Observations on Prospectus for the Renovation of U.S. Customhouse, New York City

LCD-79-305: Published: Mar 6, 1979. Publicly Released: Mar 6, 1979.

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The economic analysis supporting the prospectus of the General Services Administration (GSA) to renovate the U.S. Customhouse in New York City to permit it to be used as office space for federal agencies, while preserving it as an historical landmark was reviewed. As a registered historic landmark, the Customhouse is subject to certain legal and administrative restrictions regarding its preservation and restoration.

The prospectus submitted by GSA did not reasonably portray the present value life cycle costs of the three alternatives of renovating the Customhouse, constructing a new building, or leasing equivalent space. If the Customhouse could be sold at the appraised value, leasing would be substantially less costly. If not, renovation and use of the Customhouse might be more favorable economically unless some excluded costs, such as major building repairs, are significant enough to affect the comparison.

Recommendation for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed

    Comments: Please call 202/512-6100 for additional information.

    Recommendation: The Administrator of General Services should: submit a revised prospectus supported by an economical analysis which complies with federal policy; make every effort necessary to determine whether the U.S. Customhouse can be sold and address that issue in the prospectus; and direct the GSA Public Buildings Service to change the procedures in the GSA Handbook to conform with federal guidelines and review current prospectuses for proposed projects to determine if the economic analyses supporting them conform with federal policy for such analyses.

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