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Real Estate Report: Seismic shifts upend commercial market – Greater Baton Rouge Business Report

COVID restrictions left many offices empty, but even remote work isn’t keeping the market from getting back to business as usual. (Tim Mueller)

In 2020, businesses had to adapt quickly to the pandemic. Some moved to hybrid or remote work, some downsized, and, in Baton Rouge, office building occupancy rates slipped further.

The shutdown brought on by the pandemic caused perhaps the biggest changes in the business industry since World War II, according to Ty Gose, who chaired the 2022 TRENDS office committee.

On the positive side, the Baton Rouge office market is now offering a bit of clarity for local businesses and real estate agents as the pandemic seemingly winds down. 

Overall, tier one office sites are getting back to pre-pandemic numbers as business operations begin to return to normal and more employees head back to the office. Employees overwhelmingly like the hybrid model of work, which means more landlords and tenants are racing to invest in amenities that make working in the office as or more attractive than working from home.

In Baton Rouge, garden offices remain popular, with tenants paying more for them, according to the TRENDS report. Class A rents are above $22 a square foot. However, new construction of garden offices has slowed—even as demand increases—due to higher construction costs. In 2019, there were nine new garden office developments, compared to only one in 2020 and two in 2021. Read the full report from the latest edition of Business Report.

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