Share This Page

Pittsburgh office space market continues to tighten, report shows

| Friday, Jan. 25, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

Pittsburgh's overall office market continues to tighten as the region ended 2012 with a 14.1 percent vacancy rate, according to a report issued Thursday.

That was down from the 15.6 percent vacancy rate at the end of 2011, said Newmark Grubb Knight Frank in its 2012 Pittsburgh Office Market. That was the most significant decrease in the past six years, according to the commercial real estate company's figures.

“Pittsburgh is ranked the 10th strongest office market of 57 metro markets, which is down from its third position in 2011,” said Douglas Herold, a director of Integra Realty Resources/Pittsburgh.

The city, which has attracted a number of national and institutional buyers, was identified by the Brookings Institution as one of only three metropolitan areas in the nation to have recovered from the Great Recession, the report noted.

Downtown ended 2012 with a 14.3 percent vacancy rate, down from 15.6 percent at the end of 2011.

If Downtown's fringe areas, such as the North Shore, the South Shore and the Strip District are included, Downtown's vacancy was 19.4 percent in 2012, down from 19.5 percent in 2011.

Still the tightest office market for available space is the Oakland/East End area, which ended 2012 with a 6.8 percent vacancy rate. It was 6.5 percent at the end of 2011. Pittsburgh's suburban market ended the year with a 12.6 percent vacancy rate versus 14.5 percent at the end of 2011.

The strongest suburban market is the North where the vacancy rate was 7.4 percent compared with 7.7 percent in 2011.

Among major office building sales during 2012 were Highwood Properties acquisition of EQT Plaza, Downtown, for $99.2 million; and the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center's two purchases,the Quantum One building in the South Side for $25 million and the office building at 400 Oxford Drive, Monroeville, for $5 million.

The purchase by IRA Realty Capital of Newport Beach, Calif., of the Equitable Resources building on the North Shore was valued at $37 million, according to a report from Grant Street Associates/Cushman & Wakefield.

Among major leases was ServiceLink's in the Pittsburgh International Business Park in Moon; Dynavox's lease at 2100 Wharton St., South Side; Koppers Inc. at 436 Seventh Ave., Downtown; and TrueCommerce's at 400 Northpointe Circle, North Hills.

Sam Spatter is a staff writer for TribTotal Media.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.