Report: Office Leasing Rebounding, Retail Flat

Leasing of Alachua County’s office space is edging up, while vacancies in retail space are virtually unchanged, according to a report on the first quarter of 2012.

A total of 18,350 square feet of office space and 3,635 square feet of retail were leased in the quarter, according to the report by Coldwell Banker Commercial M.M. Parrish Realtors. Available office and retail space totals 1.57 million square feet.

“The first-quarter results were only a 1.38 percent reduction in the inventory over the previous quarter, but it’s one of the best quarters in the past four years,” says Coldwell Banker Commercial President Beau Beery.

Office leasing rates have held steady in the last three quarters, Beery notes. “Potential tenants may be seeing current prices as the best they’ll ever find,” he says.

Free rent and moving cost enticements are falling off, the report shows. “Any deal in 2012 is still going to be one of the best for years to come,” Beery says.

Office listings increased by only half a percent in the last quarter. “Barring any unforeseen political developments here or internationally, the situation only looks to improve,” Beery says.

While the office-space inventory is decreasing, the retail-space inventory has been roughly the same for the last three quarters, the report shows.

The days-on-market average for retail space has increased to almost 20 months. “Nearly every grocery-anchored center, lifestyle center and power center in Alachua County has desirable vacant space,” Beery says. “Unfortunately, retail is tied to discretionary income, but we’re seeing some improvement nationwide.”

While some retail is being leased, an equal amount of new listings are coming on the market. “The inventory decreased by 16 percent for spaces up to 1,000 square feet, but no other range has been nearly as successful,” Beery says.

Retail pricing has stabilized around $15 to $16 per square foot plus overhead.

All information reported from the CBC 1st Qtr 2012 Alachua County Office and Retail Leasing Report and CBC Bluebook Market Review. Download the full report here.

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