Zombie Office Buildings on the Rise As Pandemic Endures

More Than 1,200 Large Properties Sit Empty Across the US

CoStar News tallied the number of office buildings 50,000 square feet or larger at the end of each quarter that were 98% or more empty. The number was growing at an annualized pace of 23% in the second quarter of this year. That growth has tapered off to a 19% annualized increase in the third quarter.

The pandemic has added 303 buildings, for a total of 1,267 properties, to the inventory of zombie office buildings with rentable inventory up 37.43 million square feet, bringing the total vacant to 157.5 million square feet.

Zombie buildings don’t always represent something scary. In some cases, they reflect newly built structures in fast-growing areas where owners are optimistic about filling them quickly.