The group, which held a conference call on Monday to showcaseitself and to talk about trends and expectations for the officemarket in a report titled "Western RegionMarket Outlook," has asparticipants Colliers executives from the Los Angeles area, SanFrancisco, Portland and Seattle, the areas covered in thereport.

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Urban Landlord Partners is "a specialized practice team focusedexclusively on serving the needs of institutional landlords inmetropolitan downtown markets," according to the group's Website.

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The ULP outlook covered the LA areas of Downtown, Century Cityand the Tri-cities."Downtown actually has been one of the strongermarkets in the LA Basin in last 18 months," says Shaun Stiles, aColliers senior vice president. "People have started to look atDowntown as an alternative."

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Stiles credits the relative affordability compared with otherareas, such as West LA's office market, as well as the ongoingDowntown renaissance, including improvements at Staples, theanticipated opening of LA Live, and the additions of myriad newresidential and new retail options in the area. "Folks are startingto look Downtown a little more," he adds.

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Downtown recorded a net absorption in 2007 of 441,400 sf, and inthe second quarter of this year a positive absorption of 86,700 sf,while second quarter vacancy dropped to 14.4% overall and 12.3% inClass A properties, with rental rates rising to $39.60 in Class Abuildings, the report shows.

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On the West Side, with average rental rates around $50 psf,asking rates are expected to soften, and the second quarter's 9.9%vacancy rate could increase slightly due to high asking rentalrates, new construction and an increase in sublease space,according to the report.

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These factors will also put downward pressure on absorption,says Bill Gloege, a Colliers senior associate. "We would expectthat absorption will be really flat continuing through 2008," hesays, noting that the area has 3 million sf of buildings coming online that has "not been spoken for," he adds.

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In the Tri-Cities, second quarter's 9.7% vacancy is expected tocontinue to drop slightly due to continued demand and lack of newproduct coming on to the market, the report states.

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Other areas covered by the report show: In Portland, the 6.6%vacancy rate will "tighten within the Central City as new inventoryis being absorbed prior to building deliveries," while rental ratescontinue to increase; in San Francisco, overall vacancy will risefrom 10.4% to 11% because of new supply coming onto the market,with activity for the rest of the year expected from "maturetechnology companies" in the Silicon Valley area looking for space;in Seattle, expect negative absorption in 2009 with constructiondeliveries and rates remaining flat.

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