Suburban Markets Poised for Expansion.
The Columbia, South Carolina, office market started rebounding from the last economic downturn almost 18 months ago. Since then, the office market has absorbed 26,086 square feet. While activity was much more robust over this period than the net absorption suggests, leasing volume was largely among existing tenants relocating to take advantage of market conditions. The state of South Carolina also continued to downsize, which largely offset the new growth that did occur and resulted in the appearance of lackluster absorption.
The demand for quality office space at aggressive rental rates has dominated the post-recessionary office market in Columbia. Landlords who had the ability to aggressively pursue tenants with lower rental rates and those landlords which made capital investments to improve their properties have experienced the greatest amount of leasing volume. The Class A market absorbed 66,339 square feet since the market experienced a rebound at mid-year 2010 while the Class B market absorbed an impressive 355,813 square feet during this same period. However, the Class C market declined significantly by a total of 448,319 square feet (this total includes the vacancy in the Palmetto Center). These shifts represent a clear trend toward the desire for better quality space among the office tenants in Columbia.
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