Griffiss Air Force Base. And in Hot Springs National Park, the federal government will try to sell three buildings--but no land.
Through May 13, GSA has sold 154 properties for $46.9 million to the general public. In addition, it has negotiated sales for 23 properties, earning $8.32 million.
GSA has agreed to give New York City 11.4 acres of federal property at Fort Totten in the Queens for a badly needed park. The arrangement also allows the city to buy an additional 32 acres, but the city objects to paying; it wants the land free.
An audit by GSA's inspector general has shown that the government has paid nearly $1 million over the past two years for office space two blocks from the White House that it didn't need. In addition, the auditors estimate that GSA will end up paying $6.12 million more to rent the office space at the Matomic Building, 1717 H St. NW, than it should have because of government-caused delays in negotiating a new lease.
GSA's regional public buildings commissioner, James G. Whitlock, said that, on both points, the "auditors didn't do a good job." Whitlock contends that new laws require GSA to write a contract that provides upgraded fire-safety systems and access for handicapped individuals having business in the federally occupied building. Those costs jacked up the leasing rate.
The agency's public building commissioner, Richard O. Haase, said he is looking into just how much of the increased rental payments would be used for those and other improvements that would benefit the government occupants.
On the primary conclusion, however, GSA officials were left with mouths agape. The audit said $965,965 in rent was paid because GSA space management officials did not properly fill space that they were leasing. The Merit Systems Protection Board moved out a contingent of employes in October 1981 and, although there were no new occupants available at the time, GSA leasing specialists continued to try to rent the entire structure. Only now is it being reoccupied fully.