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Report: Commercial space vacancy rates around Bellingham vary

BELLINGHAM, Wash. — A report prepared by Pacific Continental Realty Co-owner and Broker Ryan Martin says a trend of declining demand for office space is expected to continue through this year. But retail space demand has pushed that vacancy rate down.

Fourth quarter 2022 data shows overall Bellingham retail vacancies fell 0.5% to 2.8%. Bellis Fair Mall’s vacancy rate dropped 0.8% to 11.4% (includes separately owned Kohl’s, Target and JCPenney). The mall represents more than a third of Bellingham’s vacant retail space according to Martin. It was sold to an investment group at auction in December 2022.

Demand for retail space has driven the asking price for spaces up according to Martin.

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Industrial space vacancies in Bellingham fell 0.5% to 1.2% during fourth quarter 2022 while office space vacancies rose 0.8% to 4.9%.

The trend of declining demand for office space was anticipated and is likely to continue through 2023. Medium-size businesses still are reducing their office footprint. While there has been some relief in small and single-office demand as a result of work from home individuals moving to professional office space, the volume is not enough to significantly impact the overall market.

Pacific Continental Realty Co-owner and Broker Ryan Martin (January 17, 2023)

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