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Friday, November 19, 2010

Atlanta's 3Q Office Market

The Atlanta Office market ended the third quarter 2010 with a vacancy rate of 21.5%. The vacancy rate was up over the previous quarter, with net negative absorption over 200,000 SF.

Though economists have indicated that the recession is over, the Atlanta market is expected to lag behind the rest of the U.S. in recovery. At 10.3%, unemployment in Georgia is higher than the national unemployment rate of 9.6%. Unemployment is expected to exceed 9% through the next two years.

The average quoted asking rental rate for available office space, all classes, was $18.88 per square foot per year at the end of the third quarter 2010 in the Atlanta market area. This represented a 2.6% decrease in quoted rental rates from the end of the second quarter 2010.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Evolution of Office Space

Historically, occupancy costs have always had a big effect on a company’s bottom line. Depending on how a company is structured, they are usually the second or third highest cost of operating a company, along with the workforce/personnel and IT. With the changes in the economy from the rapid growth in technology, to the recession, how has the environment of the workspace changed over the last few years? As businesses cut budgets, it has become more prevalent in almost every sector of the economy, that companies have made real estate decisions to help to reduce their expenditures. As someone who represents Tenants with their office leases, it has always been a part of my job to reduce my client’s occupancy costs. However, the role of advising clients with their office space has even more so today, developed into a consulting business. We are seeing before us, a changing corporate culture and a new generation of business owners and employees that have entered the market. Following are a few aspects of the workplace that affects the modern office of today -

A new generation: The traditional office has changed in ways that have scaled back the average square feet per employee. Not only are we seeing executives move from being in a large office, but they are moving into smaller offices and in some cases into a workstation with the rest of the employees. The company culture of collaboration has emerged as more conference rooms have become more relevant in the workplace. Co working has become more popular as have the concept of hoteling with telecommuting.

Technology: Technology has grown at an extremely rapid pace and has had an impact on the amount of space that is needed. The capability to eliminate record rooms or large server rooms has lead to digital record keeping and a data centers. Cloud computing has created an ease of access through remote sites by the internet, usually in the form of web based applications with customization by the end user.

Sustainability: Sustainability has come to the forefront of commercial real estate and is here to stay. In addition to being a good steward to the environment, the advantages of office buildings going green have financial gains over the long term for both Tenant and Landlord. Over time, this will help reduce the operating costs of the building, which is directly passed down to the tenant.