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We’d like to thank Dave Hardman, CEO of the Ogden Weber Chamber of Commerce, for moderating the discussion.
Weber County Stats:
Davis County Stats:
What’s happening with the Farmington Station area? What about commercial real estate in general?
ELDRED: As far as the retail sector, Station Park is supposed to be full by the end of this year. University of Utah Medical has some corporate office space they’re going to be building that will come up out of the ground this year. Cabella’s is not part of that, but that’s being located out there.
FALK: About a year and a half ago, there were three new office projects coming online in south Davis County. They were adding 50 percent to the available vacancy. To date, assuming the deals that are in place go through, 78 percent of that vacancy will be absorbed, which is astonishing. They were all speculative projects as well. And very few of those new tenants in any of these projects were poached from other buildings. It was all growth.
Unfortunately, we don’t have any new products coming online. New buildings in downtown Ogden are almost fully absorbed; pockets of South Ogden, Bountiful are doing really well, but we still have some really soft pockets. We’re finally seeing the natural growth to where new product is filling up. People that want to get in and maybe can’t, they’re moving up to new properties so rates are starting to hike. We’re seeing finally for the first time in a decade that natural real estate progression that helps lease rates and values bump up.
There are four or five groups—national or international companies—that are now looking in Davis/Weber County for newer, nicer product, 25,000 square feet or more, and it doesn’t exist. They cannot find it and may not end up locating here because of the lack of projects. I’m hoping someone will be willing to show a little confidence and take the leap on a new project.
COOK: Up at Business Depot Ogden, our lease rates are holding strong. We started two new buildings last fall. Before that we were completely full. Both of those are about done now. Once the moves take place with Wayfair moving into a large building, we’ll have about 140,000 square feet open, which is about a 2 percent vacancy in our new buildings. We’re probably 80 percent full on the old space.
In the last six to nine months, we have had a ton of activity in the 5,000-square-foot range—the small companies, the startups that are growing out of their basement into real spaces. Historically we’ve had a number of spaces that have never been filled in—the old buildings that are now completely full in that 5,000-foot range.
CHRISTOPULOS: We’ve developed a new park, The Business Exchange, which is out on 24th Street. So if you’re looking for space that is developing, that space is now available. We call it the lifestyle park. It’s by the river. It’s designed to be a fairly high concept area.