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Technical Specialties Award

Woodrow Wilson Bridge Project

This Award recognizes the Woodrow Wilson Bridge (WWB) Project for excellence in the Property Management field by creatively and efficiently managing the Hunting Point apartments as part of the bridge project. All aspects of the $2.43 billion project, from design to construction, have been and continue to be a collaborative effort between the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT), the Maryland State Highway Administration (MSHA) and the District of Columbia Department of Public Works (DCDPW).

Woodrow Wilson Bridge projectTo facilitate construction of the WWB Project in a time-efficient, cost-effective and tenant/community-sensitive manner, VDOT decided to purchase and manage the remaining apartment buildings on the project in late November 2001 for as long as active construction was occurring in the area. Now known as Hunting Point on the Potomac, the two properties consist of two high-rise and five garden style buildings (a total of 645 units), with an on-site hair salon and convenience store. Having immediate control over areas adjacent to construction has been a major advantage for the space-constrained and complex WWB Project. This control has ensured greater protection of tenants and workers alike and eliminated the possibility of third party claims against the project, which could have resulted in construction delays.

To effectively carry out the daily property management duties, a Property Management Team was established that consisted of representatives from VDOT, FHWA and Grady Management, the property management firm hired by VDOT. The Team has worked tirelessly for more than four years to maintain and operate the Hunting Point properties, while identifying and addressing critical construction-related issues facing residents as well as a multitude of other tenant issues. Through regular newsletters, flyers, informational meetings and open public hours, the Team has maintained an up-front, ongoing dialogue with residents.

The extensive efforts to ensure compatibility between Hunting Point residents and major construction have paid tangible dividends for VDOT, which will ultimately benefit Virginia taxpayers. Under VDOT's ownership, the overall occupancy rate of the buildings has averaged 79 percent versus the originally expected 50 percent. This increased occupancy for the four-year ownership period has already generated rent revenues in excess of $10,000,000. These revenues and the proceeds received from the upcoming sale of the properties will be applied towards VDOT's WWB Project construction costs, thus allowing originally allocated federal Interstate funds to be redistributed toward other pressing transportation needs within the Commonwealth of Virginia. With nearby construction now completed, the Team is focusing on the sale of the properties, which is expected to provide a significant return on the initial investment of $84.4 million.

Contributors:

Elaine Delude, Brent Eckard, Barbara Middleton, Ronaldo "Nick" Nicholson, Bryan O'Sullivan, Murray Piper, and Paul Rotondo.

Technical Specialties Honorable Mention Award

South Carolina Department of Transportation

This Honorable Mention Award recognizes the South Carolina Department of Transportation (SCDOT) for instituting a new and innovative approach to reduce its surplus property inventory by using private real estate contractors.

The responsibility of the disposal of surplus property lies within the SCDOT's Rights of Way, Property Management Section. The SCDOT surplus database had increased to 715 parcels over many years and the inventory continues to accumulate with approximately 100 major projects completed each year. There is a strong need to augment the Property Management Section's ability to handle all of its functions without the expense of adding a large staff.

The SCDOT has contracted with two real estate firms to work with the Property Management Section to help market and dispose of surplus property. The objectives are to sell the property considered surplus by the SCDOT and, in-turn, return tax-exempt property to the tax rolls and generate revenue for the SCDOT.

The sales price of a parcel is set by the SCDOT based on appraisals, a broker's opinion of the property value, local tax office information (if available), and staff experience of sales with like properties. For parcels valued at less than $20,000, the proposed sale price is based on a broker's opinion of values with SCDOT approval.

The results of the program to date are as follows: one hundred and thirty-three (133) parcels have been given to the contractors to sell and twenty-eight (28) parcels (both economic and uneconomic), have been closed and sold by the realtors for a total of $3,125,050.00, with commissions paid of $260,984.00. The potential surplus list contained 715 properties at the beginning of the agreement and now contains 335 properties, a reduction of 53 percent. Receipts for the previous year were $2.5 million; to date, current receipts are $3.2 million, or 28 percent increase, which exceeded the goal.

In summary, the SCDOT Property Management Section streamlined the present process used by the Department to liquidate its surplus property. The program has proved advantageous to both parties, with $3,125,050.00 in closed sales by the realtors, and combined with sales from Property Management, the Department has returned approximately $4,361,000.00 to Title 23 funds.

Contributors:

South Carolina Department of Transportation and Oscar Rucker.

Updated: 09/05/2014
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