Out & About

Rentin’ to the feds

Do you know your business neighbors? They just might be the federal government, which rents or owns thousands of buildings in communities across the nation.

The U.S. General Services Administration, calling itself “the landlord of the civilian federal government,” is the agency that finds these buildings and negotiates lease deals. It takes this goal very seriously: “The mission of GSA’s Public Buildings Service is to simultaneously provide a superior workplace for the federal worker and superior value to the American taxpayer. Our vision is to be the best real estate organization in the world.”

I was curious about these properties and went to check them out. I knocked on several doors on St. George Lane, but the one that was answered said they thought the feds moved out. I also couldn’t find the Department of the Interior in the Hegan Lane Business Park. The occupants could have been government spies who left under the cover of darkness, but I doubt it. The FBI maintains an office in Philadelphia Square, which did not appear on the list at all.

I called Charles Smith, who manages the database listing properties in the Pacific Rim region. He said that where the government rents is public information, and the database is handy for painters, contractors and others who want to market their services. “It helps augment business relationships,” Smith said.

He also said the database indicates the military recruiters moved out of the Mangrove office, but in reality they’re still there. I guess the system isn’t perfect.

Here’s a list of occupancy in U.S. General Services Administration owned buildings and leases.

Address - Who’s there - Lease term

2241 St. George Lane - Department of Labor - 2/27/97­2/26/05

1395 Ridgewood Drive - IRS - 10/19/98­10/18/03

2035 Forest Ave. - Social Security Administration - 4/21/99­4/20/09

1324 Mangrove Ave. - military recruiters - 9/4/90­3/3/03

2625 Aztec Lane No. C - Department of the Interior - 8/1/92­1/31/03