Lack of office space raises concerns as companies bang on St. Pete’s door

Commercial real estate and economic development leaders are urging the St. Petersburg City Council not to pump the brakes on supporting office construction in the city.

St. Petersburg needs more office space to add jobs, to attract new companies and to allow existing companies to expand, yet there is little space currently available for those new and expanding businesses, said Alan DeLisle, city development administrator.

Mack Feldman, vice president of office building owner Feldman Equities, was among those who told the council that now is not the time to step away from continued city support for private developers. Most tenants see Covid-19 as a short-term disruption and are not letting it upset their long-term plans for lease that may last five or 10 years, Feldman said.

In addition, developing a new office building can take three to five years, he said.

“If the city was to decide today maybe we don’t want to support new office space through a parking facility, and then in three years companies are banging on our door, saying I want to move into downtown and there’s no space available, even if at that point the city wanted to start subsidizing office again and helping get some supply started, it would be three, four, five years before we see any results from that,” Feldman said. “It’s a caution here. If we were to make a decision based off this short-term uncertainty, we wouldn’t be able to revert to the status quo for many years to come and there’s a real risk to the city’s job growth in my opinion if we were to do that.”

Lack of office space raises concerns as companies bang on St. Pete’s door

Commercial real estate and economic development leaders are urging the St. Petersburg City Council not to pump the brakes on supporting office construction in the city. St. Petersburg needs more office space to add jobs, to attract new companies and to allow existing companies to expand, yet there is little space currently available for those […]

 

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