Conditions are showing slight improvement in the Columbia commercial office market, with vacancy rates slightly declining to 12.7 % in first quarter 2022 on the strength of more than 200,000 square feet of leasing activity, according to a market report released Wednesday by Lee & Associates | Maryland.
Last year ended with a 13.5% vacancy rate, even though 315,000 square feet of space was leased in the fourth quarter. Negative absorption dropped from 60,000 to 14,000 square feet of space. And the average rental rate also rose slightly from $26.05 to $26.45 per square foot, which continued a recent trend.
Significant lease transactions included the 45,000-square-foot lease by an unnamed government contractor at 7125 Columbia Gateway Drive; the 32,887-square-foot lease signed by Parsons at 7110 Samuel Morse Drive and the 21,500-square-foot lease executed by Orthopedic Associates of Central Maryland at 10277 Little Patuxent Pkwy.
Investment sales activity was highlighted by RELI Group’s $3.8 million purchase of 6805 Douglas Legum Drive; Huynh Thai’s acquisition of 3600 Saint Johns Lane for $1.1 million and the $465,000 purchase of 5086 Dorsey Hall Drive by an unclosed buyer. Total sales transactional volume was $8.3 million for the first quarter.
Lee & Associates is a commercial real estate brokerage, management and appraisal services firm. Established in 1979, the company has grown its service platform to include offices in the United States and Canada.