The Downtown Office Area (DOA) vacancy rate increased from 5.7% to 8.0% in 2020. (+2.3%)
Of the 66 DOA buildings, there were 23 that increased in vacancy, though only three buildings ended the year with more than 10,000 square feet vacant. A 92% DOA office occupancy rate would typically signify a healthy downtown, however, casual observers saw that downtown Ann Arbor had a fraction of its normal foot traffic. While leases remained in place, floors of office buildings were unoccupied and parking spaces were abundantly available. Swisher brokers report that there has been little office space demand by new prospective DOA tenants this year. Over the years, office tenants have been attracted to the vibrancy of the DOA amenities, and at the same time, downtown Ann Arbor restaurants and retail businesses have come to rely on foot traffic from office occupants and their clientele for weekday business. In reaction to the pandemic, the State of Michigan shut-down orders in 2020 intermittently disallowed office occupancy, indoor restaurant dining, and retail operations. When the orders themselves were eased, downtown activity remained slow. The symbiotic relationship between DOA office users and downtown restaurants and retail was dramatically disrupted.
Download your full 2020 YE Vacancy Report here: https://www.swishercommercial.com/…/reportavailable2020/