There was a “rebound” in the number of new and larger office space leased in Westchester County during the first quarter of the year, reports Jones Lang LaSalle, a real estate management and research firm, adding that rent prices remained stable.
“Activity during the first quarter of the year involved a bit of musical chairs, which is not uncommon for this market,” said Chris O’Callaghan, managing director and Westchester County market head for Jones Lang LaSalle. “The first three months of this year showed a rebound in new and larger leases compared with heavy renewal activity during 2012. The shift towards relocation rather than renewal signals more business confidence as local tenants are more willing to consider the upfront capital associated with moving.”
The overall vacancy rate in Westchester remained unchanged at 18.5 percent in the first quarter of 2013. The vacancy rate of Class A buildings, though, rose to 20.5 percent this quarter from 20.0 percent in the fourth quarter of 2012.
Westchester County posted an increase in overall average asking rental rates for the second consecutive quarter.
Overall rents rose to $26.09 per square foot in the first quarter of 2013, an increase of 1.4 percent from overall rents of $25.74 per square foot the previous quarter. Rates for the county’s Class A properties fell slightly to $26.91 per square foot this quarter, a drop of less than 1.0 percent from Class A rents of $26.94 per square foot in the fourth quarter of 2012.
Five top transactions closed in the first quarter and were all new deals, says Jones Lang LaSalle, which cites Xylem Inc.’s lease at 1 International Drive in the I-287 East Corridor as an example.
Other large new transactions included:
- Argus Information & Advisory Services’ sublease of 50,531 square feet at 1 North Lexington Ave., in the White Plains CBD;
- Mindspark’s move to 35,500 square feet at 29 Wells Ave.;
- Verizon’s commitment to 29,756 square feet at 500 Summit Lake Dr. in the I-287 west corridor; and
- Quorum Federal Credit Union’s nearby relocation to 21,855 square feet at 2500 Westchester Ave., in the I-287 east corridor.