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By Elwin Green, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News
Jan. 30--At first glance, office space in the Pittsburgh market seems to violate the law of supply and demand, which says that the greater the supply of something relative to demand, the lower its price should be.
Take Cranberry, the great sprawling mess of development from the Parkway North/I-79 interchange northward. Cranberry has the highest vacancy rate in the Pittsburgh market, a mind-boggling 52 percent, suggesting there's more office space there than anyone could want anytime soon. Yet the area's average rent was $21.85 per square foot at the end of 2004, fourth-highest in the region, according to commercial real estate data firm CoStar Group Inc.
Peter Sukernek, vice president and general manager at Howard Hanna Commercial Real Estate Services, said that's because the numbers often don't tell the full story. Much of the space that …