Tucson office vacancies rise as need dwindles

By Gabriela Rico | Daily Star

Older office buildings across Tucson could soon start disappearing as vacancy rates remain high and owners struggle to find new tenants.

The exodus from traditional offices that began with the pandemic is ongoing and many employers have either embraced hybrid work schedules or turned out the lights for good .

While newer offices with amenities in desirable locations are still leasing well, such as along East Skyline Drive, securing a loan to build new offices is a challenge.

Tucson recorded five consecutive quarters with no new office construction, in part because of the uncertainty of future demand and the fact that banks aren’t lending for speculative development .

The vacancy rate of office space in the Tucson area is 14.5%, compared to 11% at the end of 2019.

And even though some employers retain office space, it’s sometimes with a fraction of the employees using the work space.

In 2019, the national rate of employees working from home was about 5%. After rising to 60% at the onset of the pandemic, it currently stands at 25%.


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