When co-working giant WeWork was deciding on the location for its first college campus space, a 16-mile light-rail project under construction in the Maryland suburbs proved to be a deciding factor.
“The first conversation we had with them was that they wanted closer proximity to Metro, so, frankly, explaining to them the Purple Line is coming and the stop is a block from the WeWork site, having that connectivity one stop from the College Park Metro station was very helpful in sealing the deal with WeWork,” said Ken Ulman, the University of Maryland’s chief economic development strategy officer.
Since the Purple Line broke ground in late August, signs have begun to point to a surging office market in the suburban Maryland corridor from New Carrollton to Bethesda, with soaring construction and leasing activity reminiscent of the impact the Silver Line has had along the Dulles Toll Road in Virginia.
Suburban Maryland currently has 2.6M SF of office space under construction, according to CBRE’s Q1 office market report, the most since 2001. The market recorded 181K SF of positive absorption in the first quarter, bringing its vacancy rate down to 15.2%, its lowest level in over five years.