Trends

The Greenville, South Carolina office market consists of over 6,500,000 square feet, 4,500,000 of which is surveyed here. The market is strategically located on the I-85 corridor 100 miles south of Charlotte, North Carolina, 150 miles north of Atlanta, Georgia and approximately 20 miles from the intersection of I-85 and I-26.

The Greenville, South Carolina market experienced a strong year, absorbing 151,000 SF with asking rental rates rising over the year. Total market direct vacancy totaled 14%, however when sublease space is added to direct vacancy, total overall market vacancy rises to 19%. Sublease space is still a major factor in the market as companies down-size and restructure, but sublease space is down significantly from year-end 1999 levels.

Construction activity picked up in the last quarter with 256,800 square feet of multi-ten-ant office buildings under construction at year-end. Liberty Property Trust began construction of two 34,300 SF speculative buildings at Independence Pointe in the suburbs while Easlan Capital/Highwoods began construction of a 120,000 SF suburban office building in Brookfield, with 80,000 SF preleased.

The CBD experienced a good year, with absorption totaling 88,000 SF, due primarily to growth of technology firms, while asking rental rates rose. The CBD continued to experience dramatic revitalization, especially in the West End area of downtown. The historic Westin Poinsett Hotel reopened late in the year, ensuring the continued redevelopment of the south Main Street area. A major disappointment to the downtown market was the announced cancellation of the Easlan/Highwoods 250,000 SF high rise on the former Memorial Auditorium site, when a second major tenant could not be secured.

The suburban office market also turned in a good year, absorbing 65,000 SF with asking rental rates remaining flat. The suburban market continued to absorb new construction delivered during 1999 and work off the large amount of sublease space. A majority of the new construction during 2000 was in the suburbs, totaling 202,000 SF.

The Ford Motor Credit Building (83,000 SF) in Brookfield, a suburban office park, sold for $9,000,000. The McDowell Building (29,000 SF), sold for $2,450,000 while 125 E. North Street (14,940 SF) was sold for $1,500,000. Both of these buildings are in the CBD.

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