JLL report sees positive signs for northern Delaware office market


The Skyline report from commercial real estate services firm JLL sees positive signs for the northern New Castle County office market

JLL’s Skyline Review analyzed 25 buildings in Wilmington’s central businessdistrict (CBD) greater than40,000 square feet. JLL has an office in Wilmington.

Forthe first time, the 2018 report also expands its scope beyond theWilmington Central Business District to include suburban New CastleCounty.

The report noted that New Castle ties withChester as the fastest growing county in the region, with its population up 3.9 percent since 2010.

Other findings.

  • Major campus redevelopments arecreating new suburban office destinations at the AstraZeneca site andUniversity ofDelaware’s STAR campus.
  • The Wilmington Riverfrontcontinues to evolve: AAA renewed its lease and several hotels are underconstruction.
  • With major retail and residentialdeliveries expected in the coming months, downtown Wilmington’s critical mass isbuilding, increasing its appeal to officetenants.

“There is good reason for optimism throughoutthe region,” said Executive Vice President of JLL’s Wilmington, Delawareoffice, Blaise Fletcher. “We areseeing anoverall flight to quality and notable transactions that are positively shapingthe Wilmington skyline.”

The report shows that modest absorption andconversion of outdated space brought vacancy below 20 percent in the pastyear.

The downtown tenant mix is diversifying beyond financial services with lawfirms as well as smaller alternative finance,fintech, and technology tenants.Companies such as Fair Square Financial, Credit Shop Lending, and CollegeAvenueStudent Lending located offices in renovated buildings. Redevelopmentand landlord investments have helped right-size theinventory and ultimatelyposition the CBD for growth, the report noted.

While Delawarewill continue to see substantial investment to the north of Wilmington in2018-2019, an ambitious partnership at theUniversity of Delaware creates a newfocal point for growth to the south as well, the reported stated. The report was referring to the former AstraZeneca site, the redevelopment of Concord Plaza and UD’s STAR Campus in Newark.

“The Wilmington CBD is a cheaper alternativeto your New York, D.C, Boston, and Philadelphia rents,” said Vice President ofJLL’s Wilmington office,Jamie Vari. “The mix of investment,population growth, and technology entering Wilmington make for excitingopportunities ahead.”

The report was more upbeat than other office leasing updates, which pointed to a downtown market that was still seeing some office users moving to the suburbs and uncertainties that include space in theBank of America-MBNA complex moving to the leasing market.

For more information, visit JLL is aFortune 500 company with nearly 300 corporate offices,operations in over 80 countries and a global workforce of 86,000.

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