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                                                      Calendar No. 1079
110th Congress                                                   Report
  2d Session                     SENATE                         110-501

======================================================================
 
           OLD POST OFFICE BUILDING REDEVELOPMENT ACT OF 2008

                                _______
                                

  September 24 (legislative day, September 17), 2008.--Ordered to be 
                                printed

                                _______
                                

    Mrs. Boxer, from the Committee on Environment and Public Works, 
                        submitted the following

                              R E P O R T

                        [To accompany H.R. 5001]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

    The Committee on Environment and Public Works, to which was 
referred the bill (H.R. 5001) to authorize the Administrator of 
General Services to provide for the redevelopment of the Old 
Post Office Building located in the District of Columbia, 
having considered the same, reports favorably thereon without 
amendment and recommends that the bill do pass.

                       PURPOSE OF THE LEGISLATION

    H.R. 5001 directs the Administrator of the General Services 
Administration (GSA) to proceed with redevelopment of the Old 
Post Office Building in Washington, DC in accordance with 
existing authorities and consistent with the redevelopment plan 
previously approved by the Committee on Environment and Public 
Works and the House Committee on Transportation and 
Infrastructure.

                    GENERAL STATEMENT AND BACKGROUND

    Completed in 1899, the Old Post Office served as the 
headquarters of the U.S. Postal Service and the main post 
office for our nation's capital. Over the years there have been 
multiple efforts to demolish the historic Romanesque building 
and redevelop the land on which it sits, but in 1973 the 
building was placed on the National Register of Historic 
Places. The Old Post Office is home to the Bells of Congress, 
which were a present from England on our Nation's Bicentennial.
    The building is currently underutilized and the costs to 
maintain it far exceed rent payments collected each year. This 
legislation directs GSA to enter into a development agreement 
to redevelop the Old Post Office Building under terms and 
conditions that are beneficial to the Federal Government. The 
legislation also authorizes GSA to find replacement leases for 
the agencies currently housed in the Old Post Office Building 
whose relocation is necessary for redevelopment of the 
building.

                      SECTION-BY-SECTION ANALYSIS

Section 1. Short title

    Section 1 designates the short title of the Act as the 
``Old Post Office Building Redevelopment Act of 2008''.

Section 2. Old Post Office Building defined

    Section 2 defines the Old Post Office Building as the land, 
including any improvements and including the Pavilion Annex, 
that is located at 1100 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW., in 
Washington, DC, and under the jurisdiction, custody, and 
control of the General Services Administration.

Section 3. Findings

    Section 3 states Congressional findings for the Act. 
Congress finds that for almost a decade the Subcommittee on 
Economic Development, Public Buildings, and Emergency 
Management has expressed considerable concern about the waste 
and neglect of the valuable, historic Old Post Office Building. 
Congress further finds that, pursuant to P.L. 105-277, GSA was 
required to submit a development plan to the Committee on 
Transportation and Infrastructure of the House of 
Representatives, and the Committees on Appropriations and 
Environment and Public Works of the Senate. The Committee on 
Transportation and Infrastructure approved the plan in May 16, 
2001, and the Senate Committees approved the plan on June 15, 
2001. In 2004, GSA issued a Request for Expression of Interest 
for developing the Old Post Office Building. Congress finds 
that the request generated healthy, private sector interest, 
but GSA has failed to proceed with implementation of the 
approved redevelopment plan. Congress further finds that 
redevelopment of the Old Post Office Building will preserve the 
historic integrity of this unique and important asset, put it 
to its highest and best use, and provide a lucrative financial 
return to the Federal Government.

Section 4. Redevelopment of Old Post Office Building

    Subsection (a) directs the Administrator of the General 
Services to proceed with the redevelopment of the Old Post 
Office Building in accordance with existing authorities 
available to the Administrator, and consistent with the 
redevelopment plan previously approved by the Committee on 
Transportation and Infrastructure of the House and the 
Committees on Appropriations and Environment and Public Works 
of the Senate.
    Subsection (b) authorizes the Administrator to provide 
replacement space for the Federal agency tenants currently 
housed in the Old Post Office Building, notwithstanding section 
3307 of title 40, United States Code.

Section 5. Reporting requirement

    Subsection (a) directs the Administrator of General 
Services to transmit a report to the Committee on 
Transportation and Infrastructure of the House of 
Representatives and the Committee on Environment and Public 
Works of the Senate, on any proposed redevelopment agreement 
related to the Old Post Office Building.
    Subsection (b) provides that the report must include a 
summary of a cost-benefit analysis of the proposed development 
agreement and a description of the material provisions of the 
proposed agreement.
    Subsection (c) provides that any proposed development 
agreement will not become effective until the end of a 30-day 
period of continuous session of Congress following the date of 
the transmittal of the report to Congress.

                          LEGISLATIVE HISTORY

    In 1998, Congress passed the Omnibus Consolidated and 
Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act of 1999 (P.L. 105-
277), which required GSA to submit a viable development plan 
for the Old Post Office Building before any Federal funds could 
be used to convert the space. On December 28, 2000, GSA 
submitted the plan for the Old Post Office, as required by P.L. 
105-277.
    On June 15, 2001, the Chair and Ranking Member of the 
Committee on Environment and Public Works, Senators Robert 
Smith and Harry Reid respectively, and the Chair and Ranking 
Member of the Senate Subcommittee on Treasury and General 
Government, Senators Ben Nighthorse Campbell and Byron Dorgan 
respectively, sent a letter to GSA giving consent for GSA to 
expend such funds as necessary to acquire by purchase the 
leasehold rights of the lease at the Old Post Office, if 
certain conditions were followed.
    On January 16, 2008, Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton 
introduced H.R. 5001, the `Old Post Office Building 
Redevelopment Act of 2008'.
    On June 24, 2008, after favorable action by the House 
Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure and the U.S. 
House of Representatives, the bill was received, read twice and 
referred to the Senate Committee on Environment and Public 
Works. The Committee met on September 17, 2008, to consider the 
bill. H.R. 5001 was ordered to be reported favorably.

                                HEARINGS

    The Committee did not hold hearings on H.R. 5001 during the 
110th Congress.

                             ROLLCALL VOTES

    There were no rollcall votes. The Committee on Environment 
and Public Works met to consider H.R. 5001 on September 17, 
2008. A quorum of the Committee being present, H.R. 5001 was 
reported favorably without amendment by voice vote.

                      REGULATORY IMPACT STATEMENT

    In compliance with section 11(b) of rule XXVI of the 
Standing Rules of the Senate, the committee finds, consistent 
with the findings of the Congressional Budget Office, that H.R. 
5001 does not create any new private sector mandates as defined 
in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act, nor will it cause any 
adverse impact on the personal privacy of individuals.

                          MANDATES ASSESSMENT

    In compliance with the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 
(Public Law 104-4), the committee finds, in accordance with the 
findings of the Congressional Budget Office noted below, that 
H.R. 5001 would impose no Federal intergovernmental unfunded 
mandates on State, local or tribal governments, and that the 
bill contains no new private-sector mandates as defined in 
UMRA.

               CONGRESSIONAL BUDGET OFFICE COST ESTIMATE

                                                September 23, 2008.
Hon. Barbara Boxer,
Chairman, Committee on Environment and Public Works, U.S. Senate, 
        Washington, DC.
    Dear Madam Chairman: The Congressional Budget Office has 
prepared the enclosed cost estimate for H.R. 5001, the Old Post 
Office Building Redevelopment Act of 2008.
    If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be 
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contact is Matthew 
Pickford.
            Sincerely,
                                                   Peter R. Orszag.
    Enclosure.

H.R. 5001--Old Post Office Building Redevelopment Act of 2008

    H.R. 5001 would direct the Administrator of the General 
Services Administration (GSA) to reach an agreement with a 
private-sector entity to redevelop the Old Post Office Building 
(including the Pavilion Annex) located at 1100 Pennsylvania 
Avenue in the District of Columbia. CBO estimates that 
implementing H.R. 5001 would cost $18 million over the 2009-
2013 period, assuming appropriation of the necessary amounts. 
Enacting H.R. 5001 would have no significant net effect on 
direct spending and would not affect revenues.
    H.R. 5001 would direct GSA to redevelop the Old Post Office 
Building in accordance with specific resolutions approved by 
the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure and 
the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works in 2001. 
Those resolutions would require GSA to enter into agreements 
with private entities to redevelop the property through 
authorities granted in the National Historic Preservation Act 
(NHPA). That authority provides for the protection of historic 
properties and allows federal agencies to lease historic 
properties when those assets are not needed for current or 
future agency purposes.
    Based on information from GSA, CBO anticipates that it 
would take about 26 months to develop and solicit proposals, 
analyze and rank the responses, and negotiate an agreement with 
a developer for the property. Although it is unclear what type 
of development would take place, GSA has previously reported 
that a hotel is the most likely option, although other options 
for the location have included a museum, television studio, or 
office building.
    According to GSA, the building is currently occupied by 
four federal agencies with approximately 450 employees and its 
main hall is occupied by about 36 private-sector entities, 
including retailers and food vendors. Based on information from 
GSA, CBO estimates that implementing H.R. 5001 would cost about 
$18 million over the 2010-2011 period, assuming appropriation 
of the necessary amounts to relocate the federal employees 
currently occupying the Old Post Office.
    In addition, payments by the current retailers and food 
court vendors (about $500,000 annually) can be spent by GSA 
under the Public Buildings Cooperative Use Act without further 
appropriation. Future lease payments following the building's 
redevelopment under NHPA also could be spent by GSA under the 
Public Buildings Cooperative Use Act. Thus, neither the loss of 
receipts from the current vendors nor the collection of the new 
receipts from a ground lease following redevelopment would have 
any significant net budgetary impact.
    H.R. 5001 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector 
mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act and 
would not affect the budgets of state, local, or tribal 
governments.
    On June 12, 2008, CBO transmitted a cost estimate for H.R. 
5001 as ordered reported by the House Committee on 
Transportation and Infrastructure on May 22, 2008. Both pieces 
of legislation are identical as are the estimated costs.
    The CBO staff contact for this estimate is Matthew 
Pickford. This estimate was approved by Theresa Gullo, Deputy 
Assistant Director for Budget Analysis.

                        CHANGES IN EXISTING LAW

    Section 12 of rule XXVI of the Standing Rules of the Senate 
requires the committee to publish changes in existing law made 
by the bill as reported. Passage of this bill will make no 
changes to existing law.