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Office space availability at an all-time high in US

Charlotte sits below the national average as companies wrestle with the hybrid model made popular since the pandemic.

MECKLENBURG COUNTY, N.C. — With the rise of hybrid work models and remote jobs taking over corporate America after the pandemic, office space availability across the US and here in Charlotte is at a record high.

Vacancies, already at historic highs, could potentially go higher. In recent weeks, we’ve seen companies like WeWork or Centene Corporation pull out of the Charlotte area altogether.

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The era of remote and hybrid work schemes is a new normal that’s here to stay according to Sarah Cooley with EXP Commercial. She says because of this, owners and tenants are having to get creative.

"We're seeing some downsizing. Companies are kind of consolidating and going to newer, smaller more innovative spaces which is why we've seen some of the exodus from some of the taller towers in Uptown," she said.

It’s a sign of the times Cooley tells me as Charlotte’s vacancy rate sits above 12%, which is just below the 16% national average.

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And, it’s a trend that doesn’t end in the Carolinas.

Richard Stockton, a real estate and hospitality executive, says the real question going forward for companies is figuring out what buildings or office space will be completely obsolete or will they ultimately be able to lease it out.

Stockton told WCNC Charlotte, "We've got an all-time high availability of office space, a billion square feet of vacant space in the country right now."

If spaces stay vacant long enough, Stockton says many businesses are looking to transition them into mixed-use developments to lure employees back to work.

Contact Colin Mayfield at cmayfield@wcnc.com or follow him on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

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