A new office building is in the works in New Albany as available commercial office space remains nearly totally leased.

The city approved a final development plan last week for a two-story, 44,250-square-foot building next to the Walton Office building at 8100 Walton Parkway. The New Albany Company and Daimler Group will work together to develop the building, which will be a sister building to the 57,000-square-foot office building, which is next door and already fully leased.

The city’s office space stands at 98 percent occupancy, said Jennifer Chrysler, director of community development for New Albany. New Albany-based EMH&T is listed as project engineer on this latest build.

“It seems like the Class A space just doesn’t stay on the market long,” Chrysler said. “It’s great to have full occupancy, but not great when you can’t respond to new leads.”

The buildings are a part of the Water’s Edge East development and are the continuation of a multi-tenant speculative commercial development for New Albany. They seek tenants looking for at least 5,000 square feet of space.

The developers expect to start construction in the next few weeks for a projected completion within nine months, Chrysler said.

New Albany has benefitted from a number of big office moves recently, including insurer Aetna Inc., which just announced a plan to open a second New Albany office with 350 new jobs at the New Albany Center of Technology building, adding to its 1,080 workers who already work in the city.

PharmaForce Inc. recently announced plans to add new employees at its New Albany office, and the city also just landed the headquarters of developer Wallick Communities.

Other office moves across town also have been quickly backfilled, Chrysler said.

Meantime, Market and Main, another Daimler and New Albany Co. joint venture, has been filling out retail spaces and the apartments there should be finished by summer.

And the city just opened its Innovation Campus Way road, opening up 170 acres of land for development. About 35 acres of land zoned for offices with freeway visibility sits near the Walton development, too, Chrysler said.

“The way the market is going, I don’t think it will be too terribly long before we see more development,” Chrysler said.

By Tristan Navera
From Columbus Business First