Leases for 243 million square feet of office space are due to expire this year, the largest amount to hit the market since JLL began tracking expirations in 2015, forcing companies to decide on their office footprints while trying to anticipate how many workers ultimately will return to the office.

The deluge of expirations, nearly 11 percent of the overall office space in the US, has building owners—and banks holding their loans—sweating out a reckoning that did not occur during the worst part of the pandemic, when people chose to work from home and offices emptied, due to long-term leases that forced tenants to continue paying office rents.

Also, many office tenants whose long-term leases expired during the past two years negotiated one- or two-year extensions with landlords so they could wait out the pandemic without having to make tough choices about office footprints, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal.

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