Infrastructure Improvements Increase Federal Utilization in Region 8
by Richard Stebbins
A couple of key infrastructure projects in the Salt Lake City, Utah area are moving forward and will significantly enhance how Region 8 supports its customers.
The two projects, appropriated in previous fiscal years and totaling more than $168 million, will modernize work spaces and upgrade building systems over the next three to five years.
"Getting these appropriations approved was critical for GSA to provide reliable and effective buildings for our clients,” said Silas Campbell, Portfolio Business Center Manager. "Our request to Congress highlighted our ability to align our customer’s needs with GSA's efforts to support consolidation and modernization efforts in the best interest of the taxpayer."
Congress appropriated more than $51 million for the federal building in Ogden, UT in Fiscal Year (FY) 18. The Internal Revenue Service Center currently occupies the entire building, as well as having several offices in lease space in the surrounding areas, but requires upgraded building systems to handle a larger tenant load as they bring in more personnel by closing leased offices in California.
This facility already processes nearly 200,000 electronic tax payments and issues approximately 10,000 manual refunds each year. Once agency operations are fully consolidated by 2025, the IRS estimates it will be able to process more than 19 million tax returns.
The Frank E. Moss U.S. Courthouse in downtown Salt Lake City was authorized more than $116 million from FY19 appropriations to complete seismic upgrades and other building modernization.
The Moss Courthouse is one of the highest seismic risk buildings in the GSA portfolio because of its age, construction type and the fact that it lies within the Wasatch Fault. The project will address structural deficiencies as well as upgrade mechanical systems plus provide new and repaired floor, wall, and ceiling finishes in areas impacted by the seismic retrofits. Additional upgrades to the plumbing, elevators and fire systems as well as heating, ventilation and air conditioning unit will also be part of the project.
The project is expected to be completed in 2024 and will allow the Moss Courthouse to provide a long-term housing solution for agencies currently in leased space in the historic Central Business District of Salt Lake City. The relocation of these agencies will not only optimize Region 8’s footprint but will also provide approximately $3.8 million in lease cost avoidance and an annual agency rent savings of approximately $1.7 million.
“The Moss Courthouse is very important to this rapidly growing state. The location is incredibly valuable because of its regional accessibility,” said Lionel Montoya, Salt Lake City Field Office manger. “It is located in the heart of downtown, with several public transit options and only ten minutes from Salt Lake City International Airport. This level of access is a top requirement for the majority of our public-facing agencies."
Outside of the Denver area, Salt Lake City has the largest field office in Region 8 managing 1.1 million rentable square feet and leases approximately 1.8 million rentable square feet in 90 buildings.