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News of business and economic development in Arlington:

ARLINGTON OFFICE-VACANCY RATE POSTS DECLINE: Who knows what the future may bring, but for the first quarter of 2020, the overall office-vacancy rate for Arlington showed improvement from a year before.

The overall vacancy rate of 16 percent was down from 17.4 percent during the first quarter of 2019 and has declined from a peak of about 20 percent several years ago.

Figures are from CoStar and were reported by Arlington Economic Development.

Arlington once had one of the lowest office-vacancy rates in the region, but increasing competition from other jurisdictions and the desire by the federal government to get out of higher-priced locations sent the vacancy rate rising. Despite recent declines, the vacancy rate still remains above the Northern Virginia average, which for the first quarter stood at 14 percent, down slightly from a year before.

Among the various sub-sectors of Arlington, the lowest vacancy rates were in Clarendon/Courthouse (13.1 percent) and Virginia Square (13.9 percent). Higher rates were reported in Crystal City (16.2 percent), Rosslyn (17.4 percent) and Ballston (22.3 percent).

HOTEL-OCCUPANCY RATES TAKE A TUMBLE IN MARCH: Arlington hotel and motel occupancy took a pummeling in March as the COVID-19 pandemic began to take hold, according to new data, while average room rates for the first quarter showed a slide.

March’s occupancy rate of 34.5 percent for Arlington resulted in a first-quarter occupancy rate of 52.3 percent, according to figures form Smith Travel Research reported by Arlington Economic Development.

The first-quarter total compared to a 65.1-percent occupancy rate for the January-February-March time frame in 2019.

The first-quarter average hotel room rate of $150.56 was running about 5 percent below the same period in 2019, when the average room rate stood at $158.77.

The average per-night room rate in March was $183.32.



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