by Dan Rafter
The office market in Lexington’s Central Business District enjoyed a strong 2015, according to the year-end commercial real estate report released by NAI Isaac.
According to NAI Isaac’s numbers, the CBD office market in Lexington ended 2015 with a vacancy rate of 12.75 percent. That’s a big improvement, representing a six-month decrease of 4.86 percent.
Al Isaac, president of NAI Isaac, said that this decrease can be attributed to a rise in the number of businesses wishing to set up shop in downtown Lexington as a way to attract the area’s top employees.
Other commercial sectors in the Lexington market, though, did not see big vacancy decreases in 2015. The retail sector saw an increase in vacancy rates, ending 2015 with a vacancy rate of 4.63 percent. That’s a six-month increase of 5.3 1 percent.
The area’s suburban office market saw its vacancy rate jump 4.15 percent to 18.20 percent in the final six months of 2015. Even the industrial market saw its vacancy rate rise during the least half of 2015. According to NAI Isaac, the industrial sector here ended 2015 with a vacancy rate of 5.69 percent, a six-month increase of 2.91 percent.
These rising vacancy rates, though, don’t indicate a sputtering CRE market in the Lexington area, though, Isaac said. The demand for retail, office and industrial remains strong throughout the Lexington market, Isaac said.
For instance, Lexington’s retail market saw several solid deals in the second half of 2015. NAI Isaac pointed to the 20,955-square-foot lease signed by Planet Fitness at 1650 Bryan Station Road in the East Lexington/Fayette market and Goodwill’s 13,396-square-foot lease at 1441 Leestown Road.
The CBD office market had a good 2015, too. The largest lease signings in this market during the last half of 2015 were the 41,274-square-foot lease by Fayette County Attorney at Chase Tower and the 10,411-square-foot lease signed by Hendricks Coal Tech at PNC Tower in the downtown Lexington market.