Sign of the Times: Shorter Leases

September 9, 2012

The General Services Administration is hoping to extend its 15-year lease for a 142,000-square-foot building in Lakewood, Colo., for the Interior Department — but only guarantees it will remain there for two years, according to the lease prospectus.

GSA is also proposing a new 10-year, 70,000-square-foot lease for the Treasury Department in Washington, D.C. — but reserves the right to cancel the lease after five years.

Shorter-term leases are becoming more typical, according to data from GSA, which serves as the leasing agent for most federal agencies.

The average term for a GSA-leased building was 8.2 years in fiscal 2011, less than half of the 16.7-year term in 2010. It is the lowest average in the 10 years GSA has tracked the data.

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