Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Sell off our buildings?

The Office of Inspector General has yet another idea to help us out of our woes -- sell off our buildings!

The logic is that we currently own more than $27 billion in real estate, and selling off some of those buildings, especially in prime urban centers, could raise some quick cast.

Federal Times used the Postal Headquarters in Washington D.C. as an example. It is currently assessed at a value of $115 million, given it's prime location at the end of the National Mall.

If we currently occupy those buildings, they could be sold and then leased back to us, while we pocket the purchase price. Or so goes the logic.

What do you think about this idea? Comment here.

24 comments:

Anonymous said...

Each year we pay $10,900 a year in rent. We are responsible for ALL maintainence and we even pay the owners annual property taxes....so we are bascially buying the building for her. If we owned the builing out right, we would only have to pay $1300 a year in property taxes and we would save nearly $9,000 a year. Any financial expert will tell you that when you lease (fleece) you are throwing away money. Better yet, let me (the postmaster) buy the building and I would have a vested interest in seeing the postal service survive!!

Anonymous said...

As the above post illustrates, all leases are not created equal.

That being said, while on the surface the sale of even 1/2 of the assets would add billions, what will the costs be to lease back?

Anonymous said...

To the second comment. Have you ever noticed they never tell you both sides of the story just the side they want you to hear. Here's a thought if they are going to close offices why not close the offices that we own. Now that would make sense. Guess that is why we wouldn't do that.

PdxNative said...

Seems like pretty short term thinking to me. I agree that we may have some immediate benefit, but in the long run, and I hope we are here in the long run, it is going to cost more.

Anonymous said...

That line of thinking put the postal service where it is today.

Anonymous said...

Let's sell everything and sink the ship faster...

Karen/Oregon said...

It is a dumb idea. Would you recommend that I sell my home and rent eternally? Makes no money sense whatsoever!

Anonymous said...

Instead of selling them, why not refinance them? The Postal Service would get the cash they need. The cost of payments would frozen at the time of purchase, not escalate like lease payments, and would only need to be made for the term of the loan, not for eternity.

Have the people who thought this up looked at the price of leasing prime real estate in downtown metro areas?

The buyer of the buildings is borrowing the money to buy them and make a monthly profit on the lease. Seems USPS made monthly payments from refinancing would be lower than monthly lease payments to someone profiting from them.

Anonymous said...

Even if USPS already owns these buildings outright (as in, there are no mortgage payments due), selling them and then leasing them back is not a smart financial decision. If USPS downsizes, the better idea would be to sell them, then buy property at a cheaper rate that is not prime metropolitan property. We already lease so many small town post offices at a rate that is astronomical compared to what the owner would normally get for those buildings (if they weren't rented to a government entity). Seems like every time I see fiscally IRRESPONSIBLE suggestions, those are the ones that are adopted!

Anonymous said...

dumb idea, why dont we lease the space and profit.

Anonymous said...

As soon as my present landlord bought this building, the monthly rent was raised $240 a month! Landlord's maintenance man told me that landlord has a "friend" in Area that negotiates his leases (he owns over 150 offices). Dare I say "kick back"?
If my office is closed, will USPS continue to pay this man over $7800 a year until this lease runs out?

Anonymous said...

I agree, owned buildings should be the first to be considered for closure.

My office is "under study" for closing. The information which came down was HQ picked these offices. There is no way HQ singled out these offices without assistnce from the district, unless they have a lot of people just sitting around with nothing else to do. Wait - that makes sense and probably another reason we are in financial difficulty.

Anonymous said...

Even with all of the above taken into consideration - in today's economic environment, these buildings will never sell for what they are worth. Any selling of Postal Facilities should be curtailed until the economy improves - if it ever does!

Anonymous said...

Short term to raise instant cash, great idea!! Long term, it makes absolutely no sense. Why would we want to pay rent on a building we already own? The USPS has to quit thinking short term if it wants to survive as an organization.

The Electrician said...

It would make more sense to sell off unoccupied buildings rather than sell occupied buildings and re-lease them.

Grannybunny said...

I agree with The Electrician.

LInda said...

Short sighted thinking. In the long term we would not come out ahead. If we have vacant space, perhaps we could lease out the space instead.

Anonymous said...

Sell away - the US Postal Service won't be around in 10 years anyway.
I have been shocked at the rate at which they're tearing down this once-mighty institution but have become convinced it's part of a long term plan to privatize.

Anonymous said...

Just read a Mailbag comment that the USPS is going the way of Western Union. Instead of offices on the Main Street of every town there are signs at various businesses around town. I think that's exactly what's happening to the Postal Service and when was the last time you used Western Union to wire anything. It's become totally irrelevant.

Anonymous said...

Hey Inspector General - I live in the midwest and have some beach front property I think you might be interested in. wink wink!!

Really a bad idea!!

Anonymous said...

If it is such prime real estate, why don't we rent it to a corporation or business.

Anonymous said...

Sell off postal buildings? How 'bout we start with the one on L'Enfant Plaza........

Anonymous said...

The PMG needs to be voted out and someone who knows what they are doing needs to be put in there before we all lose our jobs, retirement, etc....It's like playing in the stock market do i sell or do i wait and see if i lose everything.

Anonymous said...

I read the issuse with the village post office. What the heck is that!!! A stand with priority stuff on it. How is that helping the people who lost there post office? You can go get a box. What about shipping and delivery conformation's etc.? OH that's right you still need to go to your post office for that!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
What a waste of money and time!!
We need to be looking eles were to save money. All they are doing is making the customer's un happy and not likly to return to the postal service for future needs another company can do for them. MAN THE PMG IS DUMMER THAN HE LOOKS!!!