Monetizing Public Real-Estate Assets

Washington D.C. has a real-estate portfolio worth more than $11 billion, making it the second largest real-estate owner in the district. The Department of General Services (DGS), which oversees the district’s land assets, is tasked with ensuring that publicly owned properties are used for maximum community benefit. To work toward this mission, DGS brought in FUSE executive fellow Edwin McClendon to help build a system to inventory, manage, and monetize its real-estate portfolio for the benefit of D.C. residents.  Edwin helped secure funding for the creation of an interdepartmental data warehouse that will serve as a clearinghouse for all district-owned properties. The data, which includes such details as site plans and drawings for buildings, will help the district be more strategic about its land-management decisions, as well as allow DGS to issue invoices and track payments on rental properties. Edwin also began the process of creating a land bank, which would allow the district to acquire certain neglected properties and convert them into assets that benefit communities. Once complete, the system will help the agency make strategic, data-driven decisions that deliver better value for the district and its communities.