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Old Posted May 30, 2004, 3:30 PM
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EastSideHBG EastSideHBG is offline
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Philadelphia Metro (Norristown, PA)
Posts: 10,050
AWESOME news!!! And the tables weren't in the online article, so I typed them out.


Demand remains strong for commercial property

Sunday, May 30, 2004
Of The Patriot-News

Overall commercial real estate occupancy rates are approaching 93 percent in the Harrisburg area, the highest level in a decade, according to a quarterly report by Landmark Commercial Realty Vice President Thomas T. Posavec.

Fueled by growing demand for space in all areas of the region, tenants continued to line up for space in both existing buildings and those under construction during the first quarter of the year.

"I just came from a conference in Phoenix," Posavec said. "If two years ago was a 'C,' and one year ago was a 'B,' this year I'd give the business an 'A.' Nationally, things have really picked up big time."

Even so, the growth is not uniform. In Pittsburgh, overall occupancy rates are about 75 percent to 80 percent, Posavec said. He said Harrisburg is fortunate to have a more stable commercial real estate market.

Just about his only cautionary note concerned buildings under construction, such as Market Square Plaza in downtown Harrisburg and a new office building at 4507 N. Front St. in Susquehanna Twp. Posavec said the new construction and the renovation of certain other space might eventually have a "short-term impact" on occupancy levels in the midstate.

He said he was particularly pleased with the West Shore, where the occupancy rate moved up to 95 percent in the first quarter, from 94 percent in the previous quarter. Occupancy of the best Class A space remained at 97 percent, he said. Even so, occupancy rose by 45,300 square feet overall.

One of the big West Shore transactions was acquisition of the former EDS building at 275 Grandview Ave. in Camp Hill by Szeles Real Estate Development Co. of Lower Paxton Twp.

In downtown Harrisburg, occupancy dropped by 6,400 square feet, while occupancy remained at 98 percent in the Class A sector. Class B+ space was the only gainer downtown during the first quarter.

Also creating potential occupancy declines in the future is a decision by Verizon Communications, the state's largest telephone company, to all but abandon its former regional headquarters in the Strawberry Square office complex. Verizon will aim to sublet 80,000 square feet of space beginning later in the summer.

Union sources have said Verizon is moving its work force from leased facilities to sites it owns, such as the former GTE building in Hershey and the building at Second and Pine streets in Harrisburg.

"There is significant state interest in that [Strawberry Square] space," Posavec said. "How many spaces have a food court and easy access to parking garages?"

He said the East Shore business district has "a few pockets of weakness," even though about 9,200 square feet were absorbed by the market during the first quarter.

Class A occupancy remained at 93 percent, where it has stood for the past three quarters.

Overall, Posavec said he would give the first quarter an "A-" grade. "It really couldn't have been a much better quarter," he said.

*The first table would not fit in the space provided. Just use the number to find the appropriate rent per sq. ft. charge. I am surprised at how close the rent is in all of the markets. That must make the competition even tougher, and that sure explains all the commercial building going on around here now.

Occupancy Rates

Midstate office space occupancy rates in %:

Harrisburg 1st Qtr. '04/ 4th qtr. '03/ 1st qtr. '03
1. Class A 98/ 98/ 97
2. Class B+ 92 92 91
3. Class B 88 89 94

East Shore
4. Class A 93 93 92
5. Class B+ 90 87 88
6. Class B 96 96 95
7. Class C 85 88 82

West Shore
8. Class A 97 97 97
9. Class B+ 93 92 92
10. Class B 91 90 89
11. Class C 95 94 93

Rent. per sq. ft.
1. $17 to 22
2. $14 to 16.45
3. $11.95 to 13.50
4. $16.50 to 21
5. $14.95 to 16.35
6. $13 to 14.50
7. $10.50 to 12.75
8. $16.50 to 20
9. $14.75 to 16.25
10. $13 to $14.50
11. $10.95 to 12.75
Right before your eyes you're victimized, guys, that's the world of today, and it ain't civilized...

Last edited by EastSideHBG; May 30, 2004 at 3:45 PM.
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