Office market starts year strong, questions remain downtown
Overall net absorption was positive for the 25th consecutive quarter, and average rental rates continued to tick upwards, showing continued momentum in the West Michigan office market. Much of this growth has been fueled by a region still growing in terms of population and employment. According to economic development agency The Right Place, metro Grand Rapids is the fastest growing region in the state. Kent County grew by more 6,000 residents between 2015 and 2016 and has continued that growth into this year. Kent and Ottawa Counties are number one and number two in the state in population growth since 2010, with a 6.7% and 6.5% increase, respectively.
Once known as a region in which people leave to find better jobs, Grand Rapids has seen a reversal in that trend with many now migrating back home or deciding not to leave in the first place. While wages are still lagging behind many comparable cities, opportunities for employment and quality of life are high, and cost of living is relatively low. These trends have manifested themselves in the number of residential units delivered and planned recently in the region.
Click here to read the full Q1 2017 West Michigan Office Market Report