The Real Deal New York

Florida pol holds up GSA’s 1 WTC lease

July 03, 2012 08:30AM

The General Services Administration’s 300,000-square-foot lease deal for 1 World Trade Center, whose completion has already been dragged out for nearly a year, won’t be finalized by Independence Day as the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey and the Durst Organization had hoped. And the New York Post reported it’s all because of a Florida representative.

Rep. John Mica, who also chairs the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, is stalling the deal and other federal leases as part of a battle he’s having with the GSA over the Federal Trade Commission’s lease in Washington, D.C. The deal only needs congressional approval as the Port Authority and Senate have already signed off on it.

Senator Chuck Schumer, who has been instrumental in pushing the lease along, said in a statement that he is now hoping to convince the congressman that “the special nature of this lease for New York and the country as a whole” warrants its completion. [Post, 1st item]

  • Justin Harclerode

    Chairman Mica and the Committee have not held up this GSA lease, and Senator Schumer is aware of that. In fact the Committee did not receive this lease request until just hours before the Committee’s last markup. This was not in time to comply with the Committee’s transparency requirements, and it did not even include a housing plan for the particular space. GSA simply waited until the last moment to provide the proposed lease, and provided insufficient supporting information.

    Rep. Mica will do his due diligence, as Chairman of the Committee with jurisdiction over GSA, to ensure that taxpayers’ dollars are being spent wisely and appropriately. Because of GSA’s extremely poor track record in managing federal property, all GSA leases submitted to this Committee are being closely scrutinized. The committee’s goal continues to be reducing the costs to house government workers, ensuring that federal agencies occupy office space much more efficiently, and saving money. Chairman Mica has every intention of taking action on a number of GSA leases, but wants to first ensure that GSA and the Federal government are being better stewards of the taxpayers’ money.

    So far this Congress, under Mica’s chairmanship, the Committee has saved taxpayers $380 million dollars by insisting that current or proposed GSA leases be more cost effective.

    Justin Harclerode
    Communications Director
    Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure
    U.S. House of Representatives
    U.S. Rep. John L. Mica (R-FL), Chairman