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PORTLAND-Oregon’s economy has fared worse than the national economy and is in a recession it might not recover from until mid-2002, Portland-based economic and financial consultant William Conerly told the local chapter of the Metropolitan Building Owners and Managers Association this week.

It’s only a mild recession, said Conerly, once a member of Governor Kitzhaber’s Board of Economic Advisors, but given the added negative effects of the terrorist attacks it will likely worsen and extend until as late as next June. This of course, is not good news for building owners already facing vacancy rates reminiscent of right around 10 years ago and more space coming to market.

The tech-heavy, 11.5-million-sf Sunset Corridor office market has seen more than a million sf come back to market since the end of last year, and another 1 million sf will be completed by the end of this year. The 16.7-million-sf Downtown office market saw 350,000 sf of class A space come back in the second quarter alone, pushing average class A vacancy rates that were below 5% in March above 10% today — and it only gets worse in the class B and C markets.

Suffice to say, the timelines for another million sf of space in three recently announced Downtown office ventures appear to be stretching toward the middle of the decade.

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