Space Allocation Standards for USAOsPreamble
GSA's New Pricing Policy For Space And Space-Related Services
Effective October 14, 1996, the General Services Administration (GSA)
implemented significant changes in the way it leases space and also in the
way it bills it's customer agencies for space and space-related services.
All future space actions will be memorialized in an Occupancy Agreement
(OA). The OA is a document that will serve to record the mutual
understanding between GSA and the customer agency as to financial terms,
space buildout, contractual conditions, terms, obligations, and timing of
the occupancy. It represents the GSA/Customer agreement for a specific
For new assignments, the OA begins as a draft and is updated as
information develops, with formal signing taking place just prior to the
award of the lease. In essence, it starts as an estimate of the cost of the
services, and ends as a projection of the actual cost. Some items at the
time of the OA signing may remain estimates, and may have to be adjusted at
a later date. The OA is a tool for estimating the cost of space to be
delivered, for recording the space and services needed, and for tracking the
refinement of estimates until the final cost becomes the amount that will be
billed to the customer.
The principle subjects to be addressed in the OA are listed below and
should reflect the conditions and terms of the lease.
base rental and term
tenant allowances (general and customization) and amortization
lump sum payment(s)
tax and operating expense escalation and frequency
space classification(s) - general use, parking, warehouse, unique
extra or reduced services
joint use space
forced move entitlements and/or existence (or lack) of right to renew
cancellation (designation of "non-cancelable," if applicable.
"Non-cancelable space" was formerly known as "agency unique space") any
special circumstances associated with the occupancy, such as environmental
responsibilities, unusual use restrictions, or agreements with local
authorities termination rights and liabilities of both parties.
The OA will be signed by GSA and the authorized Executive Office for
United States Attorneys (EOUSA)/Facilities Management and Support Services
Space pricing will be recorded in the OA. Leased space will be priced as
a "market pass through" of the contract rent plus benchmarked GSA fees, for
a specific term at a level (or stepped ) rent for the term. The GSA fees and
service costs will be expressed as a percentage of the total contract value,
or as a cost per square foot. GSA's benchmarked fees for lease acquisitions
will cover a full range of services, from requirements development through
The current sixteen space classifications will be reduced to four:
General Use: general office space and all other (Courthouses,
laboratories, computer centers, etc.) with the exception of those defined
below. United States Attorney's office (USAO) space assignments will fall
under the General Use classification.
Warehouse: whole building only (General guideline: If 70 percent
of the building is warehouse the entire building is classified as such).
Parking: by parking space, instead of by square feet.
Unique: Space that is truly "one-of-a-type" space that does not
have a market comparable, such as border stations.
The new billing method utilizes a tenant construction allowance
mechanism to replace the existing space classification system. The new
method creates two tenant allowances, one for general standard buildout and
one for customization. Like all agencies, the USAO will receive a specific
tenant allowance based on a historical analysis of USAO space alteration
costs, and should be sufficient to cover typical USAO Field Office
alterations. The tenant general allowance is a dollar amount
per square foot set to cover the cost of typical ratios of normal office
space finish components, such as doors, partitions, carpeting, ceiling tile,
electrical and telecommunication outlets. It is set nationally, adjusted
annually, and indexed to local construction costs. The tenant
customization allowance is also a dollar amount per square foot set
nationally and adjusted annually, and also indexed to local construction
costs. The purpose of this allowance is to cover special items, preparation,
or finishes which would result in special space classifications under the
previous system. GSA will amortize the allowance over the term of the OA.
This Rent reform is currently being conducted as a pilot, and as such,
GSA may need to make refinements before final implementation. The general
allowance and the customization allowance are treated as a single budget for
agencies moving into space. Although they are developed separately, agencies
will have complete freedom to use the sum of the two allowances in the
manner that best meets their mission needs. If a customer is anticipating
buildout which would exceed the combined general and customization tenant
allowances, the customer may choose to reduce the scope of work or pay lump
sum for the amount over the combined allowances (above allowance is similar
to the old "above standard").
These allowances apply only to the General Use classification (see
above). There will be only one buildout allowance for warehouse space, set
considerably lower than the allowance for general purpose space. Parking
spaces will be categorized as either "structured" (inside) or "surface"
(outside). Rates will be quoted on a per-parking-space basis, rather than
per-square-foot, in order to mirror current industry practice.
[updated February 1999]
[cited in USAM 3-14.100]