The County's just released Economic Indicators report for June 2015 shows a continuing rise in the commercial office space market in the County to near record highs. The brief report attributes this increase to the aging of the County's office inventory, which is not the primary or even secondary cause of the growing vacancies. The core causes are
- A change in the way businesses--especially those in high technology industries--do business, relying on the Internet to allow workers to work from anywhere and, therefore, requiring less office space.
- A global shift to reducing office space per worker by using open work spaces to encourage collaboration and reduce office space costs.
- A reduction in federal direct and contract spending as part of its continuing austerity budgeting, sequestration, and occasional shutdowns, resulting in less office employment.
A comprehensive independent report by a Washington consultant for Montgomery County that we published here highlights these trends, not old office buildings.
Here is what the County had to say about the Commercial Office Market.
Until County leaders consider the REAL issues in the high and rising office space vacancy rate and its critical implications for the County, especially its property tax base, the County will not make progress in balancing its budgets, attracting businesses, and increasing its economic growth.