HANNUM, District Judge.
On September 30, 1970, the defendant General Services Administration (hereafter, GSA) solicited bids for the lease of office space for several federal agencies located in the City of Philadelphia. On February 18, 1971 GSA awarded a 20 year lease to Gateway Center Corporation (hereafter, Gateway), the builder of a new office building yet to be constructed. The plaintiff, John W. Merriam (hereafter, plaintiff), is the owner of the Curtis Building, a twelve story office building located at Independence Square in Philadelphia. He, as an unsuccessful offeror of office space, has filed the present action seeking, inter alia, a declaratory judgment that the award to Gateway was illegal, an injunction prohibiting the defendants from executing the lease contemplated by the award, and an order compelling GSA to reconsider those offers, other than Gateway's, that were responsive to the original solicitation. Presently before the Court is the defendant's motion for summary judgment pursuant to Rule 56, Fed. R. Civ. P., 28 U.S.C. To deal with the legal questions raised a detailed statement of the facts underlying this controversy is required.
HISTORY OF THE CONTROVERSY
By Presidential directive dated March 27, 1969, the regional boundaries of the Department of Labor, Housing and Urban Development, Health, Education and Welfare, and the Office of Economic Opportunity were realigned in order to promote their efficiency and to improve their service to the general public. The City of Philadelphia was designated one of several regional headquarters for each of these agencies. GSA, charged with the responsibility of providing space for government agencies, implemented the Presidential mandate by adopting a policy requiring the realigned agencies to be headquartered in the same building where feasible. As a consequence of this policy and due to the lack of adequate government-owned office space, a need was created in Philadelphia for approximately 314,000 net usable square feet of office, storage, and related space.
Following an effort to develop competition in the real estate market to supply the required space, GSA conducted a market survey between January 21 and January 28, 1970. During this interval, on January 25 and again on January 28, the Government's interest in acquiring the desired amount of space was advertised in an area newspaper, the Philadelphia Inquirer. Thereafter, thirty-six persons or firms expressed an interest in supplying the Government's needs.
On September 30, 1970, at the direction of A.F. Sampson, Commissioner of GSA's Public Buildings Service, Solicitation for Offers No. NEG (70)-63 was issued to the plaintiff and twenty-five other prospective offerors in the metropolitan area. In response to the solicitation a total of five offers, including the plaintiff's, were received. One bid was withdrawn and another determined to be nonresponsive. Consequently, only three bids remained for GSA's consideration, the plaintiff's, Gateway Center Corporation's, and a third, not relevant to the present controversy. On February 18, 1971, Robert L. Kunzig, Administrator of GSA, upon the recommendation of Commissioner Sampson, authorized the latter to make the presently disputed award to Gateway Center Corporation.
On February 19, 1971, plaintiff protested the award to the General Accounting Office (hereafter, GAO) which, on September 16, 1971, advised his counsel that it did not feel that it could rule authoritatively on the protest at that time.
The plaintiff filed this law suit on the same date.
On November 17, 1971, plaintiff moved for a preliminary injunction requesting that GSA be restrained from executing the Gateway lease and moved under Rule 57, Fed. R. Civ. P., 28 U.S.C., for a prompt hearing. On November 19, the defendants filed a motion for summary judgment which, in addition to seeking judgment as a matter of law, challenged the jurisdiction of this Court and the plaintiff's standing to sue. On November 23, the defendants filed answers to both of the plaintiff's motions and, in light of the jurisdictional issues raised by their motion for summary judgment, requested the Court to defer any hearing on the plaintiff's motions until the motion for summary judgment had been resolved. At a pre-trial conference on December 9, plaintiff withdrew his motion for a preliminary injunction upon the representation of the Government that no lease would be executed with Gateway until the construction of its building had been completed. Thereafter, on February 7, 1972, this Court stayed its hand for thirty days in order to allow the Comptroller General of GAO to rule on the merits of the plaintiff's protest and thereby provide the Court with the benefit of the GAO's expertise in the area of bid protests. See, M. Steinthal & Co. v. Seamans, 147 U.S. App. D.C. 221, 455 F.2d 1289 (D.C. Cir. 1971). On March 17, 1972, the Comptroller General issued his ruling.
Having the benefit of GAO's views, the Court must still resolve the questions of jurisdiction and standing raised by the defendants.
NATURE OF THE CONTROVERSY
The administrator of GSA is empowered to enter into lease agreements necessary for the accommodation of federal agencies by virtue of Section 210 of the Federal Property and Administrative Services Act of 1949, as amended, 40 U.S.C. § 490(h)(1) (1970):
"The Administrator is authorized to enter into lease agreements with any person, copartnership, corporation, or other public or private entity, which do not bind the Government for periods in excess of twenty years for each such lease agreement, on such terms as he deems to be in the interest of the United States and necessary for the accommodation of Federal agencies in buildings and improvements which are in existence or to be erected by the lessor for such purposes and to assign and reassign space therein to Federal agencies." (emphasis added)