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Question: What is 'consolidation funding' I've been hearing about and how might my agency benefit from it?

Answer: While consolidating federal offices affords the government opportunities to reduce rental payments and utility costs, shrinking the federal footprint requires effective long-term planning and coordination.  It also requires funding to mobilize the effort.  Whether it’s moving a leased location into a federally owned building or conducting a major alterations project in federally owned space, both GSA and our clients must front the money required to achieve long-term objectives.  GSA Regional Account Managers (RAMs) have heard many examples of how this can pose challenges for both agencies.  Recognizing the advantages and budgetary challenges of consolidation, Congress allocated GSA funding via the Fiscal Year 2014 Consolidated Appropriations Act to expressly facilitate federal consolidation efforts.

GSA allocated funding to 19 projects nationwide to date, which are expected to save federal agencies $38 million in leasing costs and eliminate over half of a million square feet of space.  While projects vary in size and scope, typical consolidation projects avoid lease costs, recapture vacant space, optimize the footprint and workspace, consolidate leased space into owned space, and reconfigure/reduce owned space.  While these funds cover necessary project costs, including design and construction, the PBS pricing policy, including tenant improvement (TI) amortization, still applies.  If funding new furniture and IT poses a challenge, our clients can capitalize on GSA’s Total Workplace FIT funding, which is essentially a rent-to-own personal property program.  Consolidation funding may, on a case-by-case basis, also cover costs not covered by the FIT program, including move costs.

The space projects eligible for consolidation funding must meet the following criteria:

  • Projects must result in a reduced annual rent
  • GSA project costs cannot exceed $20 million
  • Both the House of Representatives and the Senate’s Appropriations Committees must provide project approval
  • Agencies are responsible for any amortized costs PBS Pricing Policy requires
  • OMB or Congress cannot be considering the project for prospectus funding

If a project meets these criteria, projects are prioritized according to the largest amount of reduced annual rent, a utilization rate (UR) of 130 usable square feet or less, and the shortest payback periods, among other factors.  

GSA hopes to receive FY15 consolidation funding which would continue the consolidation momentum.  If your agency is considering consolidating, please contact GSA to see if this money can be used to support your project.  Early planning is essential, and GSA will eagerly assist your agency with its consolidation effort.  Even if your project is ineligible for these specific funds, GSA will use all other available resources to enable your consolidation.  For more information, please contact your GSA Regional Account Manager.

Please visit www.gsa.gov/totalworkplace for more information about the Total Workplace and FIT programs.

PBS Regional Account Managers
Pat Zucca pat.zucca@gsa.gov (215) 446-2889
Dorothy Grosick dorothy.grosick@gsa.gov (215) 446-4569
Kimberly Hart kimberly.hart@gsa.gov (215) 446-4588
Peggy Murr peggy.murr@gsa.gov (215) 446-2888
Justin Owens justin.owens@gsa.gov (215) 446-5712
Pedro Viera pedro.viera@gsa.gov (215) 446-4534
Jessica Giannone jessica.giannone@gsa.gov (215) 446-4599

 


This article is part of the Summer 2014 issue of the FOCUS newsletter. Please visit the Focus Newsletter page to read our newsletter. To subscribe to FOCUS, complete the online subscription form.

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