NEW YORK — During the past decade, high real estate costs in and around the District of Columbia and pressure to reduce government spending inspired a campaign to decrease the amount of federal office space.

The Obama administration announced its Freeze the Footprint policy in 2013 and moved on to Reduce the Footprint in 2015. The Trump administration continued this, with federal agencies’ leased space falling from 198 million square feet in 2013 to just more than 187 million in 2020 and also moved agencies from inside the Beltway to cheaper locales such as Kansas City, Missouri, and Grand Junction, Colorado. These moves meshed with a bipartisan effort to encourage federal agencies to allow more employees to work remotely (did you know there was a Telework Enhancement Act of 2010?), which was meant to aid in recruiting and retaining workers as well as holding down real estate and energy costs.

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