Development

Office rents up, vacancy rate down in Charlotte

300 South Tryon is a 25-story office tower under construction uptown.
300 South Tryon is a 25-story office tower under construction uptown.

Renting office space is getting more expensive in Charlotte, and there’s less vacant office space to go around, as the vacancy rate fell and rents rose in the first quarter.

That’s according to data from Xceligent Karnes, a firm that tracks office, retail, residential and commercial activity. Here are some of the key numbers from the first quarter:

▪ 14 percent: Total office vacancy rate for the first quarter, down from 14.3 percent a year ago.

▪ $23.38: Average rent per square foot, up from $23.11.

▪ 1,236,889: Square feet of office space under construction. That’s nearly double the amount of office space under construction last year, showing how demand has rebounded. For comparison, in 2012 only 25,000 square feet was under construction.

▪ Office vacancy rates vary a lot by submarket. The tightest is midtown (7.3 percent), then Cotswold (10.3 percent) followed by uptown (10.7 percent). The east side of town, out along Albemarle Road and Central Avenue, has the highest vacancy rate (25.1 percent), then the Park Road Corridor (23.1 percent) followed by the I-77/Southwest corridor (20 percent).

▪ Rents also vary significantly. The highest is uptown ($27.83 per square foot), followed by SouthPark ($25.49) and midtown ($23.72). The east submarket is the cheapest ($14.28 per square foot), followed by Crownpoint/Matthews ($16.89) and the Park Road corridor ($17.35).

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