WaPo: Office-Space Market Stuck in Downdraft

In today’s Washington Post Dana Hedgpeth presents an account of the grim outlook for the office market in the D.C. area. She reports that, in a slump likely to continue into next year, vacancy rates are increasing, rents are in decline and few new buildings have started construction.

As of yesterday, the vacancy rate for the District and the close-in suburbs was up to 12.5 percent from 11.1 percent at the end of the second quarter last year, according to CoStar Group, a real estate research firm. Rents were down to $33.47 a square foot from $34.55. Few new buildings have broken ground, as credit markets remain extremely tight.

“Unless they’re already in the ground, they’re not starting,” said Steven A. Levin, managing director at Spaulding & Slye. “Any development project needing a loan over $25 million requires multiple lenders, and the guarantees are onerous. The amount of money you can borrow is also reduced.”

Rendering of proposed Mt Vernon Place offices on 400 block of K Street

This does not bode well for planned office projects for K Street within the Triangle such as Mount Vernon Place, Square 483 from Steuart Investment and Douglas Development’s plans for Squares 450 & 451.

Hat tip: Twitter Feed from JDland

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  1. 1

    Five K says

    Isn’t MVT CID Director Bill McLeod giving a development tour of the Triangle this weekend? Should be interesting.

  2. 2

    fourthandeye says

    @Five K – Yes, Bill will be leading the tours Saturday and Sunday @ 1PM. They begin at 8th & K on the steps of the Carnegie Library.