The Greenville Office Market consists of 6.1 million square feet of multi-tenant office buildings situated in the Central Business District (CBD) and the Suburban Market. During 2003 the Greenville Office Market turned in the worst performance since Colliers Keenan Goldsmith began surveying the office market. The lingering effects of the economics recession were the primary factors contributing to the performance. Overall market vacancies increased from year end 2002 levels of 22% to 23.9% at year end 2003. Net absorption for 2003 was a dismal negative 75,700 square feet. The only bright spot in the market was a reduction in sub-lease space of 86,600 square feet. This was due primarily to lease terms expiring during the period. Overall 2003 can be characterized as a year in which no new major office tenants entered the market from outside Greenville and there were few tenants in excess of 5,000 spare feet moving within the market. The market weakness remains focused primarily in the Suburban Market, with the CBD basically treading water during the year.
Central Business District
The CBD vacancy rate was 14.7% at year end 2003, which is slight increase from 13.*% at year end 2002. Net absorption was a dismal 1,200 square feet. The only new product delivered during 2003 was the renovation of the old Family Court building by developer Bob Hughes on South Main Street. Design Strategies, an architectural firm, took 12,000 square feet of the 29,000 square foot historical building on South Main Street. Reports continued to circulate that a planned mixed use development, the River Place to be located along the Reedy River, would be kicked off soon, but as of this report no firm announcements have been made. This development will include retail, residential and a hotel. The site is located on South Main Street across the Reedy River from the peace Center for the Performing Arts. A third developer has the old Memorial Auditorium site under contract and is currently attempting to obtain enough pre-leasing to begin construction. It is forecasted that these projects will be underway by year's end 2004.
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