Gaines Seaman, Sales and Leasing Executive for Stirling Properties, recently contributed an article for Southeast Real Estate Business magazine’s Market Highlight section. The insightful article, entitled “Following Massive Conversions, New Orleans’ Office Market Is Taking Shape,” profiles the bustling office market activity in downtown New Orleans. Check out the excerpt below and click here to read the full article.
“In the past 12 to 18 months, more than 1 million square feet of what used to be considered office space in downtown New Orleans has been converted to retail, hotel, residential or multifamily use. Projects such as 225 Baronne Street, the 1100 block of Tulane Avenue, 600 Carondelet Street, Factor’s Row redevelopment and approximately 130,000 square feet of space at 1250 Poydras Street (a 423,000-square-foot, Class A tower) are just a number of examples. More of this space was unoccupied than occupied at the time of the conversions. The most recent of these conversions, 600 Carondolet Street, resulted in the largest absorption of Class A office space in the market. Additionally, URS, now AECOM, leased approximately 70,000 square feet of space in 1515 Poydras, a 530,000-square-foot building located across from the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. In the central business district (CBD), Class A office occupancy is a healthy 90 percent and average rental rates have increased in the past 12 to 24 months to approximately $19 per square foot. Recently, notable longterm commitments to New Orleans include Shell Oil Co. and FM Services (Freeport McMoRan), both through 2026. Shell Oil anchors One Shell Square, the largest office tower in New Orleans, and committed to occupy half of the 1.3 million-square foot building in 2015. FM Services occupies 210,000 square feet of the 510,000-square-foot Freeport McMoRan Building, also on Poydras Street. Ochsner Health System recently finalized a deal to lease the entire Lord & Taylor Building, measuring 115,000 square feet. The building will be retrofitted, against the current trend in the CBD, from former retail space to office space for Ochsner’s occupancy. The term is estimated to commence in late 2016.”