FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 21st, 2023
FAIRFAX CITY, VA – Bucking national and regional trends, Fairfax City is celebrating a reduction in commercial vacancies across the board for 2023. Contrasting with larger markets, small cities like Fairfax City with lower market-rate rent, coupled with more right-sized opportunities, are seeing substantial post-pandemic success. General vacancy rates in Fairfax City have seen a reduction from 6.6% at the beginning of the year, to 6% in Q3. Office vacancies have seen a similar reduction from 9.8% to 9%, and retail vacancies have been reduced from 2.8% to 2.3%. Average office rental rates currently sit at $24.8/square foot and retail rental rates at $30.7/square foot. This reduction in commercial vacancies is anticipated to improve Fairfax City’s expected revenues.
To aid in the post-pandemic recovery, Fairfax City Economic Development (“FCED”) has also launched several programs that are contributing to these encouraging numbers. The Lease Incentives for Fairfax Tenants (“LIFFT”) program was launched in Spring 2023 and awards new or expanding Fairfax City businesses grants if they sign a new lease in a high vacancy office building based on the square footage that they will occupy. This program and its promotion have done a great deal to both improve tenancy and commercial broker’s interest generally in Fairfax City. The FCED also administers a Technology Zone incentive program in partnership with the City’s Commissioner of the Revenue to qualified technology businesses signing a five or more-year lease in Fairfax City. The Technology Zone incentive abates business license taxes for qualified businesses on a decelerating basis, for five years. The LIFFT and Technology Zone incentive programs are ongoing.
“We’ve long felt that Fairfax City is optimally positioned for the relocation and growth of businesses, particularly those looking to locate in the geographic center of Northern Virginia’s steady and innovative economy,” said Beth Young, Ph.D., Chair of the Fairfax City Economic Development Authority (EDA). “FCED’s programs create expanded opportunities for businesses who otherwise may look elsewhere.”
“This data shows that Fairfax City is competitive and in demand. As a city, we provide our residents and businesses excellent services and they want to be here. Northern Virginia, and Fairfax City, are the ideal locations to start, expand, and develop new companies,” said Christopher Bruno, Director and President of the FCED. “I applaud the staff for developing smart programming that allows FCED to advance the goals of the Mayor and City Council in a meaningful way.”
“People are looking for value and resources,” said Nicole Toulouse, Senior Vice President of the EDA. “Fairfax City has attractive rental rates, business assistance resources like direct grants and procurement or financing guidance from the half dozen SBDC partners headquartered here. We feel confident about our value proposition to those looking to-relocate post-COVID.”
Fairfax City Economic Development is a collaboration between the Fairfax City Economic Development Office and the Fairfax City Economic Development Authority, an independent agency administered by a commission appointed by the City Council to promote economic development activity within Fairfax. Fairfax City Economic Development helps attract businesses to the city, encourages and develops programs that foster connections between businesses, residents, and visitors of Fairfax, and spearheads innovative programs and strategies devoted to positioning Fairfax City as an ideal location to start, grow, and scale a business. It is a founding member of the Northern Virginia Economic Development Alliance.