Quick Glossary of Commercial Real Estate Terms

Posted on March 22nd, 2021

There are certain terms you need to be familiar with when renting commercial property in the United States. Here is a list of the most important key words, in alphabetical order.

All-Inclusive

All-inclusive space is available at a fixed fee and typically gives tenants access to equipped workstations, admin/reception support, and meeting rooms. Utilities, janitorial services, and security are usually included.

Class A/B/C

Office space is classified into three classes depending on quality standards and the amenities on offer.

Class A

Class A space is considered best-in-class and is usually located in new buildings that feature the highest standards of construction, design, and amenities. These offices are typically found in prime business locations.

Class B

Class B space offers a functional standard of accommodation to office-based businesses in need of well-maintained space at a reasonable price.

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United States Commercial Property Supply and Vacancy Rates 2021 (Part 2)

Posted on February 25th, 2021

In a previous blog post we examined the performance of the commercial real estate market in some major US cities. This is the second article in this series, which uses data from late 2020 and early 2021 to examine vacancy and supply rates in cities such as Los Angeles, Chicago, Atlanta and Houston. These statistics illustrate the impact of COVID-19 on the commercial property rental market, as well as the types of properties that are holding strong in the face of negative trends.

Los Angeles

Los Angeles is a hub for creative, media, and entertainment companies, many of which are office-based. The city’s proximity to major cargo ports makes it convenient for logistics and distribution businesses, both of which have kept the industrial real estate market strong.

Offices

  •  Vacancy rates in downtown Los Angeles are 21.5%.
  •  In Q4 20202, there was more than 5.5 million square feet for vacant space, with 3.4 million feet being in the Financial District.
  •  The majority of vacant inventory involves Class A offices.
  •  Supply increased by more than 2 million square feet in the past 12 months.
  •  No new supply is expected to enter the market as no projects are currently under construction in the CBD area.
  •  Vacancy rates average 22.5% outside of the CBD, however, they reach 56% in the Fashion District.
  •  Vacancy rates are just under 18% in the Greater Los Angeles area.

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United States Commercial Property Supply and Vacancy Rates 2021 (Part 1)

Posted on February 11th, 2021

With a market size of nearly $900bn, the United States has one of the world’s largest commercial real estate markets, coupled with some of the most desirable business locations to match. This post serves as the first part of our examination into the US market’s performance based on data from Q4 2020 and Q1 2021.

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Atlanta’s Tech Square

Posted on February 6th, 2021

Tech Square is a rapidly developing neighborhood covering a total of approximately 8 acres. The area is located in Midtown Atlanta, between 3rd and 8th Streets in their intersection with Williams and West Peachtree. Approximately 3 miles north of downtown Atlanta, Tech Square can be accessed via bike lanes, mass transit, and two interstate roads.

The development of Tech Square is part of a revitalization project that has been transforming the face of Midtown since the early 2000s. Today, the area is known for its bustling character and high business density, especially in the creative and tech sectors.

The creation of this new district has put Atlanta’s office market in the spotlight. The city is now considered a robust secondary market with strong fundamentals and millions of square feet under construction. The largest sub-markets are the CBD, Midtown, and Buckhead. Approximately half of Atlanta’s total office inventory is Class A space, which is particularly abundant in Tech Square.

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United States Office Rental Market – Trends for 2021

Posted on January 27th, 2021

Commercial real estate was one of the hardest hit sectors following the coronavirus outbreak in 2020. The pandemic and the measures taken to curb its spread brought significant changes to office-based workplaces, driving a sharp and sudden increase in remote work practices. The most immediate consequence of this shift was a softening in rental activity due to the decreased need for physical office space in the short-term. As a result, 2020 ended with a marked decline in take-up volume and an increase in office vacancy rates across the nation.

The United States office rental market entered the new year in a scenario marked by declining rental rates and compromised fundamentals. As we move further into 2021, these trends are likely to remain in place and some markets may begin to feel the full impact of the economic crisis, whereas others will prove more resilient.

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Working in the Clouds: An Exploration into ‘Skyscraper Cities’ and the Benefits of Working in Modern High-Rises

Posted on January 22nd, 2021

The United States has a long history of being at the forefront of architecture.  In fact, the world’s first modern skyscraper was built in the city of Chicago in 1885. That decade saw impressive buildings built to reach for the sky, mainly in cities that were bustling with trade and business activity.

Many of those buildings still stand tall, along with a wide range of others that have been built over the years. The US cities with the highest density of skyscrapers include:

  •   New York, which ranks third in the world due to its skyscraper count, with more than 280 high rises of 150+ meters.
  •   Chicago, also in the global top 10, with 126 skyscrapers.
  •   Miami, with 54.
  •   Houston, with 39.
  •   Los Angeles and San Francisco, with 26 and 25, respectively.
  •   Boston and Seattle, with 21 each.
  •   Las Vegas and Philadelphia, with 14 and 13, respectively.

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Introducing Pets into the Workplace, a Smart Idea or Barking up the Wrong Tree?

Posted on January 11th, 2021

The office can be a stressful place at times, particularly when deadlines are looming and clients are expecting results fast. These stresses can result in negativity, tension, anxiety, and an overwhelming sense of dread, feelings which can ultimately impact productivity and mental wellbeing. Companies across the globe have worked tirelessly to combat these workplace stresses, introducing comprehensive strategies to improve the wellbeing of their employees and cultivate a healthy working environment. Introducing pets into the workplace is one such plan that can, if implemented correctly, positively impact employees by improving morale, reducing stress, easing anxiety, and increasing job satisfaction.

Amazon is a prime example of a global company that has successfully introduced pets through their long-standing tradition of bringing dogs into their Seattle headquarters, a space which is now home to as many as 7,000 dogs on any given workday! The example set by large companies such as Amazon has inspired countless other businesses to adopt similar initiatives, resulting in pets becoming increasingly common in the workplace, particularly in millennial-driven organizations and  creative offices that encourage collaboration.

But what exactly do you need to know before introducing your furry friend to the workplace and what benefits or downsides can come from bringing your pet to work?

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The Differences Between Class A, B, & C Office Space in the USA

Posted on January 5th, 2021

There are several types of office space in the USA. These properties are classified according to their quality standards and amenities, using the classification system developed by the Building Owners and Managers Association. This system establishes three main types of office space: Class A, Class B, and Class C. Here are the defining features of each Class:

Class A Office Space

These properties are characterized as having the highest quality standards, amenities, and fixtures. Common features include top-tier HVAC and lighting systems, the latest telecommunications infrastructure, and often have unique design or architectural traits. Because of their high standards, Class A offices are typically (but not always) in new or trophy buildings with high-quality road and mass transit connections. Location also plays a role in Class A offices, as they are often located in sought-after areas such as Capitol Hill, Downtown Los Angeles, and The Loop in Chicago.

Class B Office Space

Class B properties are a middle-of-the-road option for office-based businesses. They are a step below Class A properties in terms of design, systems, and infrastructure, but they are still functional spaces that can accommodate a wide range of office operations. Depending on their location and potential, some Class B buildings are acquired by property management or investment firms and refurbished to Class A standards. Many of these offices are located in buildings that are between 10 and 20 years old.

Class C Office Space

Class C offices are typically located in older buildings (20 years+) outside of the CBD or other highly sought-after business areas. These properties may have outdated infrastructure, fixtures, and amenities, with some requiring partial renovation.

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United States Office Space Rental Rates 2020

Posted on December 22nd, 2020

The United States office market is characterized by its wide range of properties, ranging from affordable shared spaces to expensive trophy offices in some of the world’s most desirable business locations. In mid-2020, average gross rates for offices nationwide stood at $35 per square foot with the priciest offices located in New York and California. Within these states, the sub-markets commanding the highest rates are:

  •   New York: Midtown Manhattan at $87 per square foot, specifically in Chelsea, the Plaza District, and Gramercy Park.
  •   California: The Shoreline/Mountain View area, in which prices reach $130 per square foot, followed by Santa Monica and the SoMa district of San Francisco.

Average asking rates in other prime office markets are as follows:

  •   Seattle: $70 per square foot, higher in Lake Union and the CBD.
  •   Washington DC: $55 per square foot.
  •   Cambridge and Boston: $40 and $80 per square foot, respectively.
  •   Los Angeles: Averaging $45 per square foot.
  •   Chicago: Exceeding $40 per square foot in the West Loop.
  •   Raleigh-Durham: $35 per square foot for CBD properties.

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United States Commercial Property Prices 2020: Per Square Foot

Posted on December 15th, 2020

The United States is home to one of the world’s largest commercial real estate markets, with an estimated worth of approximately $950bn. In terms of size, industrial space is the largest sub-market with 21bn square feet, followed by retail with 13bn, and offices, which account for 11bn.

In Q2 2020, the average price per square foot for US offices was just over $35. Retail averaged out to $18.09 / square foot, and industrial space came in at just under $8 / square foot. However, there are significant variations in average prices based on location and real estate class. Here is a summary of average commercial rates in key USA cities:

  •   New York: Average gross rates for metro New York offices are $81 / sq ft / year. Industrial space averages $19 / sq ft / year.
  •   Los Angeles: $44 / sq ft / year for offices in the metropolitan area and $11 / sq ft / year for industrial premises.
  •   Miami: In the same range as Los Angeles for CBD offices and slightly lower for industrial space ($8 / sq ft / year).
  •   Boston: $39/ sq ft / year for metro offices, rising to $80 in Cambridge. Industrial properties average $10 / sq ft / year.
  •   Philadelphia: $36 / sq ft / year for city center offices, $27 for suburban space, and $6 / sq ft / year for industrial properties.
  •   Atlanta: Slightly under $30 / sq ft / year for offices with a rate of $35 in Downtown Atlanta. Industrial space is charged at an average of $5 / sq ft / year.
  •   Chicago: Approximately $33 / sq ft / year for office space, rising to averages above $40 in The Loop. Industrial premises average $6 / sq ft / year.
  •   Dallas and other urban centers in Texas: between $25 and $30 / sq ft / year, whereas industrial rates are below $5.

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