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Market Report

Charleston Office Market Report

2023 Investment Forecast

Downtown’s Vacancy Compression Diverges from the National Trend,
Yet Investment Remains Hamstrung

Urban Charleston’s tightening stands out. CBD vacancy across major U.S. markets reached a record high at the end of 2022. Frequent office downsizings for smaller formats has hollowed out the urban cores of many of the country’s largest metros, contributing to suburban offices performing better overall on a national scale. However, Downtown Charleston’s availability compressed by over 400 basis points during 2022, opposing this trend. Move-ins to core offices from a long list of national firms, including Amazon and Pinnacle Bank, helped push down vacancy in the CBD to more than 300 basis points below the suburban rate. Firms contemplating expansions or relocations to the metro are likely seeing value in leasing the urban core’s mostly newer, highly-amenitized spaces — which often feature live-work-play advantages that suburban offices do not. As a whole, Charleston’s regionally discounted rents, which fall at least $1 per square foot below both Raleigh and Charlotte, should continue to attract firms intent on establishing lower-cost operations in the Carolinas.
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