Page 9 - 2019 Colliers Forecast Book
P. 9

Colliers International | West Michigan  9

      View from 35 Oakes Street SW


          As the national economy has continued a slow but steady  2.5 percent. As we move into 2019, we expect job growth
          recovery over the last eight years, West Michigan’s offi ce  to slow slightly, however, it is expected that growth will still be
          market has steadily grown as well. Each quarter has seen  positive. Although we are nearing full employment, the labor
          positive net space absorption while vacancy has decreased by  participation rate, which is a calculation of those 16 years or
          more than 10 percent during that time. The downtown offi ce  older who are employed or actively seeking employment, is
          market continues to see both development and redevelopment  expected to increase. Michigan has been below the national
          with the city’s core expanding in all directions. The suburban  average since 2003.
          medical offi ce market continues to thrive as well. Heading into
          2019, it is expected that the market will continue to stabilize,  West Michigan continues its battle for qualifi ed workers, which
          face some economic uncertainty, but largely  continue its  is causing many companies to re-examine their offi ce space.
          positive momentum. As West Michigan builds its reputation  A theme we talked about in last year’s forecast, and expect
          nationwide, we expect national companies to grow their  to continue to manifest itself in 2019, is that of fl exibility.
          presence in the area, while regional companies also make  This means fl exibility of working from the offi ce or from home,
          decisions to position themselves for the future.     or even from a coworking space. It also means fl exibility of
                                                               the building itself. Many buildings now offer services such as
          Despite a slow start to the year, Gross Domestic Product (GDP)  exercise rooms, small conference rooms, cafés, dry-cleaning,
          growth for the United States throughout all of 2018 is expected  or pet-friendly environments. Amenities keep people in the
          to reach more than 3 percent, which would be the highest rate  building, allowing them to complete tasks like exercise and
          since 2004. Meanwhile, the economy continues to create new  eating, or even dry-cleaning or pet services, without having to
          jobs at a healthy rate — averaging just under 200,000 nonfarm  leave the premises. As offi ce spaces evolve, the importance of
          payroll jobs per month over the past year. Grand Rapids has  creating environments that cater to a multi-tasking generation
          benefi tted from this more than most metropolitan areas in the  are growing in importance.
          state and now has an unemployment rate of approximately
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