Job growth and a low unemployment rate get the credit for more office space in the region getting filled up, says a leading real estate firm. The overall office vacancy rate in the first quarter was 16.9 percent, a drop from the 17.7 percent seen at the end of 2007, says Colliers Turley Martin Tucker Cincinnati. Both Class A office space (with a vacancy rate of 14.83 percent), and Class B (19.39 percent), showed a slight recovery from the end of 2007. "The positive dynamics of the Cincinnati market have given the area the ability to weather the storms of economic uncertainty created by the subprime mortgage industry," the report says.
Those dynamics include job growth of 0.7 percent in February, area unemployment of 5.2 percent and quality higher education, the report says. CTMT says it expects growth to continue as companies relocate and expand in the area. They include Tata America International Corp., which is establishing a U.S. headquarters in the region, and FirstGroup America Inc., which will be adding 135 new jobs when it expands into its new location downtown. However, concerns about the economy could slow growth. "We expect much more cautious growth the rest of the year," says Scott Abernethy, a principal with CTMT
Writer: David Holthaus
Source: Scott Abernethy, Colliers Turley Martin Tucker Cincinnati