Friday, August 27, 2004

Fairfield has a 14 percent vacancy rate for Class A office space


Growth, Providian's exit boost vacancies

By Julie Gordon

FAIRFIELD -- Office vacancy rates are higher now than they were a year ago due to the creation of new office space and Providian Financial's departure from the city.

Currently, Fairfield has a 14 percent vacancy rate for Class A office space, up from 9 percent a year ago, said Ron Waslohn, partner in Premier Commercial Real Estate.

The jump can be attributed to the creation of Fairfield West Plaza, a 40,000-square-foot office building at 1411 Oliver Road across the street from hardware store Yard Birds that still has 21,000 square feet of space available, Waslohn said.

Currently, Alliance Title, Solano Bank and Realty World occupy Fairfield West Plaza, which opened two months ago.

Business parks in Fairfield have a 12 vacancy rate, up from about 4 percent a year ago due to Providian leaving Fairfield Corporate Commons, said Brooks Pedder, managing partner with Colliers International.

"Our market has remained static with the exception of Providian," Pedder said.

Providian, which employed 1,200 people, was the largest private employer in Solano County. The company consolidated and moved most of its operations out of state, Pedder said.

Colliers International has been marketing the Providian site for 10 months, Pedder said. He said two companies have expressed interest in moving into 60 percent of the Providian space and the goal is to have it occupied by year's end.

"The goal is to lease it to the first qualified business," Pedder said. "We're not waiting around."

A new three-story, 120,000 square foot office building also is planned for Fairfield Commons, Pedder said. Construction should begin next spring and will be complete six to eight months later.

Class A office space is the most popular type of space, Pedder said. Typically, Class A office space is built in a good location, provides good parking, has an elevator and is steel framed, Pedder and Waslohn said.

Class A office space typically runs $1.40 to $2 per square foot per month triple net, whereas Class B and Class C space run 90 cents to $1.20 per square foot per month triple net, Pedder said. Triple net means a lease that includes not just rent, but taxes, insurance and maintenance expenses that arise from the use of the property.

Class A is popular with companies that are coming to Solano County from the Bay area and white collar business owners, Pedder and Waslohn said.

Julie Gordon can be reached at

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