Norton Says Negotiations Between GSA and D.C. Move St. Elizabeths Toward DHS HQ Completion
WASHINGTON, D.C. – After hearing that the General Services Administration (GSA) has entered into formal negotiations with the District of Columbia government regarding property located at 49 L Street SE, Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) today said the project is moving further toward the goal of Department of Homeland Security (DHS) consolidation at St. Elizabeths and of disposing of vacant, underutilized federal properties. The proposal from GSA involves an exchange of GSA’s building and land at 49 L Street SE for construction services to be performed by the District of Columbia adjacent to St. Elizabeths campus on Martin Luther King Avenue SE. The District plans to make various enhancements to the streetscape of Martin Luther King Avenue, including restriping of roads, constructing sidewalks and crosswalks, and expanding the roadway. In return, the District would own 49 L Street SE in fee simple with full rights and ownership over the property.
“This exchange takes GSA further with work necessary to complete the DHS headquarters,” Norton said. “In the process of moving a DHS priority, GSA has found a way to dispose of the long-underutilized 49 L Street SE by exchanging it for construction services from the District.”
Norton participated in multiple hearings of the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform’s (OGR) Government Operations Subcommittee in which she criticized GSA for leaving vacant the large property located at 49 L Street SE, near where Norton has already led the development of the Yards at the Capitol Riverfront. Following a 2013 OGR hearing, GSA had announced that it would sell the property.
In September, the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee released a report recommending that Congress fully fund the President’s fiscal year 2015 budget request of $323 million for the consolidation and that Congress and the Administration work together to facilitate consolidation.