What the sell? Feds hang 'For Sale' sign on unconventional properties

As part of Federal News Radio special report, Rise of the Money People, Federal News Radio takes a deep-dive look into the properties owned by the federal government and the challenges it faces in offloading excess properties. You won't believe some of the unconventional properties the government still owns.


What the Sell?

As part of our special report, "Rise of the Money People," Federal News Radio takes a deep dive look into the properties owned by the federal government and the challenges it faces in trying to offload them.

From an island to a log cabin, this photo gallery provides a snapshot of some of the most unconventional properties the government is trying to sell. Any takers?

Read the related story.
Georgetown West Heating Plant

The six-story Art Deco building located in the Georgetown neighborhood of Washington, D.C., went for a cool $19.5 million in an online auction. The massive brick building, which has stood mostly vacant since 2000, had long served as a poster child for the difficulties faced by the federal government in disposing of excess properties.

The development team that submitted the winning bid includes the Four Seasons hotel chain, and plans to turn the building into condominiums.

Photo: GSA
Former vegetable lab

GSA is selling this Charleston, S.C former agricultural center for research of vegetable crops (hopefully no Venus Flytraps were left lurking around!) through an online auction.

Photo: GSA
Log Cabin Inn

Now's your chance to own a piece of history. While it's not quite Abe Lincoln's log cabin, this property, located on the grounds of the Quilcene National Fish Hatchery in Washington state, is a historic landmark. The log cabin was originally built in 1892.

Photo: GSA
Moffett Federal Airfield

With sequestration threatening to close down small airports nationwide, wouldn't your own airfield come in handy?

GSA plans to issue a request for proposals, seeking a lessee to renovate the airfield's historic Hangar One, located at NASA's Ames Research Center in Mountain View, Calif.

However, the government will also entertain proposals to manage the entire airfield as well.

GSA intends to issue the RFP in Spring 2013.

Photo: GSA
Plum Island

The 840-acre island off the coast of Suffolk, N.Y., currently the site of the Plum Island Animal Disease Research Center, has been on the market for the past few years.

In 2006, the Homeland Security Department made plans to move the center to a new federal facility in Manhattan, Kan. But concerns over the safety of conducting animal-disease research on the mainland threw a wrench in those plans.

GSA and DHS have finished work on a draft environmental impact statement studying the effects of a possible move.

The island's reputation precedes it, which hasn't made it an easy sell for developers. Even Dr. Hannibal Lecter (the cannibalistic serial killer in the 1991 movie Silence of the Lambs) dismissively referred to Plum Island as "Anthrax Island."

Photo: GSA
Atchison Cave

This one could appeal to all you Doomsday Preppers out there.

The man-made cavern in Atchison, Kan., was formed during limestone mining operations between the late 1880s through 1944. From the '40s on, the cave was used by the Army as a secure storage facility.

The developed portion is fully lit with a paved floor and humidity-control equipment and comes complete with administrative offices and restrooms.

Photo: GSA
Weather forecasting station

Located in the upper peninsula of Michigan in the isolated community of Sault Ste. Marie, the station looks a little worse for wear on the outside, but comes with parking and is prime real estate being located near the Sault Ste. Marie Municipal Airport!

Photo: GSA
Noyes Border Patrol Station

With border security such a hot political issue, why not own your own (former) border way station?

The property consists of more than two acres of land and a former Customs & Immigration Station, built in 1931.

Located just minutes from the Minnesota-Canada border in tiny Noyes, Minn. (we do mean tiny it's officially classified as a "ghost town"), GSA plans to add the property to its online auction block soon.

Photo: GSA
House hunting in Hephzibah?

This one could fall under "House Hunters" federal edition. The single-family home in Hephzibah, Ga., features four bedrooms and two baths, along with a two-car garage. The living room has an electric fireplace and the master bath features a whirlpool tub and double-basin vanity.

Photo: GSA
FBI headquarters swap

GSA is seeking ideas from developers about a new FBI headquarters to be located somewhere in the Washington, D.C., area. As part of the deal, GSA is considering a swap: You take the J. Edgar Hoover Building that brutalist behemoth on Pennsylvania Avenue off its hands in exchange for a more pleasing and functional HQ in the D.C. region.

GSA says it received 35 responses to its RFI. A request for proposals would be the next step in the process, but so far no word on that.

Photo: Wikipedia/Aude
Federal Triangle South redevelopment

GSA has grand plans to transform the complex of federal buildings in the Federal Triangle area into a sustainable community stretching from the National Mall to the Southwest waterfront.

The aim is to meet long-term space needs of the agencies located there and to overhaul and redevelop the area with a nod toward sustainable and energy efficient buildings.

GSA issued a request for information in December and has received 10 responses.

(Clockwise from top left): DOE Forrestal Complex, Agriculture Department's Cotton Annex, GSA's regional office headquarters and the Federal Aviation Administration's Orville and Wilbur Wright Buildings.

Photo: GSA
More properties for sale

View more properties for sale on GSA's Real Property Utilization and Disposal website.
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