Leases  ·  Office

U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to Shrink NoVA Footprint

The agency will vacate two of five buildings in Alexandria


The federal agency, which currently leases 2.4 million square feet across a five-building campus owned by LCOR Inc., will be renewing space at only three of the buildings for a reduced footprint of 1.6 million square feet, according to the Washington Business Journal, citing unnamed sources.

Additionally, the three leases, which come up for renewal in August of 2024, will be renewed for only five years through 2029 by the General Services Administration, the U.S. government’s civilian landlord.

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GSA data reveal USPTO currently pays around $75 million in rent annually for the space, and by downsizing it will save approximately $30 million a year and $150 million during the lifetime of the leases.

A prospectus authorizing this deal was approved by Senate and House committees in late September, according to WBJ, citing correspondence between legislators and the GSA.

The USPTO moved from 18 buildings in Crystal City to Alexandria’s Carlyle District in 2005, consolidating its workers into the five buildings. 

This is just another sign of the federal government reducing its lease obligations in the Washington, D.C., region, partially a product of the pandemic and the rise in remote employees. 

In September, the U.S. Department of Education announced plans to leave 550 12th Street SW, its second largest D.C. office, as it reworks its real estate portfolio to favor hybrid and remote work 

Back in February, the Department of Justice announced it would relocate to 555 Fourth Street NW, signing a 20-year, 331,000-square-foot lease, down considerably from the 477,000 square feet it occupies at 450 Fifth Street NW. That move is expected sometime next year.  

Earlier this week, the Securities and Exchange Commission announced it would not renew its lease at Station Place III, one of three buildings that comprise its Washington, D.C., headquarters, as it waits for its new headquarters to be built. 

Requests for comment from the GSA and LCOR were not immediately returned.

Keith Loria can be reached at