Zeroing in on Center City Philadelphia’s Tightest Office Micro Markets
Market Street West – the portion of Market Street running from City Hall to 21st Street – is seen by most Philadelphia office space brokers and investors as Center City’s premier office district, and with good reason.
Public transit access is exceptional along that corridor, which is home to more than 12 million square feet of Philly office space, Philly retail space and Philly industrial space as part of the U.S. commercial real estate market. This is more than double the amount of office space located on other major Center City thoroughfares such as JFK Boulevard, South Broad Street, or Market Street East.
This CoStar report is being offered through Wolf Commercial Real Estate, a Philadelphia commercial real estate brokerage firm specializing in Philadelphia commercial real estate listings.
However, Market Street West’s concentration of modern office skyscrapers has made it a favorite among large, publicly traded companies based in Philadelphia, a feature which is both a blessing and a curse for local office landlords working in the national and Philadelphia commercial real estate markets.
Clearly, Market Street’s popularity among large tenants is a plus for landlords that can retain them. Giant long-term leases by companies such as Independence Blue Cross or Beneficial Bancorp help some office owners keep large portions of their national and Philadelphia commercial real estate properties filled for years or even decades on end.
The problem is that thanks to high business costs, Center City’s Philadelphia office space does not have a strong track record when it comes to attracting and retaining large corporate headquarters among U.S. and Philadelphia commercial real estate listings. Many of Philadelphia’s largest white-collar employers such as Sunoco, Dow Chemical and PNC have all either vacated or downsized their Market Street office space in recent years as part of cost-cutting efforts.
The result is that, in terms of the percentage of office availability rates, Market Street West does not currently stand out as particularly tight in the overall U.S. commercial real estate market – including Philly office space, Philly retail space and Philly industrial space.
The tightest Philadelphia office space micro markets (in terms of both physical vacancy rates and percentage of space listed as available for lease) among all national and Philadelphia commercial real estate listings currently are Rittenhouse Square and Logan Square. Both are located a few blocks off Market Street and are home to some of Center City’s most coveted public greenspaces.
In contrast to Market Street West, the bulk of Philly office space stock in the Rittenhouse Square area is comprised of office properties located along Walnut Street, smaller than 350,000 square feet and built before 1970.
These properties cater almost exclusively to tenants looking for Philadelphia office space of less than 15,000 square feet, often in industries like legal services, healthcare, and accounting. These mostly privately-held firms do not face the same scrutiny from public shareholders and as a result, are less likely to relocate out of Center City to cut costs.
For more information about Philly office space, Philly retail space and Philly industrial space or other Philadelphia commercial properties, please call 215-799-6900 to speak with Jason Wolf (firstname.lastname@example.org) at Wolf Commercial Real Estate, a leading Philadelphia commercial real estate broker that specializes in Philly office space, Philly retail space and Philly industrial space.
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