In a turn of events brokers have not seen in more than a quarter century, brokers are seeing industrial space bringing in a higher dollar than Class A office space.

Such was the message disseminated by Patrick Sentner, 2022 global president of the Society of Industrial and Office Realtors, as he presented at SIOR St. Louis’ 37th annual Metro Market Forecast event on March 9. Sentner, executive vice president in the occupier group at CBRE in Pittsburgh, said the phenomenon is a byproduct of the uncertainty as to companies’ near-future need for office space.

“We are going through the biggest change in real estate, on all fronts, in my 26-year career,” said Sentner. “The biggest question everyone is asking is, ‘When are we going back to the office, and what is it going to look like?’”

Of the two office space categories, the central business district and suburban, the latter is moving at the same consistent pace it has been for the past several years, according to Sentner. But the central business district of markets in the U.S. and globally, he adds, has been hit hard since 2020.

“It’s not a situation where leases aren’t getting done,” Sentner said. “It’s a situation where leases are getting done differently. We’re seeing trends showing 20 percent reductions in the amount of office real estate that groups are going to be taking.”

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