Federal Real Property:

Conflicting Appraisals of Land Near Columbia Hospital for Women

GGD-90-15: Published: Dec 11, 1989. Publicly Released: Jan 18, 1990.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO analyzed the differences between two appraisals of government-owned property in the District of Columbia, in connection with H.R. 2031, which would direct the General Services Administration (GSA) to sell the property to the Columbia Hospital for Women for $7 million paid on the date of conveyance, plus $3 million paid 15 years after that date.

GAO found that the: (1) first appraisal provided a detailed analysis of the property leading to the appraiser's conclusion of the highest and best use of the property in accordance with federal appraisal standards, while the second appraisal did not assess the highest and best and based the property's market value on the proposed use; (2) second appraisal did not comply with federal policy requiring support for the appraiser's reasoning for his estimate of the property value, while the first appraisal provided detailed analysis of comparable sales; (3) fact that the Hospital did not plan to develop the property to the highest and best use had no effect on the value of the property, since it could exercise further development rights at a later date; and (4) $20-million appraisal represented a reasonable and appropriate estimate of the property's fair-market value.

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