Want an island or a lighthouse? The GSA might have one for you

By TOM FONTAINE | The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review | Published: July 20, 2014

PITTSBURGH — Looking to own part of a former Western Pennsylvania military installation or perhaps a lighthouse in New England, a border patrol station in Washington or island in New York?

The federal government has a deal for you.

The General Services Administration's Office of Real Property Utilization and Disposal acts as the federal government's real estate agent. It has generated $97.7 million from the sale or transfer of 213 federally owned properties this fiscal year, records show.

“GSA is actively working with federal agencies to dispose of unneeded properties,” spokeswoman Saudia Muwwakkil said.

One of those properties is an 18-acre portion of the Charles E. Kelly Support Facility in Collier.

Kelly closed as a reserve base in 2009, about a half-century after opening as a Nike missile-defense site. A commissary, post exchange and barber shop have remained open during construction of new ones in Moon. They are slated to open within the next couple of months, officials said.

As part of the closure, the military agreed to give 82 acres to Collier for recreational development, including playgrounds, ballfields, basketball and tennis courts, a dek hockey rink and a recreation center, township Manager Sal Sirabella said. The center is slated to open this year.

The Federal Aviation Administration is keeping an 18-acre parcel that includes a radar facility still in use, Sirabella said.

The portion being auctioned off includes about a dozen buildings. Broken into two parcels, the property includes a 15.5-acre site with the commissary and seven other smaller buildings and a 2.4-acre site behind the commissary that has a bunker building and two smaller structures.

According to GSA records, a live auction for the property will start at 10 a.m. Aug. 6 in the Collier Municipal Building, 2418 Hilltop Road. Bidding will start at $80,000. A $25,000 bid deposit is required.

Sirabella said the land is zoned for mixed-used development.

“We envision an area with offices and small businesses and residential units above them,” Sirabella said, noting businesses would benefit from steady traffic to and from the recreational development as well as from about 1,200 homes that have sprung up in the surrounding area over the past 15 years.

The former base isn't the only interesting property on the GSA's auction block, according to a listing of about 150 properties in the pipeline.

The GSA is selling an 840-acre island at the tip of Long Island, New York; 162.3 acres of land near Grand Mesa National Forest and Powderhorn Ski Resort in Colorado; and 3.3 shares in the Springdale (Utah) Consolidated Irrigation Co., amounting to a 0.7 percent stake. The listings include dozens of homes and several lighthouses and office buildings.



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