While the headquarters location of a federal agency may not seem highly newsworthy, a recent report that the CPSC has signed a new 10-year lease to remain at its current location in Bethesda, Maryland is very welcome news to many people both inside and outside the agency. The CPSC’s previous long-term lease was set to expire in August of this year, which prompted the release of a prospectus from GSA in 2012 that could have landed the agency in a different location altogether. Since the release of the prospectus, many have quietly hoped the agency would remain in its current headquarters space near the Bethesda metro station rather than move to what might have been a less ideal location for traveling to the agency. Bethesda has been home to the Commission since 1993.
Although the CPSC will remain in Bethesda, it was required to give up 30,000 square feet to decrease its overall rentable space. The agency now rents 124,000 instead of 154,000 square feet at its headquarters location. Giving up space at a time when the number of agency employees has recently increased due to passage of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act meant a reduction in “square feet per employee” from 292 to 213 square feet. To accomplish this reduction, the agency gave up “a full floor and bits and pieces throughout” according to the building’s leasing director. Although that might mean certain offices have moved around inside the building, the CPSC’s headquarters itself will remain in its Bethesda location for at least the next 10 years.