Got Feds? Here’s How to Find Out


Most city planners and other local leaders are aware of the high profile Federal properties in their communities — the large downtown federal buildings and courthouses that are most visible.  Many may even have considered how these properties could play a role in anchoring employment and advancing other local planning goals.  But we think that most would be surprised to see the complete picture of Federal holdings in their communities.  Getting that complete picture can be eye opening (see map at right) and it can open the window to many unforeseen opportunities to collaborate with GSA.

GSA manages about 8,700 properties nationwide, in about 2,000 communities — from Moose Jaw to Manhattan.  About 1,700 buildings are owned by the Federal government, with the rest in private sector leases that range in size from just a few hundred to well over 1 million square feet.   In a typical large city, GSA may have 2 or 3 owned properties downtown and more than three dozen leases in the area, with square footage that greatly exceeds the owned properties.

Of course, knowing where all properties are is vital to getting a complete picture of how those properties may fit into your local planning efforts.  And you can start to get that picture from where you are sitting right now, by visiting our online Inventory of Owned and Leased Properties.

What is it?

GSA’s Inventory of Owned and Leased Properties is an online database that shows all properties managed by GSA.  It is searchable by state, city, or congressional district.  It provides address and other info including building size and lease expiration dates.  Since it includes only GSA properties, it does not include data about Postal Service, Department of Defence, or properties managed by other Federal agencies.

How do you use it?

The database is very straightoforward.  Users  can click on a state of interest and then peruse the data by zip code, building size, owned/leased, and a host of other factors.

But we’re data geeks here, so we think the best way to use the data is by downloading tables and then searching or filtering them in a spreadsheet.

Here’s the best way to do that:

  1. Click on the map for any state on this page.
  2. Go to the query box at the lower right and click on a report name and a state of interest (you can Cntl-Click multiple states or Shift-Click to grab all states).
  3. Click View Report to see the list of properties and hit the Excel button to download it.
  4. Sort or filter by city, SF, expirattion date, or whatever, in your spreadsheet program.

Now that you’re equipped with a full picture of the Federal presence in your community, we expect you’ll have some good ideas about opportunities to work together.

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Democratic by Design

This week represents the 50th Anniversary of the Guiding Principles for Federal Architecture, penned by Senator Daniel Patrick Moynhan in 1962.  If you missed the Moynihan Symposium on Public Design on May 16th, we’ll be posting videos from that day in the coming weeks, so stay tuned.

In the meantime, this video Democratic by Design, by our Design Excellence Program explains the importance of the Guiding Principles to GSA.

Enjoy…and think about how these Principles should guide our work in the public realm for the next fifty years.

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Moynihan Symposium on Public Design

On the afternoon of May 16th in Washington DC, GSA is hosting The Moynihan Symposium on Public Design, a national discussion about the potential, future — and responsibility– of public design.  If you’re interested, we think you should save the date now.

Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan was not a designer but he was one of this country’s greatest champions for design quality on public projects.  He was a candid, eloquent, and provocative proponent for the importance of higher ideals in all public design.  And, in many ways, he is a founding father of GSA’s own Design Excellence Program.  The symposium will take place on the 50th anniversary of the Guiding Principles for Federal Architecture, Moynihan’s 1962 challenge to raise the bar on the design of public buildings.

The discussion will feature prominent leaders in the realm of public design and, in the spirit of the late Senator, the discussion promises to be thought provoking, challenging, and fun.

For more information about the symposium, including how to register (free), check out the symposium website.

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