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With Ongoing Efficiency Drive, Some Wonder if GSA Now Stands for 'Getting Smaller Administration?'

U.S. To Shrink Federal Real Estate Footprint and Cut Costs with $70 Million Consolidation Project
April 23, 2014
When it comes to government efficiency and sustainability, the U.S. General Service Administration is working diligently to upgrade the federal government's office space and reduce its carbon and real estate footprints at the same time.

GSA has identified 19 projects where it plans work with other federal agencies to consolidate their offices into federally owned space. While the bulk of all of the federal governments workspace is in the Washington, DC, region, the new list of properties slated for consolidation are located coast-to-coast.

This consolidation effort is intended to reduce costs by eliminating multiple leases and also to scale back the federal government's energy and water consumption.

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GSA is the country's largest landlord, providing workspace for more than a million federal workers who work in both federally owned and leased space that makes up more than 9,000 properties or 377.9 million square feet of workspace.

Its latest consolidation effort could save federal agencies $17 million in annual rent payments and reduce the federal footprint by 507,000 rentable square feet, plus reduce the government's leasing costs by more than $38 million.

"By consolidating these locations we are not just eliminating redundant rents and space, but also encouraging collaboration among government workers by creating open workspace,” said GSA Administrator Dan Tangherlini. "We're ushering in a new day for office space throughout the federal government."

Consolidation Project List

BuildingLocationAmount Allocated in $
Jacob K. Javits Federal Building & 201 Varick St.New York City$5,000,000
George H. Fallon Federal BuildingBaltimore, MD621,000
Norfolk Federal BuildingNorfolk, VA1,811,000
Peachtree SummitAtlanta, GA509,000
Schiller ParkVernon Hills, IL520,000
Austin Federal CourthouseAustin, TX14,416,000
Wallace F. Bennett Federal Office BuildingSalt Lake City, UT4,400,000
Evo A. DeConcini CourthouseTucson, AZ3,804,000
300 North Los AngelesLos Angeles, CA5,000,000
Guarantee Savings BuildingFresno, CA155,000
Chet Holifield Federal BuildingLaguna Niguel, CA674,000
Ronald DellumsOakland, CA1,470,000
Edward J. Schwartz FB & CHSan Diego, CA (2 projects)5,020,000
U.S. Trustees2,733,000
Federal Protective Service2,287,000
911 Federal BuildingPortland, OR2,148,000
Bank of America, Fifth Ave & Jackson FBSeattle, WA1,143,000
Hubert H. Humphrey BuildingWashington, DC6,740,000
Mary E. Switzer Building, 330 C Street SWWashington, DC10,384,000
7980 Science Applications CourtVienna, VA3,569,000

Also this week, the GSA and the City of College Park (GA) reached a deal tol renew the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) Southern Regional Office building lease in College Park.

The 217,313-square-foot lease renewal executed by GSA on behalf of the FAA will help FAA consolidate space. The FAA will move 330 employees from an expiring lease location in East Point into the FAA Southern Regional Office, which the agency has occupied since 1993.

The FAA will reconfigure the College Park facility to accommodate relocating employees. When the FAA completes the relocation in late 2015, approximately 1,000 employees will occupy the space.

Rod Mullice, now of Colliers International, and Romel Canete of Newmark Grubb Knight Frank, represented the landlord, City of College Park in FAA's renewal.

A Push for Better Utilization of Federal Real Estate

The Obama administration launched the real estate efficiency effort in 2010 when it established an $8 billion goal, made up of a combination of $3 billion in general government-wide real estate savings and $5 billion in BRAC-related savings.

Since that time, the administration implemented a "Freeze the Footprint" initiative, requiring that agencies offset any increase in total square footage within their civilian real estate through consolidation, co-location, or disposal of space.

In the last six years, the GSA has disposed of 102 GSA-managed properties and generated $166.6 million in funds, while avoiding more than $171 million in liability costs.

In addition, it has helped other federal agencies dispose of 611 other federal assets not under its jurisdiction or control.

The new list of properties slated for consolidation has been funded by the federal government in last year’s budget.

For the upcoming 2015 fiscal year, the GSA has requested another $251 million to continue its consolidation of the Department of Homeland Security at its St. Elizabeth’s Campus in Washington, DC.

It also has again requested another $100 million to continue its work to support other federal agencies’ efforts to streamline their space.

Keep up weekly on national news, trends and property leads with the Watch List Newsletter, a weekly pdf that includes other news and leads not found on the CoStar Group web news pages. Sign up for the Watch List E-Mail Alert. A new issue is published Monday mornings.
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