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It is a fair assumption that this average cost of $18,629 for operation and maintenance can be materially reduced if the building is rehabilitated along the lines mentioned in report of July 8, 1935.
An operating and maintenance cost of $15,000 is believed to be ample under the improved conditions. The annual saving to the Government, therefore, will be approximately $28,000. This saving would amortize the investment of $250,000 at 3'2 percent in a period of about 11 years.
It is understood that even though the owner of this property has expended a certain amount for improvements heretofore mentioned his selling price to the Government of $200,000 still holds.
P. ROTHENBERG, Senior Agricultural Engineer, Procurement Division, Treasury Department. Note.—The operating and maintenance cost for the fiscal year 1936 was approximately $21,000.
Mr. Ludlow. Has the Government bought private buildings in the District of Columbia that have been in continuous use by the Government for some time?
Mr. MARTIN. We have purchased several buildings that are within the area for the construction of executive departments or for the extension of existing executive department buildings.
Mr. CANNON. Is the Acacia Building such a building?
Mr. MARTIN. That was purchased by the Home Owners' Loan Corporation. That is outside of the area within which the Secretary of the Treasury is authorized to acquire property for executive departments. The building that was purchased on H Street, between Fourteenth and Fifteenth Streets NW., is within the area contemplated for the extension of annex no. 1. That was occupied, and I think it is occupied now, by the Coast Guard. Purchases have been made in the area between Eighteenth and Twentieth Streets and New York Avenue, in which area it is proposed to locate the new War Department Building.
Mr. Ludlow. That is anticipatory of some Government structures to be built; but in a case like this, the condition is different.
Mr. Martin. The Home Owners' Loan Corporation Building is an example.
Mr. WOODRUM. In view of the amount of rental that we have been paying for the building since 1911, we could have liquidated this purchase price several times, and there is every reason to believe that we would continue to rent it for another 11 years.
Mr. CANNON. If it can be amortized within 11 years, it should be purchased.
Mr. Ludlow. Is it not a fact that a number of postal stations are rented at such a high rental that they would pay for themselves within a few years?
Mr. Purdum. That is correct. That is particularly true in the case of postal stations where they have been in leased quarters, but where the Government has erected buildings.
WEDNESDAY, MAY 19, 1937.
SITE AND BUILDINGS, WAR DEPARTMENT
STATEMENTS OF W. E. REYNOLDS, ASSISTANT DIRECTOR, BRANCH
OF PUBLIC BUILDINGS, PROCUREMENT DIVISION, TREASURY DEPARTMENT; L. C. MARTIN, ASSISTANT TO ASSISTANT DIRECTOR, BRANCH OF PUBLIC BUILDINGS, PROCUREMENT DIVISION, TREASURY DEPARTMENT; AND BRIG. GEN. A. OWEN SEAMAN, CHIEF, CONSTRUCTION DIVISION, OFFICE OF THE QUARTERMASTER GENERAL, WAR DEPARTMENT Mr. WOODRUM. We have before us suggested language authorizing the acquisition of a site and the construction of a building for the War Department, with a limit of cost of $26,000,000 ,and with an estimate for an appropriation of $3,000,000 for the fiscal year 1938. Will you make a statement in reference to that item, Mr. Reynolds?
STATUS OF PRESENT OFFICE SPACE
Mr. REYNOLDS. The Federal Government now rents in the District of Columbia approximately 2,850,000 square feet of net office space. In addition, large areas are occupied in temporary Federally owned buildings located in the Mall, which buildings should be removed as rapidly as possible as some of them are in poor habitable condition and present a definite fire hazard.
The War Department now occupies approximately 1,190,000 net square feet of space, with a probable gross area of 1,700,000 square feet, located in about 17 buildings in the District of Columbia. Of this amount, approximately 231,000 square feet consist of servicerecord files, a major portion of which is located in temporary building E and the remainder at 60 Florida Avenue and 2100 Virginia Avenue. The Depot Quartermaster and headquarters company, together with garage no. 1, proposed to be located in another building, occupy approximately 100,000 square feet.
The location of this building is proposed to be within the area bounded by Twenty-first, Twenty-third, C and E Streets, Northwest, in the District of Columbia. That is the area east of the Naval Hospital and north of the new Federal Reserve Bank Building, and south of Virginia Avenue.
TYPE AND CAST OF PROPOSED STRUCTURES
The two proposed buildings for the War Department, designated as east and west buildings, will have a granite base and limestone exteriors, complete air-conditioning, and will provide a gross floor area of approximately 1,848,686 square feet and net office and storage space of about 1,051,851 square feet. These buildings will be designed in substantial accord with the building now being erected for the Department of the Interior, which is a building of modified classical architecture.
This project was submitted to the last Congress under an estimated limit of cost of $23,670,000. Since last year, there has been å marked increase in construction cost, not only in the District but
elsewhere, and prices on new construction show an increase of 15 percent over those of a year ago.
The estimated limit of cost now submitted in the amount of $26,000,000 is considered sufficient to permit the acquisition of land and the construction of the two proposed buildings.
A summary of the individual estimates for the two buildings is as follows: West building, $19,300,000; east building, $6,200,000; approaches, grading, landscape work, water duct for air-conditioning, and so forth, $500,000, making the total cost of the project $26,000,000.
Mr. WOODRUM. How much is in that amount for the site? What properties are you going to have to buy and what are you going to have to
for them? Mr. WHITMAN. Under condemnation the probable cost is $4,670,000 Mr. WOODRUM. Have you a breakdown of that? Mr. WHITMAN. Yes, sir. Mr. REYNOLDS. We hope to save some on those items.
Mr. WOODRUM. There are two or three apartment houses in this area, are there not?
Mr. REYNOLDS. That is right.
USE OF NEW BUILDINGS
Mr. CANNON. What is to be housed here?
Mr. CANNON. Are you going to retain the present War Department Building?
Mr. REYNOLDS. The Munitions Building?
Mr. CANNON. No, the present State, War, and Navy Building? Are you going to retain any of the activities of the War Department in that building?
Mr. REYNOLDS. No, the War Department will move out of that building.
General SEAMAN. The War Department will move out of that entirely. They have there now the offices of the Secretary of War, the Assistant Secretary of War, the Chief of Staff, the Deputy Chief of Staff, and The Adjutant General's Department.
Mr. Ludlow. How will that space be occupied in the future? General SEAMAN. That space has already been asked for by the State Department, to permit them to house all of their activities in one building.
Mr. CANNON. Will the proposed new building house any activities of the Navy Department?
General SEAMAN. No, sir.
NEED FOR BUILDING FOR STORAGE OF GOVERNMENT FILES AND RECORDS
Mr. WOODRUM. How much of the space in the new building will be used for the storage of files and inactive records?
General SEAMAN. There will be none for inactive records.
Mr. REYNOLDS. This question you raise in reference to files and records we have been studying for a long while.
Recently, the President appointed a committee, of which the Secretary of the Interior is chairman and Admiral Peoples a member, to make a study of a 5- and 10-year building program for the District.
Questionnaires were sent out to all departments and agencies located in Washington, and one of the questions requested a breakdown into three columns of files and records, designating them as active, semiactive, and dead.
This questionnaire designated semiactive files as those files which may be placed in another building, with attendant personnel, the thought being that the Government could wisely construct somewhere in the District, on lower-priced ground, a warehouse type of building for a storage of files of this character.
In the proposed War Department building it is thought that a great amount of their files may be transferred to another building of the character I have mentioned.
The War Department reports to us that they have approximately 250,000 square feet of semiactive files, classified as those files which may be housed in some building apart from the building in which they carry on their general operations.
If you will note in this statement, you will see that the War Department is now occupying about 1,200,000 square feet. In this proposed new building we expect to give them a somewhat less area than they now occupy, with the thought that quite a lot of space that is now being used for files can be used for office space and the files transferred later to a less expensive building.
It is very expensive to build buildings of the monumental type for the housing of files, unless they are absolutely essential to the present needs of a department located in the same building.
Mr. WIGGLESWORTH. If I understood you correctly, you said the War Department offices and bureaus are housed in 19 buildings in the District. How much rent is paid for those bulidings?
Mr. REYNOLDS. Not very much; $73,550.
AMOUNT OF FLOOR SPACE IN THE MUNITIONS BUILDINGS
Mr. Taber. How much floor space is in the Munitions Buildings?
Mr. REYNOLDS. I would not know, without some further study. I can put that figure in the record. The War Department occupies about 580,000 square feet. The total net floor space in the Munitions Building is 631,900 square feet. The Navy Building adjacent thereto contains 703,000 net square feet.
Mr. Taber. What else is there in that building?
Mr. Martin. One is the Munitions Building and one is the Navy Building.
General SEAMAN. There are 580,000 square feet occupied in the Munitions Building. The Navy Building has one extra wing. I do not know what the square footage is in both buildings.
Mr. Ludlow. It is intended to have the War Department evacuate the Munitions Building, is it?
Mr. REYNOLDS. That is right.
Mr. Ludlow. That is a good, substantial building, is it not? What will that be used for?
Mr. REYNOLDS. It will be used for agencies of less permanent character.
Mr. Ludlow. Is there a requirement for such space for office purposes?
Mr. REYNOLDS. Yes, sir. The Government is now renting approximately 2,850,000 square feet of office space in the District of Columbia.
ESTIMATED COST OF LAND AND OF IMPROVEMENTS
Mr. Ludlow. How much land area is in this site for this new building proposed for the War Department?
Mr. MARTIN. We have a chart here which shows the area that would be required.
Mr. Ludlow. In making up the estimate of 26 million dollars for these proposed buildings, what valuation was placed on the land to be purchased; that is, what valuation per square foot?
Mr. WITMAN. About $4,670,000.
Mr. WITMAN. I do not have the figures of the several areas. We have a number of apartment houses in there, a couple of which have already been purchased. The square-foot cost would vary a great deal according to the purposes for which it would be used.
Mr. Ludlow. I am speaking about the ground value alone. What would be the ground value per square foot?
Mr. MARTIN. The development of the War Department buildings would involve not only the blocks on which the buildings would be located, but it would involve the closing of streets and the acquisition of the triangular blocks and blocks to the north for the widening of the strets that will front these two large buildings.
In speaking of the area that will be required for the new buildings, we can confine ourselves to just those blocks on which the buildings will be located, but it would be best, I think, for us to furnish for the record a statement concerning the total area of land involved in the $4,670,000 condemnation estimate for the land, and that would include a rearrangement of the streets as well as the adjoining blocks required for the widening of the streets.
Mr. Ludlow. I assumed that you had some sort of a tentative valuation on which to base your estimate, that is the valuation of the land per square foot.
Mr. MARTIN. We do have that; we have all the detailed information for each individual property, showing the square footage, the assessed value, the appraised value, and the estimated condemnation value.
They vary greatly because of the expensive improvements on some of the properties, the other properties being more restricted.
Mr. Ludlow. My question did not relate to improvements. It related to ground value. I wondered whether
I wondered whether you had segregated the ground value.
Mr. MARTIN. We segregated it, but we do not have that here. have those figures at the office.
Mr. Ludlow. Can you furnish that for the record?