Extreme Leasing: The Northernmost GSA Lease

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Barrow, Alaska proudly names itself “The Farthest North American City” so it’s no surprise that it would also be home to the northernmost federal lease.  If you’ve ever visited Alaska you know that it’s lifeblood is a series of airports that connect cities throughout the state.  Where there are commercial airports there is the Transportation Security Administration (TSA).  In the case of Barrow, the TSA office is located at the Wiley Post – Will Rogers Airport (named after famed aviator Wiley Post and famed writer Will Rogers who died together in a plane crash just 9 miles from this airstrip).

The 800 square foot leased office leased on TSA’s behalf by the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) can be found inside the Alaska Airlines terminal at 1741 Ahkovak Street, Barrow, AK 99723 (Lat 71.2876, Long -156.7844).  The Lessor is the Arctic Slope Regional Corporation, a private, for-profit corporation that is owned by and represents the business interests of its 11,000 Iñupiat Eskimo shareholders.

Alaska Airlines Terminal at BRW Airport (Photo: Stephen Conn)

The cost of living in Barrow is so high that a Transportation Security Officer (TSO) fact sheet cautions applicants:

“Current commodity prices are as follows: $9.60 per gallon of milk, $5.50 per loaf of bread, $5.00 per dozen eggs, $12.50 per 12 pack of soda and $4.25 per gallon of gasoline.”

Rental housing is so difficult to find that most TSA workers live at the nearby Airport Inn, Barrow’s cheapest lodging, just two blocks from the airport.

TSA workers in action. We assume their 800 RSF is located through the door in the background.