Can We Breathe New Life into Government Buildings?

December 08, 2022|25 Minutes
Government buildings aerial view
Could the National Mall become a thriving Live, Work, Play neighborhood?

The COVID-19 pandemic disrupted the traditional federal workplace model and exposed longstanding issues with the aging federal real estate portfolio.

In this episode of the Gensler Design Exchange podcast, Gensler’s Diana Apalategui and Transwestern’s Lucy Kitchin dive into the challenges and opportunities facing federal government workplaces as they plan to modernize workspaces for the post-pandemic era. They leverage their extensive experience working with federal agencies and commercial real estate clients, providing unique perspective on the barriers to optimizing the federal real estate footprint. The discussion also explores design and portfolio solutions, including strategic consolidation, public-private partnerships, and the redevelopment of underutilized assets.

The episode’s guests cover the seismic shifts occurring in federal facilities due to remote and hybrid work trends, with actionable insights into balancing agency needs with economic development priorities through innovative real estate strategies.

Top 5 Takeaways

  1. COVID-19 disrupted the federal workplace and led most employees to work from home in the long-term.
  2. Many aging, federally-owned buildings are in poor condition and need renovations.
  3. The federal government has struggled to significantly reduce its real estate portfolio over the past decade.
  4. Redeveloping underutilized federal properties could provide housing, office space, and economic benefits.
  5. Creative public-private partnerships may be needed to fund renovations and right-size the federal footprint.
Lucy Kitchin
Lucy is a Managing Director in the Government Services Division at Transwestern. She leads Transwestern’s Government Services advisory group in Washington, D.C. and represents owners and investors of government-leased real estate on both regional and national levels. Lucy advises clients on strategies to attract and retain government tenants, providing brokerage and advisory services that include financial evaluation, RFP development, and lease negotiation.
Diana Apalategui headshot
Diana Apalategui
Diana is a Strategist at Gensler focused on federal and state government and workplace consulting. Leveraging experience in workplace strategy, occupancy analysis, process development, and strategic communications, Diana works with government agencies to create more efficient and effective real estate portfolios and workplaces. She is based in Washington, D.C. Contact her at .
Brandon Larcom
Brandon is a global leader of Gensler’s Product Development practice. As Co-Director of Product Development, he specializes in business development, identifying future design industry trends, and licensing for global product rollouts. Brandon currently hosts and co-produces the Gensler Design Exchange podcast, facilitating a dialogue between design experts, creative trendsetters, and thought leaders to discuss how Gensler is enhancing the human experience through the world of design. Contact him at .