Looks like CB Richard Ellis is now handling leasing duties for some of the new American Tobacco buildings coming online; their banner was flying high from Diamond View I during last week's Diamond View II kick-off, and their April property report lists availability and net lease rates for several buildings in the complex. (Colliers Pinkard, whose signs formerly graced the AT campus, still lists space for lease in the Noell and Old Bull buildings on their web site.)
Since CBRE also handles the Durham Centre tower in downtown, a glance at their April property report reveals some interesting facts:
Diamond View I is fully leased at the asking price of $23.50/sq. ft. (Commercial real estate is priced on an annual basis at this rate, net of tenant improvements or concessions.) Diamond View II, on the other hand, lists about 93,000 sq. ft. of space available for lease out of roughly 162,000 sq. ft. available, at a price $26.95 per sq. ft., which would make it one of if not the priciest Class A office space currently available for lease anywhere in Durham. (By comparison, space is leasing at South Square and Meridian Park off NC 55 for an asking price of around $20.00/sq. ft.). Diamond View II's availability date is listed by CBRE as "1st quarter 2008."
The Diamond View III property immediately adjacent to it is listed as "proposed," with a scheduled delivery date of fourth quarter 2008. 120,000 sq. ft. are listed as available, again at a $26.95/sq. rate. (One would presume that the greenlight for this depends on how fast Diamond View II leases up.)
By comparison, Franklin Wittenberg's Durham Centre in downtown is leasing at a much lower rate of $17.50/sq. ft., with a whopping 83,000 sq. ft. available out of the 223,000 sq. ft. skyscraper. Pause on that for a second: the Durham Centre has almost as much space available as what looks to have been pre-leased at Diamond View II before its construction, despite DV2's 50% higher lease rate. Yet the Durham Centre is a fully-online and relatively modern facility while DV2 won't even be available for almost a year.
Which speaks volumes about the attractiveness of the space that has been created with the American Tobacco project. Smart urban development, with pedestrian connections and integrated restaurants and entertainment activities, aren't just the provence of urban planners or city leaders. They're the spaces where real, live, profit-maximizing businesses want to locate.
There's a lesson here for anyone who loves the Bull City. The skyscraper on the ugly, horrible Downtown Loop is not a model we want to repeat as we size up downtown anew. It's a reminder that we have to think more innovatively about what downtown can become, and what everyone -- residents, businesses, government stakeholders -- want from our urban core.
A few more AT tidbits from the CBRE report (see this property map to put pictures to names):
- The Power Plant facility at the center of the complex, which is under renovation, is listed as a "1st quarter 2008" completion with space available at $23.50/sq. ft.
- The Crowe and Strickland buildings look to be fully leased save for ground floor/basement spaces. "Great space for critical facility or data center," CBRE writes. (Indeed, hard to picture other uses for windowless basements!) It should be noted that lease rates for same are "negotiable."
- The Fowler building, the newest of the 'historic' AT buildings and the space where Glaxo and Compuware have leased space, has about 25% vacancy at present, all in one run of 38,770 contiguous feet across two floors.
- Some space remains available in the Washington and Reed buildings from Phase I, while the Hill building (home to Motricity) is fully leased.