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Need Office Space? Plenty of Commercial Vacancies in Edgewater

The preponderance of "for lease" signs doesn't mean office and retail vacancies are any worse here than in other places.

Now that the fury over District 6 and 7 comprehensive rezoning is over (except for any future lawsuits), it seemed like a good time to take a closer look at the current rate of vacancy in the commercial real estate market.

Informally, we surveyed the vacant space by driving around Edgewater and Davidsonville.

In Davidsonville, that consisted mainly of the strip mall at the intersection of Patuxent River Road and Central Avenue.

In Edgewater, the retail vacancies were more widespread, including the Mayo Peninsula, “downtown” Edgewater on Mayo Road, and vacancies at a half dozen malls and shopping centers along Solomons Island Road (MD-Route 2).  In addition, “For Lease” signs were up at nearly all of the medical and office buildings in Edgewater.

Dave Weisel, president of the consulting division at Delta Associates, said that the commercial vacancy rate in southern Anne Arundel County is one of the lowest in the Baltimore metro region. At 10.3 percent vacancy, the area known as “Anne Arundel South” is faring well.

The overall vacancy rate for Baltimore metro area commercial vacancies is 13.6 percent.

In fact, southern Anne Arundel is second only to an area identified by Weisel as “Baltimore County West,” which has a commercial vacancy rate of 9.7 percent.

According to Weisel, these rates include subleases of commercial properties, which makes the numbers give a clearer picture of vacancies.

In general, the Washington area has had a low commercial vacancy rate throughout the economic downturn. In April 2011, Bloomberg News reported that the DC Metro area rate was at 9.2 percent, while the national rate was 17.5—down from a high of 17.9 the year before.

Historically, after a recession, the vacancy rate for commercial properties rebounds after employment figures begin to rise.

Employment data for Maryland, from the Bureau of Labor Statistics show that Maryland’s unemployment rate is tracking in the right direction from a high of 7.6 percent in December of 2009 to 7.2 percent in July of this year—not a big change, but it is trending downward.

Alexa Faulkner September 14, 2011 at 01:00 PM
Sweet Mama's was there in Davidsonville before the strip mall went in.
Jimmy September 15, 2011 at 02:15 PM
Yeah, Sweet Mama's was the best place around to eat. The outside was not too appealing, but her food was the best !
Carol Nida September 15, 2011 at 04:04 PM
Where are the pictures of the brand NEW huge shopping area by the new Giant in Edgewater? Those buildings have been vacant since the center was built. Same is true of the large office building on Mitchell's Chance Road. That building has offices that have never been occupied. The building that sits side ways on Mayo Road that you included in your photos - there are places in that building that have not been occupied since it was built.
Mitchelle Stephenson September 15, 2011 at 05:54 PM
Carol -- are you talking about the Lee Airpark shopping center? I did miss those, but I think they have leased nearly all the spaces. One will be vacant (PRIDE) Martial Arts because the owner of that is on the lam, but the other spaces are being filled by Cold Stone Creamery (moving out of SRC Main Street) and Bay Tunes Guitars (moving out of SRC Marketplace). On the other side, GNC, Hair Cuttery, Chinese takeout and Orchid Nail Salon have gone in. Across from there is a senior living center (on the same side of the street) but that will be considered residential. I did miss (also) the little strip mall where 214 and Pike Ridge come together. I think there is just a CPA and South River Properties in there, with 4 or 5 vacancies.
Cindy Morgan September 15, 2011 at 08:07 PM
During this economic downturn, it is a great opportunity for business to "step up" into a better location, a larger facility, or upgrade to a higher class of space. Landlords and management companies are eager to fill these spaces with new tenants. It is also a great time for a successful home business to make the transition to a retail location.

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