To read the full 2020 Lawrence Market Snapshot, please download the report.
2019 Office Summary
- Office vacancy had a modest decrease from 2018’s year-end of 12.11% to 2019’s closing at 10.47%.
- The Downtown submarket absorption reduced its vacancy to just under 5% in 2019, which is a trend indicative of businesses who want to locate near amenities such as dining, shopping and residential.
- Medical projects led the way in 2019 with LMH Health West’s groundbreaking, which will add more than 200,000 SF of new space and is scheduled to be open in Fall of 2020. Panda Pediatrics opened their new location with nearly 23,000 SF at the former Eagle’s Lodge on 6th Street.
- While office activity was at an inconsistent pace compared to previous years, landlords committed to renovating mature spaces to be more modern and refreshed. In each instance of a landlord’s investment, leases were quickly and successfully transacted.
- The former Eagle’s and Montana Mike’s renovations are indicative of trends converting retail spaces to medical office uses allowing growing companies to occupy standalone properties with ample parking for their patients.
- Larger office floorplates have been sought after more recently than in years past for outside companies evaluating expansion into the Lawrence market with companies such as Blue Cross. Quality product is limited in these size requirements, limiting the ability to be competitive in attracting new jobs to the marketplace.
2020 Office Forecast
- Medical and Technology users will continue to lead the way with expansions signed by growing companies such as alarm.com and growing medical offices and relocations driven by the LMH Health West Campus.
- Office suites under 1,500 SF are the sweet spot for most office users, with expectations of updated finishes and adequate parking at competitive rates.
- Businesses entering the marketplace are concerned about recruiting a qualified workforce, and their ability to locate in an area that supports a live/work lifestyle with amenities.
- Vacancy may creep upward slightly with the spec space included at LMH Health West, but overall is expected to be healthy in all other areas of the marketplace.
2019 Industrial Summary
- Industrial vacancy remained virtually unchanged in 2019, with a slight decrease in vacancy from 3.27% at the end of 2018 to a 3.15% vacancy at year end 2019.
- In East Hills Business Park, Plastikon completed a 50,000 SF expansion to their building, while Grandstand began their expansion that will be completed in 2020. Both projects used the Catalyst Program through the City of Lawrence.
- Demand for industrial spaces under 5,000 SF remains the norm, with a few companies considering expansion in 2020.
- US Engineering has committed to a site in Lawrence VenturePark, which will come online in 2020. Their expansion includes a 100,000 SF building on 25 acres, with 80 new jobs to Lawrence.
- Several companies have shown interest in the new VanTrust spec building at VenturePark, and lease negotiations are pending for the first tenant.
2020 Industrial Forecast
- Logistics and warehousing are the most requested use of industrial properties.
- The ability to easily warehouse and transport products to a major highway and freight lines are key components to industrial spaces. Biggest demand remains closest to I-70 due to the quality of the highway.
- New companies seeking space of more than 20,000 SF will expect incentives to encourage growth into the market. This is commonplace in today’s economic environment.
- Industrial lease rates remain flat, with no new small space inventory under 5,000 SF planned for the market.