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ATLANTA-The vacancy rate in the industrial sector of the local metro area reached 13.7% in the third quarter, according to research by Amy Pressley, senior information-management coordinator of the local office of Los Angeles-based CB Richard Ellis. That’s an increase from 13.2% in the previous quarter and from 11.4% during third-quarter 2001.

“Of the total vacant space,” Pressley says, “9.5% is vacant sublease space. Proportionately, most of the vacancy is concentrated in the flex/business service market, which recorded a vacancy rate of 16.9%,” she adds. She attributes the continuing rise in vacancy to scale-backs in operations and inventory among area companies. However, “because of the need to replenish inventory by the time the economy recovers,” Pressley predicts, “the industrial real estate market is expected to recover earlier than all other commercial real estate markets.”

The bulk warehouse market experienced the highest jump, a 78.2% increase, in leasing activity during the third quarter. The shallow bay/distribution market experienced the smallest jump, by 43.3%.

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