The United States Postal Service is broke and to try and make ends meet they must sell off hundreds of post office properties to gain cash flow and reduce their deficit. In a side stinky layer 80% of the postal service’s multi-billion dollar deficit is caused by a law that congress passed in 2006 that requires it to pay retiree health benefits 75 years into the future.
This law does not apply to any other government agency. According to a Postal Service report to Congress more than 600 buildings nationwide are “earmarked for disposal”. This alone is making people across the country angry because some of these post offices are historic buildings that have been post offices for almost a hundred years. , Dianne Feinstein.
CB Richard Ellis (CBRE) the world’s largest commercial real estate firm.
The chairman of (CBRE) is a man by the name of Richard Blum, doesn’t ring a bell? He just happens to be Dianne Feinstein’s husband.
Some, (CBRE) highlights with the US Postal Service Properties:
1) (CBRE)appears to have repeatedly violated its contractual duty to sell postal properties at or above fair market value resulting in the loss of tens of millions of dollars. For example in Seattle (CBRE)sold a post office building in 2011 for 8 million dollars, it was assessed for 16 million. Another layer.
2) In a series of apparently non-arms length transactions (CBRE)negotiated the sale of postal properties around the country to its own clients and business partners.
3) (CBRE)has been paid commissions up to 6% for representing both the seller and the buyer in many of the negotiations. This raising questions to whether (CBRE)was doing it’s best to obtain the highest price possible for the postal service or their clients.
When Dianne Feinstein was questioned about her husbands dealings and her involvement in them her rep said “Sen. Feinstein is not involved with and does not discuss any of her husband’s business decisions with him. Her husband’s holdings are his separate personal property.”
(CBRE) is also in charge of appraising the fair market value of these properties and listing at a reasonable sales price. Real estate appraisals are not customarily performed by the agent marketing the property. To avoid a conflict of interest, appraisals are normally performed by professionals not involved in the sale.
So if you’re paying attention then you can see how this is working out. (CBRE)is tasked with selling properties at market value or higher. But who determines what market value is? Why (CBRE) of course!