Robust Suburbs Help Make Capital the Nation’s Tightest Office Market

The National Association of Realtors recently reported that the Washington, D.C. area currently has the lowest office vacancy rate in the nation. With a vacancy rate of 9.7%, Washington D.C. is just under New York City, with a 9.8% vacancy rate, Little Rock, Arkansas, 12.1%, and Birmingham, Alabama, 12.4%. Washington

By Adrian Maties, Associate Editor

Greater Washington, D.C., enjoys the lowest office vacancy in the nation, according to the National Association of Realtors. At 9.7 percent, the capital region’s vacancy rate leads those of metropolitan New York City (9.8 percent), Little Rock, Ark. (12.1 percent), and Birmingham, Ala. (12.4 percent).

Washington’s suburbs, no less than the city itself, are contributing to the tight market. A case in point: the 80,489 square feet of suburban leases secured by Washington Property Co. during the first half of 2013. In all, Bethesda-based Washington Property completed eight leases in Maryland and three in northern Virginia. A variety of educational, medical, non-profit, professional services and other tenants renewed at their current locations or made first-time commitments.

More than half of the activity occurred at one property: 8757 Georgia Ave. in Silver Spring. Corinthian Colleges Inc. renewed its lease for 22,152 square feet there, and CLINIC, an urgent-care medical center, took a comparable amount of space.

At 1390 Piccard Drive in Rockville, Vanguard Realty Group leased 14,434 square feet. SR/A Interior Design L.L.C. leased 4,865 square feet at 4719 Hampden Lane, in Bethesda. EZGSA, (Mark) Core International Inc. and The Real Estate Group L.L.C. leased 4,116 square feet at 6900 Wisconsin Ave. in Bethesda.

Washington Property also leased 4,246 square feet to Greely and Hansen, L.L.C. in the Patriot Business Park, located at 7852 Walker Drive in Greenbelt. The National Volunteer Fire Council took 2,806 square feet at the same location. And Kestral-USA leased 2,666 square feet of space at 8618 Westwood Center Drive in Vienna.

“We are on track to have an excellent year leasing our office portfolio of over 1.5 million square feet, while developing one million square feet of residential space,” said Derek Hendon, president of WPC Management, L.L.C. Last year the company leased more than 238,000 square feet.

Photo: Washington Property Co.