Cleveland Assets, LLC v. United States

The FBI is the sole tenant in a building under a lease between Cleveland Assets and the General Services Administration (GSA) that began in 2002 and was to expire in 2012. The lease has been extended multiple times. GSA has paid a penalty rate of $44.72 per rentable square foot (PSF) since its expiration. GSA must seek the approval of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works and the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure before obligating funds on the lease, by sending a prospectus of the proposed facility, including “an estimate of the maximum cost.” GSA prepared a prospectus for the Cleveland FBI office and considered a range of rental values, finally approving a maximum proposed rate of $26.00 PSF and an escalation clause for inflation. Both congressional committees approved the rate. GSA’s 2016 Request for Lease Proposals cited the "Congressionally-imposed rent limitation” of $26.00 PSF. Cleveland Assets sued, claiming that the Request exceeded GSA’s authority to solicit offers and that the rental cap was unreasonably low, imposed an undue restriction on competition, and shifted all risk to the contractor. The Federal Circuit affirmed dismissal by the Claims Court. The authorization statute, 40 U.S.C. 3307, is an appropriation, not a procurement, statute, so the challenge is not subject to Tucker Act jurisdiction. GSA’s choice of the maximum rental rate was not arbitrary or lacking a rational basis. View "Cleveland Assets, LLC v. United States" on Justia Law