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PARSIPPANY, NJ-This city’s office category is the state’s largest suburban market, and third-largest overall in Northern New Jersey after only the Hudson waterfront and Newark. And it may be on the verge of emerging from the recent doldrums.

“Those of us watching closely are tracking almost a dozen office requirements in excess of 100,000 sf,” says James L. Frank, executive director at Cushman & Wakefield of NJ, East Rutherford. “If even half of those deals hit during the coming 12 months, class A availabilities will significantly decline to rates not seen in the past six years.”

There are a number of large blocks currently on the market, with at least four existing properties and one proposed building offering up vacancies north of 100,000 sf. Construction is done on a 175,000-sf spec building within the Center of Morris County complex, for example, where Deloitte & Touche has taken some space. And as a possible precursor to what may happen, IMS Health has already leased all of the 120,000-sf 11 Waterview Blvd.

At the moment, the Parsippany submarket is running an overall vacancy rate of 16.5%, according to C&W’s latest numbers. That’s more than a point higher than Northern New Jersey’s overall average.

“But its class A vacancy is 12.7%, which is four percentage points lower than the average in Northern New Jersey,” Frank says. “Parsippany’s comeback would send a clear message that the business environment is beginning to move in the right direction. In the face of continued reports of the state’s lackluster economic growth, in conjunction with the recent credit crisis, pockets of progress will be good news.

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