The commercial office vacancy rate in the Lehigh Valley was on the rise at the end of 2022.
According to a report from the commercial real estate firm, Colliers’ Philadelphia office, in the Lehigh Valley the office vacancy rate rose from 16.6% to 18.1% in the fourth quarter of the year.
The firm said the addition of the new building at The Waterfront in Allentown was the main reason for the vacancy rate increase.
Overall, leasing activity remains limited in the area.
Colliers said the most notable transaction was Shift4 Payment’s deal for 74,000 square feet of Dun & Bradstreet sublease in Stabler Corporate Center.
Shift4 will be moving and expanding from Lehigh Valley Executive Campus.
With the shift to remote and hybrid work, companies have reevaluated the need for large, back-office operations.
For example, Aetna shut its call center in an office building at the Lehigh Shopping Center.
Although still utilizing the building, Guardian Life is offering its full 281,745-square-foot building for sublease.
Compared to the rest of the Greater Philadelphia Market region that the report detailed, the overall regional vacancy increased from 16.5% to 16.9% in the fourth quarter, lower than the Lehigh Valley rate.
The region as a whole had an 855,480-square-foot occupancy loss for the year. while significant, it was not as severe as the 2020 and 2021 annual totals.d