REAL ESTATE : Office Rentals in County Set Record but Vacancy Rate Stays High at 19%

Compiled by Michael Flagg, Times staff writer

Tenants leased a record 3.9 million square feet of office space in Orange County last year, according to a local consultant.

Most of that space was leased not by new firms but by big companies already located here that are expanding, said Robert Dunham, president of Newport Economics Group.

But almost as much office space was built last year as was leased, Dunham said, so vacancy rates stayed relatively high. The vacancy rate at the end of the year was 19.4%.

As in past years, the John Wayne Airport area had the most construction and the most new tenants.


Ready to take off, though, is the Irvine Spectrum, Dunham said. About 1 million square feet is already under construction and committed to big tenants.