The rise of COVID-19 pandemic has done little to dissuade Loudoun County’s real estate firms from leveraging their high-priced leasings on renters in Leesburg, Middleburg, Ashburn and greater Loudoun.

Loudoun County is the richest county in the United States. With this designation, competition is fierce among businesses for prime real estate. However, even joining the competition has extreme barriers.

Viewing LoopNet and calculating the current December 2020 average cost per square foot for Leesburg is $22 per square foot, Middleburg is $30 and more urbanized Ashburn is around $30 as well. This can be compared to a national average commercial rent of $16 to $20 per square foot.

Additionally, compared to Virginia’s Yearly Median Gross Rent of $15,048, Loudoun’s Yearly Median Gross Rent of $22,512 is 50 percent greater than Virginia’s median rental price.

It is fated in this pandemic that in such a rich economy such as Loudoun’s that small businesses will feel significant pressure by real estate firms expecting timely returns on dues.

Take, for instance, the frequented Market Station in Leesburg on Harrison St. A 750-square-foot commercial lease has just opened mid-pandemic for $44 per square foot/year. That is $33,000 a year for a space no bigger than two living rooms.

In sum, if Loudoun’s real estate firms do not reassess their lease price points to better cater to small business and startups who do not have such liquidity as big business, Loudoun residents will lose opportunities to attract new and niche business that will lend character and diversify the property portfolio of Leesburg, Middleburg, Ashburn, and the greater Loudoun area to compete with our neighboring counties.

Rylan Dawson

Aldie

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