History of Absorption

2004 All categories reported negative absorption, leading to a net of -725,885 square feet. There were occupancy losses in several buildings, most significantly in the First National Bank Building (-170,331 square feet), Pioneer-Endicott (-184,000 square feet), and 180 East Fifth (-200,000 square feet, largely due to U.S. Bank vacating space). The Rossmor Building (-162,000 square feet), 480 Cedar Street (-67,798 square feet), the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension Building (69,298 square feet), and the WorkForce Center (-65,000 square feet) were removed from the report. The Rossmor had been well-occupied in the previous year, and the others had been fully occupied.

2005 The market absorbed 132,634 square feet, primarily due to higher occupancy levels at Wells Fargo Place (new leases with the IRS and Minnesota State Colleges and Universities System, +140,000 square feet), the First National Bank Building (new lease with the Department of Employment and Economic Development, +183,000 square feet), and 180 East Fifth Street (new lease with Gander Mountain and a temporary lease with the U.S. General Services Administration totaling +88,500 square feet).

2006 The market absorbed a record 892,268 square feet, due primarily to the addition of MPR’s new Owner-occupied office space (+110,000 square feet) and several additions to Government office space, including the Griffin Building (+100,000 square feet) and three new state office buildings totaling more than 837,000 square feet.

2007 Despite significant space being removed from the market, there was a negative absorption of -23,462 square feet. This was mainly due to the removal of three buildings from the inventory that had all reported occupancies in 2006: the Pioneer-Endicott Buildings were taken off the market for repositioning (-288,000 square feet), 505 North Wabasha was sold to the Church of Scientology (-40,000 square feet), and Renaissance Box was repositioned as housing (-62,500 square feet).

2008 The market absorbed 63,814 square feet due to small net occupancy increases in 11 buildings. Two properties were removed from the report that had been reported as vacant in 2007: Mears Park Center was converted to housing (-132,958 square feet) and 360 Cedar was removed from the market to potentially become part of the Central Corridor project (-42,138 square feet).

2009 The market absorbed 5,006 square feet despite U.S. Bank Center losing ECMC (-94,505 square feet). Other changes were due to numerous buildings gaining or losing occupancy, remodeling, and re-measuring.

2010 The market absorbed 441,980 square feet, largely due to Metro Square’s transfer from Competitive space to Government space and the re-measurement of the Lafayette buildings.

2011 The negative absorption of -269,684 square feet was primarily due to occupancy losses in several Competitive, Government, and Owner-occupied buildings, and the demolition of the Diamond Products Company Building (35,000 square feet).

2012 The negative absorption of -191,723 square feet results primarily from the removal of the University Club Downtown (25,466 square feet) and the Public Safety Building (71,327 square feet) from the report, the Exchange Building’s square footage decreasing by 23,000 square feet, and a 63,713 square foot vacancy increase in other Competitive office buildings.

2013 While Competitive space alone experienced positive absorption thanks to the addition of The Lowry Hotel Building and greater gains than losses in leasing activity, absorption overall was -291,009. The negative absorption was primarily due to the removal of the 400,000-square-foot Ramsey County Government Center – West from the report and the loss of 22,000 square feet when The Lowry moved from the Competitive category (80,000 square feet) to the Owner-occupied category (58,000 square feet).

2014  Absorption in downtown Saint Paul’s Competitive office space from 2013 to 2014 is -144,424 square feet. This figure was driven by 166 East Fourth Street and Kellogg Square being moved to owner occupied and residential space, respectively. Looking at the overall market, the absorption total was skewed by the removal of the Eugene McCarthy Post Office. This one property accounts for 83% of the negative 551,249 square feet of absorption. This property is currently under redevelopment as the Custom House.

2015  Absorption overall was 83,465 square feet.  This was primarily impacted by gains in Government and Owner Occupied space.  The Competitive office space absorption from 2014 to 2015 is -10,087 square feet. Several changes impacting this figure are Sibley Square and Liberty Square converting to residential use.  Also, the Labor Professional Centre was demolished as part of the Higher Ground project.

2016 Absorption is a measurement of the increase or decrease in occupied office space that occurs during a given period of time. Absorption in downtown Saint Paul’s Competitive office space from 2015 to 2016 is 44,162 square feet. Overall absorption is 70,784.  In general, the reasons for positive absorption include changes in occupancy, building reclassification, building remeasurement, and adjustments in square footage being offered for lease. Absorption figures are negatively impacted when buildings are removed from the total universe.  The competitive absorption total was impacted by the addition of 130,000 sf of leased space in 10 River Park Plaza.  Overall, the market was positively affected by the addition of MN Senate Building (141,000 sf).

2017 Absorption is a measurement of the increase or decrease in occupied office space that occurs during a given period of time. Absorption in downtown Saint Paul’s Competitive office space from 2016 to 2017 is -158,233 square feet. Overall absorption is -324,818. In general, the reasons for positive absorption include changes in occupancy, building reclassification, building remeasurement, and adjustments in square footage being offered for lease. Absorption figures are negatively impacted when buildings are removed from the total universe.  The Competitive absorption total was negatively impacted by the loss of leased space in 180 E. 5th St., Cray Plaza and Park Square Court.  Overall absorption was negatively impacted by the Travelers and Ecolab transaction and the shifting of office space that ensured.