Within the next week, David Marino will list nearly 300,000 square feet of sublease office space in Sorrento Mesa that current tenants no longer need.
For Marino, a principal at the Hughes Marino commercial real estate brokerage firm that specializes in representing tenants, these subleases are an early wave of what he expects to be a tsunami of unwanted office space flooding the market in coming months in the wake of COVID-19 shutdowns.
Social distancing, plunging revenue and layoffs already have wreaked havoc on certain commercial real estate sectors, such as hotels, malls, movie theaters and non-essential retail.
Office space could be next.
“Most companies have now realized that they can work as effectively remotely, and some employees actually like it,” said Marino. “Office tenants contemplating their future requirements are going to be leasing less space than they have now.”
That could create ballooning supply starting this summer — a surplus that might make the Tech Wreck of 2000 and the Great Recession of 2008-09 “look like a rounding error,” said Marino.