YESTERDAY AT BOMA
The weather turned gloomy just in time for yesterday's BOMA Luncheon, and guest speaker John Sikaitis, DC-based national research director for Jones Lang, told the audience the clouds were a metaphor for his office market forecast. While the recession is officially over, no recovery has really started yet, he said, though some of the pieces are moving into place. Businesses have begun investing in technology and new product development, but hiring has yet to take off. Office jobs are beginning to return, with 120,000 new ones added nationally in the past five months, and temporary hiring—often an early indicator—has picked up. John expects to see national job growth resume later this year, but adds that Atlanta may lag national averages. Regardless, since the office market is the ?caboose? of the recovery, he concluded we'll have to wait a couple more years for real recovery in that sector.
John, center, whom we snapped with JLL?s local research team of Lanie Rea and Jonathan McCord, believes as much as 9% of all office space nationwide can be considered shadow space, or space a tenant leases but is not using or marketing. He says most firms have at least a few empty cubicles they'll need to fill before requiring expansion space. John says Central Perimeter is Atlanta's healthiest submarket, with Buckhead and Midtown struggling from the addition of recent new buildings. The bright side for in-town markets: They generally see higher demand, which will eventually catch up with the additional supply. John urged building owners and property managers to work hard to keep tenants because it can take many months to fill that space with someone new.