What are the forecasts, reviews and what’s available now? The fourth quarter 2014 statistics review are fresh off the press and indicate a tightening Class A office leasing market. The vacancy is approximately 11.9%, down 1% from the beginning of the year. The tightest market in our area is Westshore. The suburban office markets in both Pinellas and Hillsborough Counties have slightly more space available. Rents have increased since the beginning of the year, about 1-2 per quarter in the urban markets, with all markets reporting positive absorption and a decrease in sublet space. There are limited sites available for future development outside of the control of key office landlords.

 

Warehouse space has an overall vacancy, including all flex and distribution space, of 8.4%, down 1% from the first of the year. Most of the notable activity is centered on the two Amazon build to suits, which account for nearly 2 million square feet of absorption. O’Reilly Auto Parts completed their building (300,000 SF) on land they purchased a few years back. In Hillsborough County, two buildings are under construction for lease: 150,000 SF Cabot Crosstown (holding out for 75,000 or 150,000 users) and a 38,000 SF building at Madison catering to 3-4,000 SF users. EastGroup Properties has begun construction on a 71,000 SF distribution building that is 1/3 preleased. There remains a reasonable number of spaces in the 25-40,000 SF range, but larger users will have a tougher time finding quality space with the higher clear heights. Rents have remained relatively flat over the year’s time, which could account for the relatively few new construction starts in the market.

 

There are several sites available for build to suit/own close to the interstate road network. Those who have an appetite for these sites will be able to select from about 4-5 sites that are ready to build.

 

In Pinellas County, there are many buildings for sale in the 10-25,000 SF range. In general they are older, mostly of metal construction and with lower clear heights. Larger users looking for 75,000-100,000 SF have limited options and few land sites remain available in Pinellas County.