region enjoys its second-best quarter in five years. Six of
seven counties report positive growth. Polk shines. Business
park activity often is an early sign of business expansion,usually
leading the movement of office space. Stay tuned.
Laurel S. McQueen
Bays business park activity started the year with a
bang. Annual absorption for the region has not been this
high 2.09 million sf in two years. Only one
the past five years (fourth quarter 1999) experienced more
expansion than this first quarters addition of 1.06
Six of the seven counties reported positive growth.
Only one word describes Polk County: hot. Its first quarter
absorption 661,590 sf was the highest in 15
the MADDUX REPORT started surveying
its business parks. Annual
absorption soared to over a million
sf for the first time as well. A 275,000-sf build-to-suit
Motor Co. in Duke Realtys new Park 27 Distribution Center
led the way. Exel Logistics leased 199,361 sf at Florida Central
Park and The Ruthvens inked leases totaling 134,250 sf. The
vacancy rate dropped 4.4 points.
came in second as quarterly absorption nearly
tripled and the annual rate grew 58 percent. The vacancy
rate, however, notched up a slight 0.1 point as over a million
sf of space some old, some new was added to
East of I-275, seven big chunks of space (over 25,000 sf)
taken down. The vacancy rate dipped .5 point while annual
absorption soared 118 percent. The market west of I-275 saw
a net loss with move-outs at two parks. This, combined with
the completion of 103,310 sf of speculative space at Expressway
Commerce Center A, pushed the vacancy rate up 1.7
in Pinellas the regions second-largest market
was so slim that its annual rate dropped back to a loss position.
Theres very little open land to build on. Construction
was completed during the quarter on 73,010 sf of spec space
at Fortune 2000. Gateway had a better quarter. Finally, after
three quarters of net losses, some positive movement
occurred. It wasnt enough, however, to rescue the annual
rate. The submarket has seen its annual rate hover in net
territory for five of the last six quarters. The vacancy rate
dropped 1 point.
net quarterly absorption nearly tripled that of
fourth quarter 2002, pushing annual absorption up 20 percent.
The vacancy rate dropped by 1.1 point.
Manatees annual absorption dropped 56 percent as a large
figure from first quarter 2002 dropped out of the 12-month
moving average. The vacancy rate inched up 0.4 point with
the completion of 61,000 sf of spec space at Gulfcoast Corporate
annual absorption grew by 30 percent; the vacancy
rate dropped 0.7 point. Construction began during the
quarter on a 10,800-sf spec building at One Pasco Center.
Hernandos Sunshine Grove Industrial Park sold at the
of the year. The new owners evicted several tenants, resulting
in the countys quarterly loss.
data is revised as new information is obtained. Data on County
Business Park Space Guides may not add up to numbers shown
on Business Park Market chart as sublease space and space
coming available in the next few months are shown in the guides,
but not included in analysis data. For more detailed information
on the survey call the MADDUX REPORT Research Department at
727/321-3225 or send email to MADDUXResearch@AOL.com.