House Republicans introduced a bill aimed at forcing federal agencies to have workers return to the office. But it’s unclear how much of a priority that actually is or whether the GOP representatives would use potential conflicts — a government shutdown or debt ceiling-induced default — as bargaining chips.

The topic is of interest to the CRE office sector because of the amount of space the federal government leases and the plans of most agencies to reduce their use. As of March 2022, according to General Services Administration figures, the GSA managed 7,760 leases for almost 180 million square feet and $5.7 billion in annual rent. Then there are more than 19,500 buildings the federal government owns, which includes some 511 million square feet of office space.

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Erik Sherman

 

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