As Published By Westfair Online
July 10, 2015
BY HOWARD E. GREENBERG
The first half of 2015 was a tale of two very different quarters. On the office leasing side, the first quarter was anemic at best, with negative absorption across the board, totaling more than 700,000 square feet. The return of 540,000 square feet at 1 Pepsi Way in Somers represented the majority of that negative absorption and added almost 2 percent to the countywide availability rate.
“Renewals drove this quarter’s leasing velocity, accounting for 61 percent of the leasing total, at approximately 260,000 square feet,” said Karolina Pardo-Alexandre, research manager for the real estate firm Newmark Grubb Knight Frank. “New transactions fell significantly, to roughly 150,000 square feet, a 40 percent drop from last year and last quarter.”
But the second quarter definitely looked brighter. Space inspection tours have increased. The blockbuster deal of the quarter was Pepsi turning its 228,000 square feet of temporary swing space, leased during the renovation of its headquarters in Purchase, into a long-term lease of 361,000 square feet for the entire park at 1111-1129 Westchester Ave. Jones Apparel quietly vacated its space and left the park, disappearing into the ether to make room for Pepsi. In a typical Westchester scenario, the Pepsi Bottling Group will relocate from Somers to White Plains, leaving behind 540,000 square feet in Somers for 361,000 square feet in White Plains. Pepsi not only owns its Purchase headquarters but is now the lessee of the largest block of space on the east side of the county.
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