House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman John Mica’s (R-Fla.) plan to transfer the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) headquarters building to the National Gallery of Art (NGA) suffered a blow this week, when GSA Acting Administrator Dan Tangherlini sent Mica a letter and accompanying exhibit (on Tuesday, June 12) informing him that two proposals to move the FTC out of the historic Apex Building either were not physically possible or were too costly. Tangherlini instead proposed relocating FTC employees from leased space at 601 New Jersey Ave., NW, and 1800 M Street, NW, to Constitution Center (400 7th Street, SW) and continuing to house the FTC headquarters at the historic Apex Building.
As we reported in the preceding post, a resolution authored by Mica called for the Apex Building to be transferred to the NGA and for the FTC to relocate to Constitution Center; Mica’s committee had directed GSA to develop a detailed plan for the move. But Tangherlini claimed in his letter that Mica’s proposal is not workable. He said that Constitution Center did not have sufficient space to house FTC employees from all three locations (Apex, 601 New Jersey Ave. and 1800 M Street) or from the Apex Building and 601 New Jersey.
“After extensive discussions with FTC, and an examination of the total available space in Constitution Center … GSA has determined that the first alternative proposed in the Committee’s resolution is not physically possible,” he wrote. Moving staff just from the Apex Building and New Jersey did not make financial sense, he added, noting that “over 30 years it is $171,998,027 more expensive to execute the FTC relocation as proposed in the resolution than it is for FTC to remain in the Apex Building.”
“Given the cost of the alternatives discussed above, GSA’s recommendation and plan is to proceed with consolidating the two FTC leased locations (601 New Jersey Avenue and 1800 M Street) at Constitution Center and continue to house the FTC headquarters components at the Apex Building,” he wrote.
Washington Post reporter Jonathan O’Connell, writing yesterday afternoon for the paper’s “Capital Business” blog, noted that “a spokesman for Mica said the congressman was in Florida and had not yet responded to the letter.” With the House in recess this week, it is unclear when we can expect to see a response.