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Vacancy rate in city falling

October 4, 2018

The demand for office space is exceeding construction, resulting in a decline in the Fort Wayne area vacancy rate, results of a survey out today suggest.

The Zacher Company said in its 2018 Office Market Survey that strong office space demand coupled with limited new construction has led to 335,000 square feet of “positive office space absorption” between October 2017 to October 2018.

More than half of that space : 175,000 square feet : was claimed in the southwest quadrant.

“I thought it was going to be positive, but I think it was more positive than even I expected,” Steven K. Zacher, managing broker of the company, said Wednesday.

The city’s overall marketwide vacancy rate dropped from nearly 14 percent to just under 11 percent, the survey report said. Local office vacancy has decreased in four of the last five years.

Nationally, the Zacher report said market vacancy rates reported by some major global brokerage firms range from 13 percent to nearly 15 percent. In Fort Wayne, downtown has the lowest office vacancy rate at 6.89 percent.

“Companies want to be downtown with all the good momentum we’ve got in like Ash (Brokerage) and Aptera ... even Shindigz,” Zacher said during a telephone interview, referring to companies that have moved, expanded or added downtown locations.

In 2009, just as the country was adjusting from the Great Recession, the downtown vacancy rate was 18.8 percent, the report said.

Overall, significant leases mentioned in the survey report include the Hanning and Bean Enterprises Inc. purchase of 280,526 square feet of SIRVA property at 5001 U.S. 30 W. and IU Health’s lease of 10,000 square feet at 7230 Engle Road.

For Class A space, deemed the most prestigious buildings : often with high quality finishes, state-of-the-art systems and accessibility : the overall vacancy rate is 9.4 percent. For Class B, the rate is 10 percent. For Class C, offering functional space at rents below the area’s average, the vacancy is 28.1 percent, according to the survey.

lisagreen@jg.net

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