What new leasing trends are emerging as companies consider returning to the office?”


David Fritz

“Occupiers will continue to navigate their real estate decisions for the balance of the year based upon uncertainty of COVID-19 and its variants, measuring full-time vs hybrid work model and an actual reopening date for the office.  Some companies have elected to relocate from the urban core to the suburbs for obvious reasons other than C19.  It only becomes a trend if we don’t take care of the hub of the wheel (Baltimore City).  As we have always done, the collective brokerage community continues its positive attitude in helping their clients as we all paddle towards calm waters.”


Will McCullough
Senior Vice President
Lee & Associates|Maryland

“Idea generators have historically been attracted to cities for better paying jobs, even if that means it is more expensive to live and lease space.  However, as we have seen recently, there is less of a gravitational pull into cities when workers don’t have to cluster, and technology can enable them to be productive in suburban settings. Free parking and plentiful amenities were among the drivers that encouraged companies to consider suburban locations pre-COVID and this trend has now accelerated. For the workers that will remain hybrid, and work two to three days per week in the office, many will find it more convenient to commute to a suburban setting which is closer to their home. Less than 10% of jobs are full remote, and companies rely on employee collaboration, innovation and training in a quality office environment, whether it be in the CBD or suburbs.”


Matt Curran
Vice President
MacKenzie Commercial Real Estate Services

“Many tenants and occupiers of space remain uncertain about the future of the workplace due to increasing concerns with the COVID-19 delta variant. We will continue to see tenants relocate to smaller spaces in new buildings or opt to give back square footage in their current buildings in exchange for early lease extensions. Increased construction costs have also had a significant impact on office transactions over the past year. As leases expire over the next 12-18 months, landlords will pursue and compete for new tenants largely through increased tenant Improvement packages and substantial free rent. We’ve also seen a wave of tenants moving out of the city in search of decreased parking costs, a safer work environment and in many cases a shorter commute for employees.”


Bill Jautze
Leasing Representative
St. John Properties, Inc.

“It is impossible to replace office collaboration in a remote setting and I feel that companies are realizing this and have gradually been returning to the office. Overall activity has picked up significantly across the board and I expect this momentum to continue throughout the rest of the year. Many of our current and potential tenants are searching for mixed-use communities in a great location with easy access to major highways and diverse amenities. Fortunately, St. John Properties is able to provide spaces that match these criteria all throughout the State of Maryland.”