Real Estate

Top 5 Markets for Office Deliveries in 2023

Despite facing hurdles such as elevated interest rates and persistent challenges with construction materials and labor shortages, the office sector remains resilient in the face of adverse economic conditions. This resilience is evident in the dynamics of office development, where the impact of the pandemic has led to significant changes. According to CommercialEdge data, 2023 saw the completion of approximately 71.1 million square feet of office space, a figure closely mirroring the previous year’s total.

However, this number represents a substantial 26.7 percent decrease from the robust 97 million square feet added in 2021. The top five metros on this list featured some 25.3 million square feet of office completions. This accounted for 35.6 percent of the square footage that was completed last year.

1. Manhattan

Two Manhattan West was completed in July 2023. Image by Dave Burk, courtesy of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill

In 2023, the metro saw the completion of 6.3 million square feet of office space across 8 properties, accounting for 9.4 percent of office completions for the year. This also marked a 10.5 percent decrease from 2022 deliveries encompassing 7 million square feet across 11 properties. However, this decline in deliveries contrasts with the improved construction activity seen in comparison to 2021, when only 1.6 million square feet was completed.

Despite this, construction starts for new office projects in Manhattan slowed down notably, with developers initiating work on only 3 projects totaling just over 400,000 square feet throughout 2023. This slowdown is a stark departure from the 1.7 million square feet that commenced construction in 2022, and the 1.2 million square feet in 2021.

The largest office building to come online in 2023 was Brookfield Properties’ Two Manhattan West, a 2.1 million-square-foot asset part of the Hudson Yards redevelopment. Construction on the 58-story building started in 2019, and the property is more than 80 percent leased to prestigious tenants such as Crowell & Moring, D.E. Shaw and KPMG, among others.

2. Boston

Developers in Boston kept busy in 2023, focusing their efforts on various types of projects, including office campuses, mixed-use developments and life science facilities. They completed 17 projects throughout the past year, coming in at 5.8 million square feet, or 8.6 percent of total stock. This marked a substantial 37.4 percent increase from the previous year’s volume of 4.2 million square feet and a 42.9 percent increase compared to the 4 million square feet delivered in 2021.

Notably, development activity was concentrated in downtown Boston and the central business district, with half of the completed projects situated in these areas. Among notable completions were Morgan Stanley’s 1.1 million-square-foot One Post Office Square and Carr Properties’ one million-square-foot One Congress building.

Meanwhile, the momentum of office construction in 2023 in Boston was somewhat tempered, with 11 projects totaling 3.5 million square feet breaking ground. While this figure represents a 48.4 percent decrease from the 6.8 million square feet initiated in 2022, it still reflects a 46.5 percent increase compared to the 2.4 million square feet started in 2021.

3. Washington, D.C.

Amazon’s HQ2 buildings were completed in May 2023. Rendering courtesy of Amazon

In 2023 alone, the nation’s capital saw the completion of 15 office projects, contributing approximately 4.9 million square feet of office space to its office market. This marked a notable increase from 2022, when 13 projects totaling 3.2 million square feet were completed, representing a 51.5 percent uptick.

Among the notable additions to the metro’s office market in 2023 were Amazon’s HQ2 office towers in Arlington, Va. The largest of these towers is the Merlin building, boasting nearly 1.3 million square feet of space. The second tower, named the Jasper building, encompasses 926,565 square feet. Both towers reached completion in May 2023.

As for office construction starts, there was a relatively consistent pace over the past three years, according to CommercialEdge. In both 2023 and 2022, developers initiated construction on 1.1 million square feet of office space each year. In 2021 however, they broke ground on 1.5 million square feet of office developments.

4. Dallas-Fort Worth

Dallas continues to solidify its position as a premier destination for office development due to its favorable business climate and location. The Metroplex saw the completion of 27 office projects in 2023, adding 4.2 million square feet to inventory, or 6.2 percent of total stock. This increase amounted to a 36.5 percent jump from 2022, when 25 properties totaling 3 million square feet came online. It was also a 4.7 percent decrease from 2021 totals, when 23 assets totaling 4.4 million square feet were completed.

In 2023, the trend in Texas leaned towards smaller-scale developments. The largest office property completed throughout the past year was the headquarters of Christus Health, spanning 460,000 square feet and situated at 5101 North O’Connor Blvd. in Irving, Texas. Following closely was Granite Park Six, a 422,109-square-foot office building developed by Granite Properties within the expansive 90-acre mixed-use development known as Granite Park in Plano, Texas.

On the construction front, there was a surge in new office projects kicking off in 2023. A total of 21 projects featuring 3.5 million square feet broke ground. This marked a substantial 56.7 percent surge from the construction starts in 2022, which stood at 2.2 million square feet. It was also a significant increase from the comparatively modest construction starts in 2021, totaling just 376,946 square feet.

5. Bay Area

The Bay Area featured some 4 million square feet of office space completed across 18 properties in 2023, accounting for 6.0 percent of total deliveries for said year. This represents a significant increase compared to 2022, when the metro saw deliveries totaling 2.2 million square feet—an impressive 83.5 percent surge. Moreover, while there was a slight dip in deliveries compared to 2021’s total of 3.9 million square feet, the 2023 volume remains robust.

Two standout office deliveries in the metro are situated in the San Jose CBD, CommercialEdge shows. The largest of these is Jay Paul Co.’s 200 Park, a sprawling 967,342-square-foot office asset completed in July 2023. Following closely is Adobe Systems’ corporate headquarters, Founders Tower, a 698,462-square-foot facility finalized in March 2023, located at 333 West San Fernando Street.

In terms of construction activity, the Bay Area saw the commencement of eight office projects in 2023, covering a total of 2.6 million square feet. This marks a notable decrease of 35.4 percent from the 4 million square feet of office starts recorded in 2022, it also represents a 150-percent jump from the one million square feet in starts from 2021.

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