Downtown Portland’s office vacancy rate is highest in the nation, report says –

Portland’s central city had the highest office vacancy rate of the 50 largest downtown office markets in the country by the end of last year, according to a report by real estate firm Colliers.

The office vacancy rate in Portland’s central business district, which includes downtown, Old Town and the Pearl District, had reached 30.2% by the end of 2023, Colliers reported. That’s up from 26.6% during the same time period a year earlier. (The figure does not include the Lloyd District, an eastside high-rise office district.)

Jamison Shields, a research analyst with Colliers, said the amount of empty office space in downtown Portland is expected to continue to rise as leases expire and those spaces hit the market.

According to Colliers, more than 1.4 million square feet of office space in downtown Portland was available for sublease at the end of 2023. The total available amount of space available for lease downtown was more than 32%. Collier expects that figure to reach 40% over the next year.

“We’re predicting vacancies to continue climbing into 2025,” Shields said. “Unlike other markets that are starting to see a turnaround, Portland hasn’t hit the bottom yet.”

That the expectation is that this will get even worse—40%(!)—is sort of mind-blowing. The entire urban core is going to whither and rot unless this gets turned around. And by “turned around” I mean local government prioritizes keeping the streets safe by removing the homeless and the drug users and arresting and incarcerating criminals. Given Portland politics, I’m not optimistic this will happen soon.