Westchester & Fairfield County Business Journal

Lower Fairfield County sees slight increase in office availability

Office space has increased slightly in lower Fairfield County over the last six months, according to the latest Choyce Peterson data.

The commercial real estate brokerage firm’s 23rd semi-annual “Lower Fairfield County Office Space Availability Poster” tracks 96 buildings with a total inventory of 18.2 million square feet. Those properties are primarily multi-tenanted Class A office buildings in Stamford, Norwalk, Greenwich, and Westport.

The report shows a 1.9 percentage point increase in total availability during the first half of 2021, from 27.8% at year-end 2020 to 31.7% at mid-year 2021. Of the 361,923 square feet increase in total availability, 88% is due to new sublease space added to the market.

Other highlights:

  • Stamford increased from 34.1% to 35.1%. Of the 31 buildings surveyed, 11 experienced a decrease in available square footage, 12 had an increase and 8 were unchanged. 300 Atlantic St., 1 Landmark Square, and 677 Washington Blvd. combined added 157,672 square feet of available space.
  • Norwalk increased from 34.6% to 35.8%. Of the 20 buildings surveyed, 7 experienced a decrease in available square footage, 9 had an increase and 4 were unchanged. 383 Main Ave., 201 Merritt 7 and 401 Merritt 7 combined added 81,883 square feet of available space.
  • Greenwich increased from 16.1% to 21.8%. Of the 25 buildings surveyed, 9 experienced a decrease in available square footage, 7 had an increase and 9 were unchanged. 1 American Lane, 100 West Putnam Ave., and 411 West Putnam Ave. combined added 249,173 square feet of available space.
  • Westport, the strongest of the four markets, increased from 12.6% to 13.6%. Of the 20 buildings surveyed, 3 experienced a decrease in available square footage, 7 had an increase and 10 were unchanged. 500 Post Road E., 276 Post Road W., and 315 Post Road W. combined added 17,725 square feet of available space.

“Over the past five years, this is only the second time that all four sub-markets have shown an increase in availability,” said John P. Hannigan, a principal at Choyce Peterson. “The total availability increased by 1.9 percentage points over the past six months. And in the 12-month period (July 1, 2020 – June 30, 2021) it increased by 3.9 percentage points.

“With an abundance of office space available in the market, tenants can choose between a wide geographic, quality and price range,” he added. “Free rent, landlord-funded build outs, and discounted rent continue to be favorable deal terms for tenants in today’s market.”

Choyce Peterson Vice President Adam Cognetta said that, “While availability is up, office leasing inquiries remain strong with some tailwinds courtesy of recent Lower Fairfield County HQ relocation announcements. Companies with foresight on headcount, performance, and utilization of space in markets with high availability rates are best positioned to lock in attractive, long-term deals.”