Real Estate Investing with Uncle Sam


Will McIntosh
Global Head of Research

John Kirk
Senior Director, Research

Mark Fitzgerald
Senior Director, Research

May 2015

Government-leased properties have particular challenges and opportunities

The U.S. government leases more than 196 million square feet of space through the U.S. General Services Administration, or GSA. As the largest public real estate organization in the country, the GSA is comparable in size to the office markets in Los Angeles or Dallas (see graph on page 46, “Size of office markets compared to GSA footprint”).

Being Uncle Sam’s landlord is not always easy, particularly when decision making depends on a Congress that has become synonymous with dysfunction. Potential investors have raised the question: Do the benefits of investing in assets leased by the GSA outweigh the uncertainties clouding this sector? The short answer is, “yes,” but the long answer is a lot more interesting.