Asked why vacancy in the manufacturing market is declining, Chase Bourdelaise, research director at Transwestern, pointed to improved business conditions.
"I think manufacturing has rebounded a bit this past year. People are optimistic about in-sourcing of manufacturing inside the U.S.," Bourdelaise said.
But why I-495 submarkets, which include several MetroWest cities and towns, are seeing vacancy decline more quickly is less clear. Bourdelaise said part of it could be that vacancy is higher along the I-495 corridor, meaning there is more space available for absorption. In the third quarter, the vacancy rate for all I-495 submarkets stood at 16.3 percent, compared with 10.4 percent in the Route 128 submarkets, and 9.4 percent in Boston.
Bourdelaise said it's important to note that just a few lease deals can significantly impact vacancy rates. To illustrate the point, Bourdelaise noted that 63 percent of I-495 vacancies are concentrated in two buildings: a 165,000-square-foot structure at 210 Grove St. in Franklin, and a property in Tewksbury.
"If you remove those two buildings, I-495 vacancy drops to 6.7 percent," Bourdelaise said.