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Downtown Office Report | Q3 & Q4 2021

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The vacancy rate in downtown Portland dropped 1.8% year-to-date with the largest decreases in the Class A and B sectors.

The office market has remained in a holding pattern since the start of the pandemic, with many companies putting plans for downsizing, growing, or purchasing property on hold. This is still the case for downtown Portland. The market had some tenants relocate, but many companies are renewing in existing footprints. 

Since Q1, the vacancy rate dropped by 1.8% and ended the year at 9.0%. This shift was due to the Class A category falling by 2.1% and a 1.9% decrease in the Class B category. One of the largest transactions occurring the second half of the year was University of Maine leasing 60,000 SF of Class A space at 300 Fore Street. This lease will only affect vacancy short term, as the UMaine School of Law is moving into the building while its new facility is being built. 

The 1.9% fall in the Class B market was mostly due to Maine Public Broadcasting Corp purchasing a 38,000 SF building on Commercial Street. The company is relocating its Portland operations to the new site and plans on adding a new building on the abutting parking lot, although no plans have been approved yet. 

In line with the vacancy rate falling in the Class B category, direct asking rents in this sector rose by $2.95 PSF.  However, this change was not strictly due to the market tightening, but also some space becoming available at higher than average rents. For example, properties like 68 Commercial Street is being marketed for $36.00 PSF and 10 Dana Street is listed at $23.75 PSF. 

At Colliers, we internally track 5.3 million SF of office space in downtown Portland. Our inventory includes buildings and condominiums 10,000+ SF and are classified as Class A, B, or C.  

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Downtown Office Report | Q3 & Q4 2021

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Kristie Russell

Research Manager | New Hampshire & Maine

Manchester, NH

As the Research Manager, I serve as the point person for gathering and reporting on market knowledge for the New Hampshire and Maine offices. 

I collaborate with our brokers to deliver in-depth analyses of current market conditions and trends for their clients. Using various in-house and online resources, I maintain our proprietary database, which includes detailed property statistics, sale and lease comparables, market contacts, and tenant activity within New Hampshire and Maine. 

With this data, I develop best-in-class research reports, market analyses, and market insight to ensure our clients capitalize on this research as they contemplate business decisions that significantly affect their bottom line.

Prior to becoming the Research Manager, I was a Marketing Specialist at Colliers for five years. In this position I used Adobe software, including InDesign and Photoshop, to implement marketing strategies in support of our brokers. 

My responsibilities included creating property marketing collateral - such as flyers, brochures, ads, and proposals - as well as maintaining listing databases and our exclusive listing inventory. In addition to the property marketing, I assisted in coordinating special events, handling public relations and advertising, creating brand awareness, and developing our SEO and social media campaigns. 

Additionally, I am a licensed real estate salesperson in New Hampshire.

Prior to beginning my career in commercial real estate, I worked for Gallery Marketing Communications, LLC as a graphic design artist. During my time there, I used Adobe software to design brochures, flyers, business cards, and postcards, among other marketing materials. I also worked for Gatehouse Media, Inc as a freelance sports journalist, covering high school games in Massachusetts.

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