Office vacancies dip in Vancouver as demand rises

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Office vacancy rates continued to tick down in Vancouver, reflecting demand throughout the Portland-metropolitan area, according to a report issued Wednesday.

The Portland office of Jones Lang LaSalle commercial real estate firm reported an overall increase in office leasing activity during the three months ending in September. A total of 13.5 percent of office space was vacant in the Rose City in the third quarter, down from a 14.1 percent vacancy rate in the second quarter. In Vancouver, vacancies also dropped, to 13.4 percent, in the third quarter, down from 14.7 percent in the three months ending in June.

Jones Lang LaSalle attributed the increased activity to recent accolades earned by Portland that have helped draw more technology firms to the area. The honors range from Portland’s ranking this year as “the greenest city in the U.S.” by Travel & Leisure Magazine to its ranking as the “fourth-leading high-tech metro area” by The Atlantic Cities blog.

“Portland’s infrastructure investments and high concentration of young and educated workers are helping to attract attention from a variety of growing firms,” Jones Lang LaSalle reported.

The company described Portland as a metro area experiencing office demand from out-of-town firms that want to establish a Portland footprint, as well as maturing local startups.

The latter category is often seen in Vancouver, said Adam Roselli, a vice president and office broker with Eric Fuller & Associates Inc. in Vancouver.

“We have had a number of startups growing out of home offices and expanding,” Roselli said.

He has recently worked with two such examples, including website firm Fringe Digital Marketing and Eurotech Inc., a software company, both of which leased around 600 square feet of Vancouver office space.

“We’re definitely seeing a lot of activity from small, growing companies,” Roselli said.

Standouts within the Portland urban core include Puppet Labs, which recently doubled its footprint by leasing 25,500 square feet in the Pearl District, and Urban Airship, which is seeking to add 10,000 square feet of space to its existing lease, Jones Lang LaSalle reported.