Baltimore Office Space for Rent
With a storied history that features such superlatives as the Second-Largest Seaport in the Mid-Atlantic and the former Second Leading Port of Entry for Immigrants to the US, “Charm City” lives up to its endearing moniker. Baltimore is the largest city in Maryland, with a population of 611,648 in 2017, and is the 30th most populous city in the United States.
Founded in 1729, Baltimore was once the leader in a variety of industries, such as manufacturing and rail transportation. After the decline of these businesses, the city advanced to a more service-oriented economy, accounting for 31% of jobs, with Johns Hopkins Hospital and Johns Hopkins University becoming the top employers.
To call Baltimore home is to stake claim on some of the earliest National Register Historic Districts in the nation, including Fell’s Point, Federal Hill, and Mount Vernon. A prestigious arts district, infamous cuisine, and celebrated sports culture allows the city to reinvent and readjust to its ever-changing economy. And with a growing tech sector, Baltimore has the potential to become one of the hottest new cities for development and innovation.
Baltimore Office Space | Lease Data & Trends
Newly completed developments have continued to compound a growing divide between office space supply and tenant growth, bringing the Baltimore vacancy rate to its highest in five years. This is an extremely favorable market for tenants, and may spur job growth and investment in the area.
The second half of 2018 was full of highlights. Baltimore saw the much anticipated Wills Wharf in Harbor Point break ground — 330,000 square foot tower in Inner Harbor also signed its first major tenants, including WeWork’s first lease in Baltimore for 60,000 square feet and a 34,500 square foot lease by Jellyfish, a London-based digital marketing agency.
Additionally, Downtown Baltimore saw its first office space development north of Lombard Street in nearly 30 years, as M&T relocated headquarters to 156,000+ square feet at 1 Light Street.
The Baltimore coworking space market continues to boom, as nearly a dozen incubators and coworking offices have opened in Downtown Baltimore since 2016. However, Baltimore’s leasing activity and future prospects is still primarily driven by government contractors, who tend to prefer the suburban areas such as Columbia and Elicott City.
Office Space in Baltimore | Pricing Trends
|Office Space for Lease In||Class A||Class B||Vacancy||Inventory|
|Downtown Baltimore||$26/sf||$20/sf||12 msf||22%|
|Baltimore City Totals||$28/sf||$20/sf||24 msf||14%|
|Elicott City/Columbia||$30/sf||$24/sf||12 msf||12%|
|Suburban Baltimore Totals||$28/sf||$22/sf||48 msf||14%|
Baltimore Office Space | Popular Submarkets for Leasing
The City of Baltimore is bordered by the neighborhoods of Catonsville, Glen Burnie, Hanover, Lansdowne, Middle River, Pasadena, Pikesville, Towson, and Woodlawn. It is home to Johns Hopkins Hospital and Johns Hopkins University, as well as prominent companies like Under Armour, McCormick & Company, T. Rowe Price, BRT Laboratories, Legg Mason, and Royal Farms.
Baltimore’s primary economic asset is Downtown Baltimore, with 29.1 million square feet of office space. The tech industry is experiencing a timely surge as the Baltimore metro area ranks 8th out of 50 US cities in CBRE’s Tech Talent Report that analyzes high growth rate and number of tech professionals. Forbes also ranked Baltimore fourth among America’s “new tech hotspots,” along with booming locations like Santa Clara, CA, and Seattle, WA.
The remainder of the city’s economic gains come from tourism. Baltimore’s Inner Harbor hosts a bevy of attractions, like the National Aquarium and the USS Constellation, the last Civil War-era vessel. Also docked in the Inner Harbor are the USS Torsk, a submarine that holds the Navy’s record with more than 10,000 dives, and the Coast Guard cutter Taney, the last surviving U.S. warship during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941. Visitors are also drawn to the area by the American Visionary Art Museum, the historic Hippodrome Theatre, and Orioles Park at Camden Yards.
Urban renewal in neighborhoods like Federal Hill and Hampden has maintained the quaint history of the city’s infamous row houses, with renovations that appeal to the modern buyer. Locally-owned shops and restaurants in Federal Hill are located within walking distance of downtown, so residents can often commute to work on foot. “The Avenue” in Hampden is known as Baltimore’s destination for unique shops, and the nearby mills are being renovated and converted into lofts, art studios, galleries, and work spaces.
Getting Around Baltimore
A 2017 study by Walk Score ranked Baltimore the 11th most walkable city in the United States. The city’s Mount Vernon, Downtown, Little Italy, Upper Fells Point, and University of Maryland neighborhoods are all experiencing growth with new apartments and retail locations. The recent development and construction of mixed-use buildings has had a major impact on the increase in the Walk Score, which rose nearly 3.5 points in just two years.
Proximity to Washington, DC and major airports keeps Baltimore commuters mobile around town. Public transit in Baltimore is provided by the Maryland Transit Administration, which operates a comprehensive bus network, including local, express, and commuter buses, a light rail network that connects northern Hunt Valley to Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport (BWI) Airport and Cromwell in the south, and a subway line between Owings Mills and Johns Hopkins Hospital. The Charm City Circulator is another commuter option consisting of 30 free shuttles that travel four routes in the central business district. For residents or visiting clients, arriving and departing from BWI is the most efficient way to travel outside of the city. The 22nd busiest airport in the United States, it is also the largest of the three major airports serving the Baltimore–Washington Metropolitan Area.
For more local travelers, biking through Baltimore is proving to be one of the most convenient ways to get to/from work and play. Cyclists in the city are continuing to find new ways to maneuver it, as the network of bicycle lanes in Baltimore continues to expand. Over 140 miles of lanes were added between 2006 and 2014. The Big Jump project was recently initiated by community partners to safely connect the Reservoir Hill and Remington neighborhoods for both pedestrian and bicycle traffic, bridging the gap between their division by I-83.