Choyce Peterson Year-End 2022 Lower Fairfield County Office Market Survey

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Choyce Peterson Publishes Year-End 2022
Lower Fairfield County Office Market Survey

Availability Rate Increases Over Past Year

NORWALK, Conn., January 10, 2023 - Choyce Peterson, Inc. (www.choycepeterson.com), a full service commercial real estate brokerage firm with a specialization in tenant representation, announced the release of its 26th semi-annual Lower Fairfield County Office Market Survey. The survey depicts silhouettes of 96 buildings with a total inventory of 18.2 million square feet (sf) and tracks changes in office space availability from Year-End 2021 to Year-End 2022 in larger, primarily multi-tenanted Class A office buildings in Stamford, Norwalk, Greenwich, and Westport. The unique survey illustrates the absorption and give back of direct and sublease space, as well as overall availability statistics.

The survey shows there was a 2.1 percentage point increase in total availability during 2022, from 28.9% at Year-End 2021 to 31.0% at Year-End 2022. In contrast, the Mid-Year 2022 availability rate was 32.0%. Of the 5,687,856 sf of available space at Year-End 2022: 3,870,496 sf (68.5%) is on a direct basis while 1,780,393 sf (31.5%) is sublease space.

The following refers to the survey’s “availability rate” at Year End 2021 vs. Year-End 2022 in each market studied:  

Stamford increased from 30.4% to 35.6%. Of the 31 buildings surveyed, 12 experienced a decrease in available square footage, 15 had an increase and 4 were unchanged. The vast majority of the increased available space was from 2 buildings: 400 Atlantic Street and 333 Ludlow Street due to major corporations leaving the buildings. The largest absorption of space was at 201 Tresser Boulevard, 677 Washington Boulevard and 107 Elm Street for a combined 104,470 sf of leased space. Interestingly, of the 3,408,835 sf of available space in Stamford, five buildings account for nearly 49%, or 1,672,887 sf, of the total.

Norwalk decreased from 38.3% to 37.5%. Of the 20 buildings surveyed, 9 experienced a decrease in available square footage, 6 had an increase and 5 were unchanged. Four buildings combined showed a decrease in availability of nearly 150,000 sf: 401 and 601 Merritt 7, 50 Washington Street, and 383 Main Avenue. 20 Glover Avenue and 800 Connecticut Avenue combined added over 100,000 sf of available space. Contrary to expectations, the availability of direct space in Norwalk decreased while the amount of available sublease space increased. It is interesting to note that Norwalk’s total availability rate decreased as compared to Mid-Year 2022 when it hit the highest level (39.3%) since we started tracking these buildings twelve and a half years ago.

Greenwich continues to be the strongest of the four markets, decreasing from 15.5% to 12.8%. Of the 25 buildings surveyed, 9 experienced a decrease in available square footage, 5 had an increase and 11 were unchanged. 411 West Putnam Avenue, 777 W Putnam Avenue, and 55 Railroad Avenue combined leased 98,906 sf of available space. 1700 E Putnam Avenue, 2 Greenwich Office Park and 5 Greenwich Office Park combined added 41,885 sf of available space. Astonishingly, 12 of the 25 buildings surveyed have no space available, and only 4 have more than 25,000 sf available.

Westport decreased slightly from 16.0% to 15.9%. Of the 20 buildings surveyed, 5 experienced a decrease in available square footage, 3 had an increase and 12 were unchanged. Almost all of the added space on the market came from 1 Gorham Island Road with 31,803 sf available. 55 Post Road W, 276 Post Road W and 8 Wright Street combined leased 29,195 sf. Remarkably, 7 of the 20 buildings surveyed have no space available, and only 2 have more than 25,000 sf available.

“Of the four submarkets we surveyed in Lower Fairfield County, it’s really a tale of two contrasting trends,” stated John P. Hannigan, co-founder and a principal at Choyce Peterson. “In the smaller boutique markets of Greenwich and Westport, it’s a landlord’s market as 19 of the 45 buildings surveyed have no space available, and only six of the 45 have over 25,000 sf available. Conversely, opportunities abound for tenants in the two larger cities of Norwalk and Stamford. Due to their extremely high availability rate, clearly it’s a tenant’s market there. Of the 51 buildings surveyed in these two cities, 50 have available space for lease, and 42 of the 51 have over 25,000 sf available. Most landlords in Stamford and Norwalk are flexible in their lease negotiations and are addressing specific tenant needs rather than hold on to prior pro-landlord deal points.”

Charlene S. O’Connell, vice president at Choyce Peterson noted, “In the first half of 2023, we will continue to see companies in the market re-thinking their office size, allowing for flexible work schedules and the majority are decreasing their office footprint. Given the wide variety of available space on the market, it is critical for companies to plan their current and future office space needs in order to maximize favorable economic terms. Today especially, every transaction is unique and when negotiating on behalf of our clients we take the time to customize their specific criteria and negotiate on their behalf resulting in advantageous deal terms.”

To view the market survey, click on the following link: https://www.choycepeterson.com/services/marketsurvey

About Choyce PetersonChoyce Peterson, Inc., a full service commercial real estate brokerage and consulting firm with offices in Norwalk, CT and Rye Brook, NY, was founded in 1997 and has negotiated millions of square feet of transactions in 42 states and Canada. The Choyce Peterson process delivers comprehensive and creative real estate solutions to ensure clients derive maximum value from their real estate decisions.