Economic Backbone: Commercial Real Estate
Central Florida's post-pandemic office market sees increase in leasing activity, upgrades to attract more employees
Local companies are leading the way in heading back to the office.
Two years after the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, there are signs of growing confidence in Central Florida’s commercial real estate market as businesses continue to bring employees back to the office and resume more normal operations. While there remains a record amount of available office space on the market, asking rates in Orlando are up 4.5% over the previous year and rents (ranging from $25 to $27 per square foot) are the highest in the city’s history. John Gilbert, managing director for JLL's Orlando office, provided some observations about Central Florida’s office market:
Local vs. National: “What’s interesting about the Central Florida office market post-pandemic is that many local firms and businesses have already made their return to the office with most local companies being back in the office for about 18 months now. It is the large global or national Fortune 500 companies headquartered out of Orlando that are taking a more conservative approach to returning to an office setting.”
Downtown: “Downtown Orlando’s office market is very busy right now, where we’re seeing a lot of leasing activity. We are seeing an increase in new office requirements from companies looking to upgrade their office space and building. We’re also seeing landlords make significant investments in upgrading their office properties, particularly the common areas and project amenities in order to attract these new office users.”
Amenities: “When tenants are touring for office space, they are looking at buildings where their employees will enjoy coming to work. The office properties that are more heavily amenitized with cafes or restaurants, fitness centers, outdoor spaces and other unique amenities are generating more tenant interest because companies want an environment where their employees will be excited to work.”