SAN DIEGO—The Mission Valley office market is quickly becoming one of the most appealing in the county for owners enriched by the area’scentral location and high rents, according to a local office market specialist.

Mission Valley is enjoying an upswing in popularity among tenants, causing vacancies to plummet and rents to rise–a welcome development among building owners who so far have not fared as well as their North County colleagues in the county’s recent office boom.

The market is composed of 95 office buildings totaling about 5.6 million sf, according to Richard Gonar, an office broker with Business Real Estate Brokerage Co. But the area has very little room to grow, ensuring that rates will remain high, as long as the economy stays strong.

“Mission Valley’s lack of available space combined with the lack of developable land, has helped drive up rental rates across the board tolevels unseen in more than a decade,” Gonar says.

Asking rents now range from $1.95 to $2.65 per sf for Class A buildings. Base rents have jumped 67% over the last five years, with very few large blocks of contiguous space becoming available, Gonar says. “When a large chunk of office space opens up, it gets snapped up at premium rates,” he adds “Even with these rising figures, Mission Valley has remained competitive in the office market, with rates still well below what we’re seeing in other central and North County markets,” he notes.

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