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Vacancy Rates Improving for Office Space in Jacksonville Area
Jacksonville’s office vacancy has fallen since the first quarter of 2009, but it's still in third place for Florida. In its fourth quarter “Marketbeat” report for Jacksonville’s Office real estate market, Cushman & Wakefield wrote that if the last two quarters of 2009 are a preamble for 2010, then the market will turn around.

The metro area’s 22.4 percent office vacancy rate in the fourth quarter was nearly double the 11.9 percent industrial vacancy rate and was third worst in the state, behind Palm Beach County’s 25.9 percent and 23.6 percent in Pinellas County, according to data from Cushman & Wakefield.

Leases and prices have fallen as building owners work to fill their space. Owners are working to keep the conditions of the buildings attractive to remain competitive. But the problem is demand and owners know that.

Some office tenants are renegotiating their leases early to try and take advantage of the market. Landlords are working hard to keep who they have. But the vacancy rut may solve itself as lowered lease and sale prices attract out-of-town companies to relocate to Jacksonville. The city is using their lower prices and many options as a selling point rather than dwelling on the vacancy rate.

“I think we’re going to see more gross leasing activity,” Oliver Barakat, a vice president of CB Richard Ellis says, “I think there is less reluctance this year.”

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