(photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)
We all know that BRAC (Base Realignment and Closure) is the process in which the federal government closes excess military installations and optimizes usage of their existing facilities. Well, a new bill is making its way through congress with pretty impressive speed, dubbed Civilian BRAC (formally Civilian Property Realignment Act). It would create a commision that would surplus civilian government properties in the District and across the country. It has already passed in the House and the Senate is currently making some modifications.
But, it seems that there was one building that Congress just wouldn’t ever want to completely sell, the Old Post Office building on Pennsylvania Ave. The Trump Organization won a bid to lease the land while the National Park Service retains control of the clock tower (which will also remain open to the public).
But, Penn Quarter residents aren’t so much concerned about the Old Post Office building as much as we are the aging Hoover building. As the Washington Business Journal reports on Civilian BRAC: The bill charges an independent commission to select at least five properties worth $500 million or more for sale in the first 180 days after it is created. Purchasing a superblock with a front on Pennsylvania Ave might not fetch $500 mil or more, since Trump’s organization’s plan to redevelop the Old Post Office building is valued at $200 million. But, then again, we’re talking about purchasing land (not leasing it) and we would expect any real estate on Pennsylvania Ave to push the limits of the market.
Even if the Hoover building doesn’t make it onto the Civilian BRAC’s shortlist, we’re really hoping that the Hoover building is at the top of the long list.