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WASHINGTON, D.C. – RealEstateRama – A bill co-led by Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) and Congressman Scott Perry (R-PA) to direct the General Services Administration (GSA) to sell the Daniel Webster School in downtown D.C. for fair market value was marked up and passed by the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee today. The legislation would return the long-vacant Webster School building to productive use.

“The Webster School has been vacant since the 1980s and has fallen into disrepair,” said Norton. “My bill contains the same sale provision included legislation successfully enacted in 2016 that directed GSA to sell a building known as the Cotton Annex, which is now being converted into housing. This bill will ensure that the Webster School too shall return to productive use. I thank Chairman Sam Graves (R-MO) for prioritizing the markup of this commonsense bill.”

Norton’s markup statement follows.

Statement of Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton on the Markup of a Bill to Direct the Administrator of General Services to Sell the Property Known as the Webster School

July 27, 2023

I thank Chair Graves for marking up this bill, and I thank Subcommittee Chair Perry for co-leading this common-sense bill.  This bill would direct the General Services Administration to sell the federal property known as the Daniel Webster School, which is located in the District of Columbia, for fair market value by December 31, 2025.

Built in 1882, the Daniel Webster School, a red-brick, three-story building, has been used for a variety of purposes over the years.  However, since the 1980s, the building, which is located in downtown, has been vacant and fallen into disrepair.  GSA purchased the Webster School 20 years ago upon the request of the Secret Service, and yet neither the Secret Service nor the General Services Administration has ever used the building.  This bill will return the site to productive use.

During my service in Congress, I have enacted bipartisan bills to transfer unused or underused federal land in D.C. to D.C. or the private sector to redevelop neighborhoods and to generate tax revenue.  This includes the Southeast and Southwest waterfronts.  My hope is to see the Daniel Webster School similarly reactivated.  The sale provision in this bill is the same as the sale provision in the bill enacted in 2016 that directed the General Services Administration to sell the federal property in D.C. known as the Cotton Annex, which is now being converted into housing.

I urge my colleagues to support this bill.


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