Demand Up 55% for R&D; Space in Orange County

Leasing of research-and-development space in Orange County is up an estimated 55% from last year, according to the Newport Economics Group of Newport Beach, which semiannually surveys the market.

During the first half of 1985, 1.7 million feet were reported leased in contrast with 1.1-million feet for the same period last year. However, the inventory of space completed during the past four years totaled 8.4-million feet with 4-million feet vacant and another 4.1-million feet under construction.

Absorption has risen sharply during the past six months, but the overall supply-and-demand balance has softened a bit, particularly for the larger buildings, Robert Dunham, president of the Newport Economics Group, said. At present, structures under 40,000 feet in size represent about 35% of demand with 50% of the demand going for buildings in the 40,000-to-80,000-foot range, he added, and buildings that are more than 100,000 feet in size are accounting for only 15% of the leasing activity.

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