Two of four buildings planned for the Arbor Lakes Business Park in Maple Grove have now been fully leased, giving developer Duke Realty confidence that the grip COVID-19 holds on the commercial real estate sector may be loosening.

Leasing agent CBRE said Tuesday that COVID and clinical testing firm Sensiva Health LLC leased the remaining 52,888 square feet of industrial space inside the office park's second building.

Building Two, with 262,820 total square feet of office space, was built without signed tenants when construction began last year.

The Sensiva lease gives the building its fifth and final tenant, and a sense of relief that the slump seen across the commercial real estate sector due to COVID-inspired "work from home" trends will not delay the office park project in Maple Grove. Sensiva joins other tenants in Building Two such as Industrial Netting, All Integrated Solutions, Mikros Engineering and Dane Technologies.

Building One, which is similar in size, was built to become the newly consolidated headquarters for Illume Candles and its 133 workers.

With the first two buildings of the 50-acre office park fully leased, construction can begin on the two additional buildings, which will bring total space to nearly 1 million square feet, CBRE officials said.

Construction could begin later this year at the site close to Hwy. 169 and Interstate 694, near the intersection of Zachary Lane and Elm Creek Boulevard near the Arbor Lakes Retail Center.

The commercial real estate sector has seen pockets badly hurt by the pandemic. According to CBRE the metro area's office-vacancy rate swelled to nearly 19.% in the fourth quarter. The Twin Cities industrial real estate has fared better. Its fourth quarter vacancy was 4.7% during the pandemic (up from about 4.2%). The Arbor Lakes Business Park is mostly considered industrial, said CBRE spokesman Casey Davison.

Dee DePass • 612-673-7725