How many vacant offices does Southern California have?

Regional vacancy reaches 20%, equivalent to 58 empty Downtown LA skyscrapers

How Many Vacant Offices Does Southern California Have?

In Southern California, roughly one out of five offices sits empty.

Office buildings across the five-county region last month notched a 20.4 percent vacancy rate, the Orange County Register reported, citing year-end leasing figures from Cushman & Wakefield

Put another way, 81 million square feet out of 398 million square feet of offices across the Southland sit vacant. 

That’s enough to fill 58 U.S. Bank Towers, the 72-story Downtown Los Angeles skyscraper with 1.4 million square feet of office space, according to the Register.

At the end of 2019, before a pandemic shift to remote work, Southern California had 41 million square feet of empty offices and a 13 percent vacancy rate.

Last year, local office landlords leased 20 million square feet of offices to new tenants. But that was 7 million short of what was added to the market by companies abandoning their offices.

Across the region, Los Angeles County led with the largest number of empty offices, at 51 million square feet empty, or a 24 percent vacancy rate, according to Cushman & Wakefield.

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Within the metro region, West L.A. and Downtown central L.A. offices were 26 percent vacant; Downtown non-central L.A. 33 percent vacant; Mid-Wilshire 30 percent vacant; L.A. south 23 percent vacant; L.A. tri-cities 22 percent vacant; L.A. north 21 percent vacant; and the San Gabriel Valley 10 percent vacant, according to the year-end report.

Orange County had 18 million square feet of empty offices for a 19.6 percent vacancy rate. Its John Wayne Airport area, Central OC and South OC submarts were 20 percent vacant, with West OC at 19 percent and North OC at 16 percent. 

San Diego County had 10 million square feet vacant, or 14.5 percent vacancy. 

In the Inland Empire, including Riverside and San Bernardino counties, 2 million square feet of offices were empty, or 9.5 percent vacancy.

“The IE office market has upheld robust market fundamentals by catering to its primarily local population,” said Cushman & Wakefield in its report. “Consequently, remote work and hybrid schedules have had minimal influence compared to neighboring markets.” 

— Dana Bartholomew

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