Lawmaker Cites Feds Ineptitude Stifling $15 Million Private Downtown Investment
BUFFALO, NY – Today, Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-27) asked the House of Representatives Committee on Oversight and Government Reform to investigate an abuse of power by the United States General Services Administration (GSA) which has failed to act to move the local IRS and DEA offices to a new location, costing local law firm and Guaranty building owner Hodgson Russ valuable time and money.
“Five years is more than enough time for the GSA to find a new home for local DEA and IRS offices in a Buffalo market with abundant amount of available office space,” said Congressman Higgins. “Hodgson Russ dedicated millions in private investment dollars to restore one of the Country’s most esteemed historic landmarks and now their Country has let them down by not acting swiftly and fairly in vacating the building.”
After learning that the GSA is moving to condemn the three floors in the Guaranty Building occupied by federal tenants, Congressman Higgins sent a letter to Government Reform Committee leaders Representatives Henry A. Waxman and Edolphus Towns noting, “The GSA’s heavy-handed move toward condemnation in this case is only serves to impede progress on this internationally-significant restoration and redevelopment project. I respectfully ask that the Committee and Subcommittee look into why the agency has failed to live up to their contracts with Hodgson Russ and thus stymied important economic development in Western New York.”
Designed by renowned American architect Louis Sullivan the Guaranty Building first opened in 1896 and is recognized as a National Historic Landmark. Hodgson Russ purchased the building in 1998 and later notified the federal government they would need all of the building space for its operations and approximately 350 employees.