18.2% vs. 15% in Nationally : Downtown Los Angeles Office Vacancy Rate Rises

Times Staff Writer

Office vacancies in the central business district of Los Angeles hit their highest level in more than two years during the fourth quarter of 1988 and exceeded the national rate, a study released Monday said.

Buildings within the area bounded by the Harbor Freeway and Olive, 3rd and 7th streets had office vacancies at a rate of 18.2% in the fourth quarter, up from 15.4% during the previous three months, according to the latest quarterly report from Cushman & Wakefield of California Inc.

The real estate consulting firm attributed the increase to the opening of the Arco Center and Home Savings Tower, which together added almost 1 million square feet of new space to the area.

The 18.2% downtown Los Angeles vacancy rate--the highest since 19% in the third quarter of 1986--was the nation’s fourth-largest--after San Antonio, Tex., Hartford, Conn., and West Palm Beach, Fla.


The national vacancy rate was 15% in the fourth quarter, down from 15.2% in the third quarter, and was 1988’s lowest rate. However, despite the latest quarterly decline, the vacancy rate remained above the 1987 year-end rate of 13.8%

Elsewhere in Southern California, office buildings in Mid-Wilshire, Pasadena/San Gabriel Valley, South Bay, West Los Angeles and Ontario also experienced increased vacancy rates compared to the third quarter. But rates in Newport Beach, north Los Angeles/San Fernando Valley and north Orange County (Anaheim, Costa Mesa and Orange) declined in the fourth quarter.


Office vacancies in central business districts for the last half of 1988.

Market 4th Qtr. 3rd Qtr. Los Angeles 18.2% 15.4% San Francisco 14.2 13.8 N. Orange County 25.1 25.9 Newport Beach 24.0 24.9 San Jose 22.7 30.3

Source: Cushman & Wakefield