As vacancy declined in the first half of the year, rents continued to trend higher. In addition to higher rents, landlord lease incentives are harder to come by, particularly when compared to two or three years ago.
There were some notable transactions in the first half of the year. A large investment deal in the Portsmouth submarket was the sale of 100 Domain Drive in Exeter. In April, this 265,000 SF mixed use office building, home to Bauer Hockey, Vapotherm, Liberty Mutual, and Garnett Hill, sold to an investor for $38M.
In the Manchester submarket, Allegro MicroSystems, after leasing its facility for nearly fifteen years, bought the 109,956 SF building from Brady Sullivan Properties for $14.689M. Allegro, which develops high-performance power and sensor semiconductors, is adding a 15,000 SF expansion to the facility.
Astronics Corporation moved the main office for its AeroSat business unit from Amherst to Manchester, leasing a 58,000 SF facility at 220 Hackett Hill Road. Astronics AeroSat designs and manufactures aircraft satellite communications technology and connectivity solutions.
Also in Manchester, L!FE Church leased approximately 10,000 SF at 150 Dow Street, bringing building occupancy up to 80%. This 401,000+ SF millyard building is undergoing major renovations and upgrades under its new ownership. Currently, the building offers one of the largest contiguous leasable spaces in the Manchester submarket.
The Nashua submarket’s office occupancy experienced the biggest gain, over 2%, with a few buildings reaching full capacity. 316 Daniel Webster Highway in Merrimack is fully leased, welcoming Physicians Resources LTD, which nearly doubled in size, moving from 6,700 SF in Amherst into 12,000 SF. 10 Tara Boulevard in Nashua is now 100% leased after an existing tenant expanded its footprint in the building by an additional 28,000 SF, giving them a total of 97,000 SF in a 158,000 SF Class A office building.
Office occupancy rates are increasing in nearly every submarket, which is a reassuring sign for New Hampshire. Another positive sign for the State is the addition of about 5,000 professional and business service jobs since the beginning of the year, according to the Economic and Labor Market Information Bureau.