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PHILADELPHIA-One sign of the aggressive competition to fill Center City office vacancies is represented in the sublease rate of $15 per sf, plus electric, being marketed at the Sun Oil Building at 1608 Walnut St. The space, formerly occupied by Republic First Bank, totals 28,561 sf on three contiguous floors and is divisible into three spaces ranging between 5,000 sf and 11,693 sf. The sublease runs through July 31, 2007.

The 21-story, Art Deco building in the Rittenhouse Square area, was completed in 1929 and has landmark status. The average asking rental rate on a new lease in non-trophy, class-A properties now ranges between as low as $19.19 per sf in buildings on Walnut and Chestnut streets and approximately $26 per sf throughout the entire west of Broad Street submarket, according to third-quarter data from two locally based brokerage firms.

However, transactions are closing at significantly lower rates, according to third-quarter research from the Cushman & Wakefield office here. With tenant improvement dollars, the typical deal on a new 10-year lease for a full floor in a class A building, “will typically close at an average effective rental rates in the low $20s per sf,” according to the C&W report.

Sid Smith of the local office of Wayne, PA-based GVA Smith Mack is marketing the sublease.

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