Development

How’s Charlotte office market look? Still strong, report says

615 South College, a 19-story office building under construction.
615 South College, a 19-story office building under construction.

The latest report on Charlotte’s office market strikes an optimistic tone: “Despite distractions, market stays hot.”

That’s how brokerage firm JLL sums up the state of Charlotte’s office market as the third quarter comes to a close. You can download the report, with more detailed statistics, here.

Here are some of the key findings:

▪ There are 2.3 million square feet of office space under development in the city, with about 45 percent of that pre-leased and the rest speculative.

▪ The vacancy rate is 10.7 percent, down from a 10-year high of 17.9 percent in 2010, at the depths of the reception and its aftermath. As long as vacancy rates stay relatively low – they were at 12.5 percent last year – landlords will have the flexibility to push rents higher.

▪ Even with the much-publicized economic fallout from House Bill 2, the state’s new LGBT law, “the market is showing strength,” JLL wrote. That’s in-spite of canceled projects, such as PayPal’s decision to withdraw a 400-job expansion planned for the University City area.

▪ The Brigham building in Ballantyne Corporate Park is now the only wholly speculative office building under construction in Charlotte. Others that started as spec buildings – 615 South College uptown and 500 East Morehead in Dilworth – have now inked tenants.

Ely Portillo: 704-358-5041, @ESPortillo

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