Fairfield County’s office market closed 2019 with just over 2 million square feet in leasing activity, according to new data from CBRE, which added that last year’s leasing activity was 20% below the five-year average.
The Stamford Central Business District accounted for half of the region’s total leasing during 2019, due in large part to WWE’s first quarter lease of 415,000 square feet at the former UBS complex at 677 Washington Blvd.
The second-largest lease transaction for 2019 was Synchrony Financial’s renewal of its 267,000-square-foot space at 777 Long Ridge Road in Stamford. The second-largest original lease behind the WWE deal was ASML’s third quarter transaction involving 98,907 square feet at 50 Danbury Road in Wilton.
CBRE also reported that the Greenwich CBD submarket saw 166,000 square feet of negative absorption last year, raising the availability rate from 7% to 16.6%. That marked the first time since 2016 that the submarket recorded negative absorption, which was attributed to a large quantity of high-end sublease space coming available from AQR Capital Management and AMG Funds. In contrast, the Greenwich NCBD saw 91,000 square feet of positive absorption last year, totaling 17.9% of availability.
Furthermore, CBRE noted asking rents were down 7% year-over-year throughout the county, with an average asking rent of $34.50 per square foot. The Greenwich CBD bucked that trend by reporting an 8.8% increase in average asking rent to $92.94 per square foot.