The Macon, Georgia downtown and suburban office real estate markets remained stable in 2007.
According to Fickling & Company’s recent survey, including a comparison of almost 1,000,000 square feet of office space in Bibb County, the 2007 suburban office market remained virtually unchanged. The suburban market maintained approximately 80% occupancy which is a slight decrease from 2006. Phase I construction on a new 80,000 square foot office park, Northside Crossing, located at Northside and Forest Hill Road, got underway in 2007 with construction of 6 new buildings. Two new buildings are scheduled for completion in that park by mid 2008. Both build-to-suit and owner/spec buildings will be available. This should further enhance the impact of the I-75/North Macon sub-market. Additionally, plans continue to move forward for a small office development which is part of a multi-use project on Bowman Road. Bass Plantation Development has 3 buildings complete or under construction totaling 100,000 sf with land available for an additional 190,000 sf. This will add to the existing choices of build-to-suit projects which include Arkwright Landing, 4931 Riverside Drive, Northcrest Office Park, Preston Park, Bass Plantation and 5444 Riverside Drive. There are also several other office developments that are in the planning stages.
The strongest Macon office submarket is the Zebulon Rd./I-475 area. Occupancy in that area has maintained above 95% occupancy for the last several years.
The recent survey of over 900,000 square feet of profiled office buildings in the downtown Macon area indicated that Macon’s downtown office market in 2007 incurred an increase in vacancies in 2007. Occupancy for year end 2007 was at 80%. No significant changes in the downtown office market are expected to occur in 2008 with rents and concessions remaining stable. The 30,000 square foot Ice House Building opened the 1st quarter of 2007 with most of the building pre-leased.
New “turn-key” construction cost, including building and land, range from $130 to $165 per square foot for projects under 10,000 square feet. There are no significant perks such as free rent currently present in the Macon market. Tenant improvements for existing space vary significantly, but $10.00 per square foot seems to be the average. As construction costs increase, owners and tenants are forced to utilize creativity such as longer term leases, buy-out options and office configuration flexibility in order to make future tenant build-out more feasible.
Larry Crumbley, CCIM
Commercial Real Estate Agent
Macon Commercial Office