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IT'S JUST BUSINESS

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IT'S JUST BUSINESS
Joe Brennan and Tom Finan, Jan. 29, 2010, Willard InterContinental, DC
If the federal government wants to be successful in its effort to sell offmany of its properties, it needs to act more like a business, says JLL government investor services managing director Joe Brennan. "They have to provide something a buyer is going to want to purchase." Joe (left, with Trammell Crow DC-area head Tom Finanat a Bisnow GSA event last year) tells us a multi-year, comprehensive disposition campaign in the style of BRAC won't work. Instead, just start: Sell that $400k building to a willing buyer now and realize the immediate gain. He adds that a property'scommercial value comes from income flow or zoning potential, so imagine the sales potential on, say, a waterfront utility station if the government changed zoning to allow hotel development.
Darian LeBlanc, February 2011, DC
Cassidy Turley government building expert Darian LeBlanc (whom we snapped at a Bisnow GSA event in February) says the problem is there's no law to allow the GSA to sell the 14,000 properties it deems unnecessary. The House subcommittee on Economic Development, Public Buildings & Emergency Management has approved Calif. Rep. Jeff Denham's "Civilian BRAC" bill to dispose of the properties, but the bill is now tied to a measure to gift the Apex Building (FTC HQ) in DC to the National Gallery of Art, says Darian. That's an unpopular idea that makes the combined legislation less likely to come to a full House vote.
US Capitol
So what needs to happen for the government to be able to clean house? Civilian BRAC legislation needs to pass on its own, forming a commission that would review the government's real estate portfolio and then determine market values, Darian says. Want to learn more? Joe, Darian, GSA's Desa Sealy, Edge Principal Advisors principal Jeff Walker, and Arent Fox's Jon Bouker and Keith Styles are speaking at Bisnow's Federal Assets for Sale event on Friday in NYC. Sign up now; tickets are limited!