Washington, DC - Office Market Overview
The Washington Metropolitan Area includes the D.C. (The District), Suburban Maryland and Northern Virginia submarkets. Their combined economy is continuously diversifying and growing, and the Washington D.C. office market is expanding around what is a heavily government-oriented office sector.
As of mid-2017, the Greater D.C. market encompasses roughly 374 million square feet of existing office space, in properties larger than 50,000 square feet. Supported by one of the busiest and best-performing transportation systems in the country, the market continues to thrive.
Washington, DC - Office Inventory Description
The better part of D.C.’s existing office inventory was built starting with the yet unparalleled construction boom of the 1980s. But don’t let age fool you—70% of D.C. office space is Class A product. While Class B office properties make up roughly 30% of Washington D.C.’s office inventory, improvement Class C buildings larger than 50,000 square feet have been intensely redeveloped and repositioned, and now make up less than 1% of the total Washington D.C. office market inventory.
The densest local office submarkets are Downtown Washington D.C. , the historic Penn Quarter neighborhood, and Dupont Circle. These three neighborhoods also roughly make up today’s D.C. Central Business District, and are home to tech poster child for D.C. Blackboard Inc.’s headquarters, as well as the National Press Building and headquarters of almost all major government agencies.
Emerging D.C. office submarkets include the Southwest Waterfront, which is home to new Class A office developments like The Wharf and National Square, as well as the intended home of planned and proposed office projects, such as Waterfront Station.
Washington, DC Commercial Inventory Breakdown
Total: 147,995,489 SF
By square footage range:
- 50k to 100k SF: 7,953,668 SF / 5.37% of total office
- 100k to 500k SF: 107,521,613 SF / 72.65% of total office
- 500k to 1M SF: 25,339,620 SF / 17.12% of total office
- > 1M SF: 7,180,588 SF / 4.85% of total office
- Class A+: 16,570,293 SF / 11.2% of total office
- Class A: 80,021,406 SF / 54.07% of total office
- Class B: 36,104,531 SF / 24.4% of total office
Washington, DC - Green Office Space
While only 34% of Washington D.C. office buildings larger than 50,000 square feet are LEED-certified, that percentage is growing. As of mid-2017, approximately 9.5 million square feet of office space are in the process of obtaining LEED Certification, on all levels.
The U.S. Green Buildings Council is, itself, headquartered in Washington D.C., at 2101 L Street NW, which is a redeveloped Class A office property, originally built in 1975.
On a nationwide scale, certified and proposed LEED properties account for roughly 22% of total U.S. office inventory, across key metro markets in all 50 states. As major investors continue to pursue green certification for their assets, the green office trend advances upwards. With its sturdy historic architecture, the D.C. office market is prime for valuable redevelopment and asset repositioning projects.
The 2017 National Green Building Adoption Index looked at commercial office properties in 30 major U.S. markets and found that, including EPA Energy Star labeled-buildings, the percentage of green certification has increased from under 5% in 2005 to 38%, as of mid-2017. Washington D.C. placed eighth in this annual survey, for the third consecutive year.
Washington, DC's Top Office-Using Sectors
Because the governmental sector dominates one third of the region’s economy, the D.C. office market’s general stability and predictable long-term performance attract investors from around the world, making Greater D.C. the sixth-largest metropolitan economy in the U.S.
As it continues to diversify, the Washington D.C. office market welcomes and accommodates an ever-growing number of businesses that are not directly related to government, such as education, finance, law, media, tourism, technology, and scientific research.
- Education – Higher learning institutions, like the renowned University of the District of Columbia, George Washington University, Georgetown University and Howard University, greatly contribute to Washington D.C.’s high rate of office-using employment.
- Finance – The World Bank, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) and Fortune 500 company The Carlyle Group are headquartered in the nation’s capital.
- Law – renowned law firms Latham & Watkins LLP, Hogan Lovells LLP and Paul Hastings LLP have major D.C. operations.
- Media – D.C. is home to National Geographic’s world headquarters, as well as Atlantic Media, and Interface Media Group.
- Technology and Scientific research – largest representatives in this sector include global technology innovator conglomerate Danaher Corp. and public utility and energy solutions company WGL Holdings, Inc.
- Total Population672,391
- Male Population(47.4 %) 319,046
- Female Population(52.6 %) 353,345
- Median Age33.90
- Average Household Income$116,090
- Median Household Income$77,649
- Median Income Under 25$32,149
- Median Income 25-44$92,441
- Median Income 45-64$78,333
- Median Income Over 65$52,254
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