Gaithersburg's commercial real estate vacancy rates reached a post-recession low in Q4 2012, the city's Director of Economic Development Tom Lonergan said at Monday's mayor and City Council meeting.
Of the 163 class A and B office spaces housed within city limits — described by Lonergan as top and second tier facilities such as the Sodexo campus — 12.2 percent remain vacant, down from 19 percent at the peak of the recession.
"We think that the city is continuing its appeal," Lonergan said. "We've made remarkable strides since we were at the depths of the recession in 2009."Year Q1 Vacancy Rate Q2 Vacancy Rate Q3 Vacancy Rate Q4 Vacancy Rate 2012 13.6% 13% 12.8% 12.2% 2011 13% 13.1% 12.5% 13.5% 2010 13.3% 12.4% 13.2% 13.3% 2009 13% 13.5% 19% 16.3% 2008 13% 12.6% 14.1% 13.8% 2007 10.2% 11.5% 11.5% 13.2%
While the city is yet to approach the pre-recession low vacancy rates of 10.2 percent in Q1 2007, Gaithersburg's commercial real estate information analyst, CoStar Group, projects a return to those numbers after 2015, Lonergan said.
But Lonergan said he doesn't want to rule out an earlier return.
"That's just an assumption," Lonergan said. "We believe with reasonable confidence that that number could start to match pre-recession lows sooner than that if we continue to promote ourselves and our incentives as we have over the last couple of years."