Having our investments in federal buildings and courthouses support a community’s economic development is a priority for the U.S. General Services Administration. It’s our responsibility to think broadly about the important role federal assets play in communities across America.
The Great Lakes Region recently awarded the contracts for Design Excellence Architect/Engineering services and Construction Manager as Agent services for the James M. and Thomas W.L. Ashley U.S. Courthouse renovation and annex construction project in Toledo, Ohio. The $104 million project will make significant improvements to the existing courthouse, and will construct a new courthouse annex.
GSA Administrator Denise Turner Roth visited Toledo earlier this month and met with city and county officials to discuss their vision for the Civic Center Mall. By hearing their vision, GSA can make efforts to align the work at the Ashley U.S. Courthouse site with the community’s goals, and explore ways to leverage the Mall’s potential to improve the surrounding neighborhood. This is a clear example of the federal government coordinating efforts with local government to meet federal needs and support local development goals. Close coordination maximizes the impact and makes the most efficient use of taxpayer dollars.
GSA’s Urban Development Program is working with EPA’s Office of Sustainable Communities to access their technical assistance resources and contract experts in planning and developing a set of vision plans for the Civic Center Mall. Working with the local officials in Toledo, this cross-government team will generate possible options that can be implemented to enhance the community’s ideas for the Mall. President Obama’s rationale behind establishing the Community Solutions Council this month is to promote such deep community engagement by cross-federal agencies in order to “deliver improved outcomes.”
Our investment at the Ashley U.S. Courthouse supports GSA’s priority of community collaboration and highlights ways in which many of our projects serve as an economic development opportunity.