Commercial real estate services company CBRE Group Inc. released statistics Friday on second-quarter office leasing activity in the region, reporting a growth of midsize tenants in Fairfield County while leasing slowed, and a major corporate tenant accounting for more than half of the activity in Westchester County.
Fairfield County saw 721,141 square feet of commercial office space leased in the second quarter, down from 887,414 square feet in the first quarter. This included a 30 percent increase in midsize tenants (10,000 to 50,000 square feet) and a positive net absorption of 145,159 square feet.
The average asking rent was slightly down, from $35.63 per square foot to $35.19 in the second quarter.
CBRE reported 68,408 square feet of negative absorption in Westchester in the quarter, which, combined with first-quarter negative net absorption, equates to a 654,461-square-foot negative net absorption for the first half of 2015. The company did, however, cite an increase in small office leases in Westchester – 60 percent of total leasing transactions were for spaces under 10,000 square feet. A rise in overall leasing activity in Westchester, to 594,502 square feet from 269,225 square feet in the first quarter, was attributed to PepsiCo bottling division’s move from Somers to White Plains.
Asking rent rates dropped by 11 cents per square foot and have remained relatively steady over the past six quarters.
“What we saw for the second quarter of 2015 was the impact of small and midsized tenants, as well as how a single, large transaction can skew results,” said Robert Caruso, CBRE senior managing director of Westchester/Fairfield County operations. “Fairfield County was influenced by those midsized tenants, and Westchester County by many small-sized tenants and, of course, PepsiCo’s transaction in White Plains. We believe there is reason to be optimistic about the second half of 2015 in both counties.”
Top Fairfield office deals included UBS’ lease of 119,216 square feet of space at 600 Washington Blvd. in Stamford, Catterton Partners’ lease of 32,291 square feet at 10 Glenville Road in Greenwich and a Stamford lease of 28,364 square feet by Robinson & Cole LLP at 1055 Washington Blvd.
The availability rate in Fairfield County dropped slightly, from 21.1 percent to 20.8 percent, between the first and second quarters.
In Westchester, PepsiCo’s lease of 361,181 feet of space at 1111-1129 Westchester Ave. in White Plains dwarfed other top second-quarter office deals in the county. The Compass Group leased 25,927 square feet at 2 International Drive in Rye Brook. CBRE reported the next largest deal of the quarter was Mitsubishi Imaging’s lease for 22,627 square feet at 555 Theodore Fremd Ave. in Rye.
CBRE said that financial, accounting and information services tenants accounted for most of the top transactions in Westchester.