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News release

FORT WORTH

Large tenants finding more space options in Fort Worth

JLL’s 2017 Skyline report reveals creative tenants returning to downtown offices nationally


FORT WORTH, July 18, 2017 – When it comes to premium office space across the United States and Canada, creative firms are doing what they do best: driving change. JLL's 2017 Skyline shows that creative's boomerang to this coveted space and the eighth straight year of occupancy growth are contributing to record rents and a landlord-friendly market. In Fort Worth, the combination of a strong and stable business environment, now that the energy market has stabilized, has the potential to spark leasing momentum.

Skyline is JLL's annual look at best-in-class office space and within some of the tallest buildings in 57 markets across North America. Some Fort Worth highlights from this year's edition include:

  • Skyline vacancy within  Fort Worth remains just above the national at 15.1 percent, with vacancy of Trophy buildings – those ultra-premium office properties within a Skyline – at just 14.7 percent
  • Buyers, on the hunt for higher investment returns, are exploring secondary markets
  • The construction pipeline remains healthy, but shows signs of slowing

"More and more jobs are coming to Texas and Dallas - Fort Worth, chasing the friendly business environment which is driving the demand in Fort Worth's established urban core," said Walter Bialas, Market Director, JLL Research. "The existing real estate values are attractive when you compare them to the cost of new construction. Although leasing activity has been fairly slow, asking rents have actually increased in response to the impending delivery of the new Frost Tower."

Tenants on top, for now

Nationally, the net change in occupied space, also called net absorption, jumped to 8.3 million square feet – more than five times what it was a year ago. However, we expect eight straight years of Skyline occupancy growth to ease soon as the market prepares for several large blocks of space to become available.

Currently, national Skyline vacancy sits at 12.9 percent – well below the overall national average of 14.5 percent.

In Fort Worth, activity within Skyline has been stable as direct vacancy rests at 15.1 percent. We expect the Skyline to shift to neutral for landlords and tenants by 2019.

A rising tide lifts all boats

Tenants still want that Skyline caché, which is why rents jumped to $29.38 per square foot on average in Fort Worth. Because Fort Worth's trophy Skyline assets tend to be larger towers with large tenants, rents are similar to Fort Worth's non-trophy buildings.  New York stands above all others with an average Skyline rent of $87.90. Nashville hit a high note with the biggest year-over-year rent growth (+27.4 percent).

"West Fort Worth has always been a fairly tight market and is even more so currently," said Frank Taylor, Senior Vice President, JLL Agency. "With the amount of construction, there's growing demand and rising rental rates in the West, while rates in the CBD remain fairly flat. Additionally, tenants are looking for amenities, like fitness centers, conference spaces and food options, to attract and retain talent and landlords are investing to add these services."

Buyers selectively target the skyline

"Investors are attracted to Fort Worth thanks in part to our strong and stable business environment," said Ryan Matthews, Executive Vice President, JLL Fort Worth. "There's continued upside with the job growth in Fort Worth. The market provides a number of value add opportunities for investors to take advantage of rent growth by repositioning the asset with capital improvements and new amenities."

So, just how much do investors love the Skyline?

  • Skyline acquisitions were up by more than $1.2 billion in 2016, while sales in the broader office market fell by nearly 10 percent – the sector's first decline since 2009.
  • Investors are increasingly looking to secondary markets for Skyline acquisitions. Ten secondary markets surpassed $300 million of total volume (not just Skylines) in 2016. Atlanta, Dallas and Miami led the way.
  • Offshore investment increased to 40.3 percent of total Skyline volume in the first quarter of 2017.
  • Forty-two Trophy assets were traded in 2016, increasing volume by $7.2 billion year-over-year.

About the Skyline

Investors and tenants can access JLL's Skyline via a digital platform. The interactive website features JLL's exclusive market insights regarding office supply, demand, rents, leverage and investment into 57 markets across the United States and Canada. It gives users the ability to compare and contrast individual markets or multiples of markets, as well as individual properties or portfolios. In addition, the site offers videos and infographics, all of which are available via mobile access.

About JLL

JLL (NYSE: JLL) is a leading professional services firm that specializes in real estate and investment management. A Fortune 500 company, JLL helps real estate owners, occupiers and investors achieve their business ambitions. In 2016, JLL had revenue of $6.8 billion and fee revenue of $5.8 billion and, on behalf of clients, managed 4.4 billion square feet, or 409 million square meters, and completed sales acquisitions and finance transactions of approximately $136 billion. At the end of the first quarter of 2017, JLL had nearly 300 corporate offices, operations in over 80 countries and a global workforce of more than 78,000. As of March 31, 2017, LaSalle Investment Management had $58.0 billion of real estate under asset management. JLL is the brand name, and a registered trademark, of Jones Lang LaSalle Incorporated. For further information, visit www.jll.com.