Out of the Shadows
June 28, 2013

When Hertz announced plans to relocate its global headquarters to Bonita Springs last month, it started scouting for temporary office space.

The car-rental giant found it in an unlikely spot: vacant space in nearby Naples that had already been leased to Fifth Third Bank. Hertz agreed to sublease the unused space from the bank. 

The deal was unusual for several reasons, not least of which was the size of the space. At 40,000 square feet, the offices are nearly the size of a football field. That’s a lot of space for Naples, a relatively small market compared with Tampa. 

But brokers say sublease space is getting harder to find, even in large markets such as Tampa. Cheri O’Neil, senior vice president and branch manager of tenant-representation firm Studley in Tampa, says she could only find six sublease spaces available in the Westshore business district in a recent search for a client who needed 3,500 square feet. Tampa’s Westshore business district is the state’s largest office-space market with more than 17 million square feet, or enough to fill 295 football fields. 

“We’re getting much closer to a healthy state of equilibrium,” O’Neil says, though she and other brokers note that office rental rates have not yet started moving higher.