Rockville, MD – Associations and nonprofits are taking advantage of the sluggish local commercial officer sector, evidenced by two deals recently completed by Scheer Partners.

Scheer Partners, a leading provider of commercial real estate services in the greater Washington and Baltimore metropolitan areas, announced today that it has secured a new location for one association and additional space for a second organization.

The United Spinal Association moved its office from Silver Spring to D.C., while the Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD) expanded its Silver Spring site by more than 40 percent to accommodate additional staff members.

These and other trade groups are snatching up space amid favorable market conditions. The vacancy rate for office space in D.C., for example, climbed to 10.3 percent in the third quarter, up from 7.8 percent a year ago, while in Suburban Maryland the vacancy rate increased to 14.9 percent from 12.8 percent.

In addition, the average asking rents in the District fell 1.6 percent in the third quarter from the prior year. The drop in Suburban Maryland was even more profound, with rents declining 5.2 percent.

“Associations, nonprofits and other businesses have a golden opportunity to execute new leases at lower rental rates, as well as improve the location and quality of their offices,” says Ben Heller, a commercial leasing broker with Scheer Partners who represented both United Spinal and AUCD in their real estate transactions.

United Spinal relocated from 8605 Cameron St. to a 1,000-square-foot space at 1660 L St. NW, a 139,000- square-foot building owned by the Korea International Trade Association. The new Washington office is primarily focused on public policy and veterans’ advocacy.

Based in Jackson Heights, N.Y., United Spinal has additional locations in Buffalo, N.Y., Milford, N.H., New York City, and Philadelphia. The national organization is focused on improving the quality of life for Americans living with spinal cord injuries and disorders, and for disabled veterans and their families.

Heller says that United Spinal looked in both the District and Silver Spring for a new office. The location at 1660 L St. worked well, he says, because it is Metro accessible, the space was already built out, and several United Spinal partners, such as United Cerebral Palsy, are in the same building or nearby.

AUCD, whose mission is to advance policy and practice for people with developmental and other disabilities, their families and their communities, took an extra 1,813 square feet of space in a two-year, nine-month sublease at 1010 Wayne Ave., where it already occupies 4,403 square feet.

Hines owns the 196,000-square-foot building, known as Station Square. AUCD is subleasing the additional space from On Assignment, a staffing firm. “We went through this process the right way, keeping the current landlord as an option while also taking a look at other buildings in the vicinity,” Heller says.