Bethesda, long the urban jewel of Montgomery County, has lost a little luster lately. ...
...What’s more: Chevy Chase bank, which was bought by Capital One Financial Corp. in February 2009, plans to vacate its offices at 7501 Wisconsin Ave. gradually starting this year, leaving behind more than 350,000 square feet of vacant space over the next few years.
At the end of 2009, the submarket had a vacancy rate of about 12.5 percent, according to Jones Lang LaSalle’s fourth quarter office report, compared to 11.8 percent in D.C.’s Central Business District and 9.9 percent in Arlington. And though Bethesda finally saw its first quarter of positive net absorption — meaning more space was leased than given up — after eight consecutive negative quarters, JLL predicts its vacancy rate could rise as high as 18.5 percent without continued positive absorption and an end to rising sublease space.
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