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Vacancy down in Columbia’s office, industrial real estate markets

Real Estate - Commercial
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Commercial real estate company Newmark Grubb Wilson Kibler reported today Columbia’s industrial and office markets showed lower vacancy rates in the first quarter of 2017 than the previous three-month period, reflecting a healthy market overall.

The Columbia office market vacancy fell six percentage points from the previous quarter to 6.5%, which is the lowest rate the market has seen in a decade.

Rental rates remained steady during the first quarter, with a 0.1% increase from $15.79 per square foot from $15.78 at the end of the fourth quarter 2016. The Class A sector showed rates of $20.78 per square foot, while Class B rates were $14.96 and Class C $13.27. North Columbia led all classes with the highest rental rates in the market, averaging $23.13 per square foot.

One building was delivered during first-quarter 2017, totaling 2,500 square feet. The fourth quarter of 2016 featured one building totaling 4,300 square feet completed. 74,460 square feet of office space remained under construction in the Columbia market by the end of the quarter. 

The largest lease signings occurring in 2017 included:

  • The 5,306-square-foot lease signed by Midlands Montessori School LLC at Gibson Commons in the Lexington market.
  • The 4,000-square-foot deal signed by The Body Shop at 1720 Dutch Fork Road in the Dutch Fork/Irmo market.
  • The 3,000-square-foot lease signed by Five Eleven Inc. at 1 Windsor Cove in the Northeast Columbia market.

The Columbia industrial market vacancy also fell in the first quarter to 7.2% compared with 8.0% in fourth quarter 2016. Absorption for the overall Columbia industrial market, including flex and warehouse space, was a positive 519,065 square feet. 

Combined flex and warehouse rates in the Columbia market declined in first-quarter 2017 to $3.90 per square foot, down from $3.93 in the previous quarter. Rates are currently at a two-year low after reaching a high of $4.35 per square foot in first-quarter 2015. Flex space rental rates dropped to $6.48 per square foot this quarter from $8.08 in fourth-quarter 2016. Warehouse rates fell to $3.65 square foot from $3.69 during the same time period.

The largest lease signings occurring thus far in 2017 included:

  • The 32,000-square-foot lease signed by Bridgestone at 1080 Shop Road in the Southeast Columbia market.
  • The 12,500-square-foot deal signed by American Foam Products at 1000 Fontaine Road in the Northeast Columbia market.
  • The 7,239-square-foot lease signed by Metro Treatment of South Carolina at 560 Chris drive in the Cayce West Columbia market.

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