Leasing Slow; Pinellas Way Down
Bay regions third-quarter office leasing market
improved somewhat on the previous quarters modest net
quarterly absorption pace but still finished 2002 in the
doldrums. Across the region absorption for 2002 was 40 percent
lower than in 2001.
County finished the year with solid leasing pushed along by
firm gains in Westshore and the I-75 Corridor. Absorption
for the year saw a modest 15 percent gain over the previous
year. Meanwhile the vacancy rate slipped up .3 percent since
yearend 2001 and weighted average rent increased by 15 cents
a foot. The stock of sublease space that appears in our survey
charts increased from 249,700 sf to 267,640 sf in Hillsborough.
Most of this space is split between Westshore and the I-75
Corridor. If this empty space were included in the countys
vacancy rate, it would climb to 17.4 percent.
Corridor was the countys most active market. But
over half of the 190,930 sf of move-in space was located at
the Atrium Center at Sabal Park. Move-outs totaled 83,322
at five buildings. The vacancy rate dropped 2.2 percentage
points from last quarter, but up 1.6 points from year a ago.
The weighted average rent increased by 61 cents a foot from
a year ago. The Westshore market followed closely on the I-75
Corridor with net absorption up from a net loss. Weighted
average rent dropped 17 cents per foot.
Countys unexceptional net leasing dropped 26 percent
from last quarters modest activity. The countys
total absorption for 2002 was actually a net loss in occupancy
the first time Pinellas has been in this position since
MADDUX REPORT began surveying the market in 1984. The countys
vacancy rate moved up 1.8 points over the course of the year
while weighted average rent dropped nine cents a foot. Pinellas
has at least 145,460 sf of sublease space available, which,
if included, would raise the countys vacancy rate to
northern part of the county, Countryside recorded a
net quarterly loss in occupancy of 31,600 sf driving the vacancy
rate up 3.1 points from the year-ago position. The downtown
Clearwater market saw a net loss of 12,190 sf.
third consecutive quarter the Gateway neighborhood
had the countys only noteworthy quarterly absorption,
more than double last quarter. However, the modest total for
the year was down 65 percent from 2001. Meanwhile Downtown
St. Petersburgs 2002 loss in occupancy was the first
time in 10 years that the sub-market had such a bleak year.
Sarasota County leasing activity saw a reasonable increase
over the previous quarter, but it wasnt enough to bring
2002 total up to last years level instead the
year had a 22
percent drop. The countys vacancy rate moved up 2 points
during the year, while rents remained stable.
activity in Manatee County resulted in a net quarterly loss
in occupancy for the third consecutive quarter. Annual absorption
took another small dip from the previous quarter, but was
actually up 54 percent from 2001. Manatee leads the region
with 58 percent of all new construction. Pasco County ended
the year with a minor net loss. In Polk average rents dropped
by 18 cents a foot over the course of the year.
Office buildings which have been fully leased for two or more
quarters do not appear in the survey charts. All office buildings
continue to be updated in the database each quarter. Previous
quarterly data is revised as new information is received.
Survey charts may include sublease space, which is not included
in analysis numbers. For questions regarding the survey, or
to receive a full survey chart, send an email request to MADDUXResearch@AOL.com.
Or, call the MADDUX REPORT Research Department at 727/321-3225