Monday, April 26, 2010

First Quarter 2010 Office Market Report: Central City Vacancy Stable, While Suburban Rises a Percentage Point

Central City office vacancy remained stable this quarter at 11.99% (see vacancy comparison chart at right), with 54,312 sf absorbed. Some significant sales and leases occurred, especially in the Central Business District. The General Services Administration (GSA) signed four leases totaling more than 250,000 sf at First & Main, which delivered this quarter, and Alpha Broadcasting leased more than 25,000 sf at Pacwest Center. In one of the largest sales in recent months, KBS REIT II purchased One Main Place for $57 million, or about $180 per sf. American Pacific International Capital Inc. also purchased the office portion of the KOIN Center, reportedly for between $53 million and $60 million. Vacancy in Northwest fell more than a percentage point to 15.69%, as two tenants leased space at Machine Works, including the GSA in 19,431 sf.

Suburban office vacancy rose about a percentage point to 21.93%, with negative 142,240 sf absorbed. The Barbur Boulevard, Beaverton-Hillsdale/Sylvan and North/Northeast submarkets all saw vacancy rise at least two percentage points. Though vacancy in the Kruse Way submarket stayed relatively stable, this area saw some movement, including M & T Bank relocating from Kruse Woods I to about 20,000 sf in 4949 Meadows. A few submarkets had positive absorption, such as I-5 South, where vacancy decreased slightly and Pinnacle Mortgage Bankers leased 16,000 sf at Durham Office Center. Though a number of suburban buildings are totally empty, one will soon be fully occupied. The Oregon Institute of Technology is planning to purchase the 131,000 sf former headquarters of InFocus in Wilsonville, and consolidate its four Portland-area locations there. InFocus moved out of the building last fall to a smaller office in Tigard.

Vancouver vacancy fell nearly half a percentage point to 18.10%, with 42,644 sf absorbed. Vacancy in Class C space fell five percentage points to 14.57%, as 29,000 sf was leased up at the Former Red Lion Headquarters. Class A and B space also saw some significant absorption; Doug Williams and Associates and Richard James and Associates both signed leases at the Thurston 500 Building, totaling 12,583 sf.

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