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Downtown D.C. was emptying before the pandemic. How it recovers will shape the nation’s capital.

Colliers Experts Mark Sullivan and Miles Rodnan speak to the Washington Post

Downtown Washington has long been known as a hub for lobbyists and lawyers commuting to and from the office like clockwork each weekday.

But experts say that may change.

Between 2014 and 2017, the vacancy rate in D.C.’s central business district hovered around 9 percent, according to data from real estate brokerage firm Colliers International. It climbed to nearly 11 percent in 2018 before surging in 2020 and reaching almost 17 percent in the first quarter of this year.

While the vacancy rate climbed in D.C., the rate in Northern Virginia was trending downward until the pandemic struck, according to Colliers. Amazon’s selection of Arlington for its corporate expansion boosted the surrounding area’s appeal.

“Right now we have simply a supply issue, and therefore vacancy is continuing to rise,” said Mark Sullivan, an executive vice president of Colliers.

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Mark Sullivan

Executive Vice President

Washington, DC

Mark Sullivan is a native of Metropolitan Washington, DC, whose experience in the commercial real estate industry allows him to lead the Colliers International DC agency team to success. Mark offers clients the highest quality service through a strategic, thoughtful and proactively analytical approach. He uses his vast knowledge of historic and present market news, trends, and statistics to create added value for his clients. Over the course of his career thus far, Mark has represented approximately eight million square feet of office projects on behalf of both local developers and institutional owners/advisers, as well as completed over six million square feet of leasing transactions.

He began his career in 1994 with Cushman & Wakefield’s predecessor(s) (DTZ, Cassidy Turley and Cassidy & Pinkard) as a market analyst covering 
downtown Washington, DC before moving to brokerage in 1996. Prior to joining Colliers, Mark served as an Executive Managing Director of Cushman
& Wakefield’s Washington, DC office where he specialized in office leasing.

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Miles Rodnan

Senior Research Analyst

Tysons Corner

As the senior research analyst, Miles Rodnan assists on all research related tasks. Miles has five years of commerical real estate experience. Prior to joining Colliers International in 2016, Miles worked at the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority. 

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