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CONSHOHOCKEN, PA-This suburban office market had its third consecutive quarter of positive net absorption in the opening quarter of this year, according to data from the Philadelphia regional office of Trammell Crow Co. The gain has come, however, at the expense of aggressive rent structures by several landlords. The submarket has experienced up to 30% decreases in rents since mid-year 2002, the TCC report says. The average asking rental rate for class-A office space here is $25.36 per sf.

The direct vacancy for first quarter stood at 19.3%, and overall vacancy was 21.9%. The discounting has attracted interest from owners’ primary target, which is large tenants in Center City, thought to find appeal in the urban-style high rises here. Saladworks Inc., for example, relocated from One Liberty Place to 5,500 sf at Conshohocken’s Eight Tower Bridge.

“Even reduced rental rates, combined with (what Conshohocken) has to offer, has failed to create a significant flight to quality as several suburban tenants have elected to renew at their current facilities,” said Tom Sklow, a TCC principal. John C. Shelly, VP, participated with Sklow in the research.

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