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Washington D.C. the nation’s capital, is a prime example of supply and demand. Washington DC office vacancy rates for office spaces are at 12.1%, and the asking rate is at $39.37 per square foot. These rental rates are substantially more than the prime markets on the west coast, but the cost of living in those areas is substantially above the national average while Washington’s, at 102%, is barely above it. We also take care of commercial office space listings in Baltimore, Chicago, Raleigh, and any other major east coast city.

New inventory coming on the market might ease this a bit, a 10 and 12 story high building designated as office space along with a 10 story hotel/residence/conference center are on tap. This project will also include some retail. Potential tenants on the search for executive suites or other types of property may have better luck once these proposed projects are completed. Until supply increases, terms and lease agreements will be difficult to negotiate to the tenants favor prior to move in. Washington does not have any tall skyscrapers, and is not likely to have any in the near future due to building height restrictions. If you need help renting an executive suite or finding a Washington DC office let us know. We have a large library of office space articles online that we update every week.

DC Development

The catalyst for the ordinance was not, as many believe, the desire to keep the United States Capital as the tallest point in the city. Instead, it was the construction in 1894 of the Cairo Apartment Building (which was added to the National Register in 1994). Residents objected strenuously, and demanded that laws be passed to limit the height of buildings. They cited the founding fathers’ plan to keep the city bright and accessible, and Congress responded. Thus, the Washington Monument is the tallest structure in town, and despite the fears of some that businesses and residents are moving across the Potomac River to Virginia where they are still close to downtown but can find accommodations not subject to the height laws. (The Washington Monument, at 555 feet, was, at the time it was completed, the tallest man made structure in the world, and was not surpassed until the construction of the Eiffel Tower in 1899.)

Washington DC is host to more than 170 foreign embassies, many of them clustered in an area nicknamed Embassy Row. Washington, D.C. is also home to six of the ten structures voted as “favorites” by the American Institute of Architects. They are the Lincoln Memorial, the Jefferson Memorial, the White House, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, the Capitol, and the Washington National Cathedral, all of which draw a large number of visitors each year.

DC Economy / Jobs:

Other points of interest include the Smithsonian Institution (which houses a number of different museums, including the perennial favorite Museum of Natural History), the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the National Archives (where the Declaration of Independence is on display), the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, the National Zoo, and the National Geographic Society Museum.


The unemployment rate is currently 6.2%, due in part to the diversity of the economic base. The Federal Government represents around one-fourth of the jobs, with the rest being comprised of occupations such as lawyers, lobbyists, and contractors, as well as education (Georgetown University is a significant employer in the area). For many years, Washington, D.C. has had a reputation of a high crime city. However, the current crime rate of 60 per 1,000 residents does not support this.