Whoever said you can’t find a deal in Manhattan obviously hadn’t checked the Lower Manhattan inventory of office space. According to a new report from Cassidy Turley, reported in the New York Observer, office space in Manhattan has remained largely a value when compared to its neighboring competition. While this may surprise some, others aren’t so shocked, and even though we’re nine years past, the reverberations of 9/11 still ring around downtown Manhattan.
Comparisons: According to this report, the reason that commercial rents have remained so relatively low is two-fold: supply and demand. “A number of large financial firms currently have or are anticipated to downsize or vacate space in Lower Manhattan.” So there is a ready supply. Also the demand has stayed strong because “commercial submarkets in New York City and surrounding areas, including downtown Brooklyn, Long Island City, the Bronx and Upper Manhattan, do not have significant office supply, and as a result their rental rates may not be as affordable as downtown Manhattan.” Who thought since Seymour Krelborn wailed about downtown being skid row that such a phrase as “affordable downtown rentals” could ever be uttered?
On the Market Today and Beyond: According to this New York Observer article, “there are several current and potential large blocks of available space downtown that are greater than 500,000 square feet that could be added to the market through 2014.” This increase in space “may result in price reductions for smaller…office buildings over time.” Add in the inclusion of the new World Trade Center, and you’re talking about “4.7 million to 9.1 million square feet of new office space added back to the downtown market.”
Glimmer Through the Ember: What this report says is a testament to the spirit of New Yorkers and the spirit of Americans. There was a time around 9/11 that people said no one would ever come back to New York City. “It’s too dangerous,” they’d cry. Still, Manhattan and the surrounding areas persevered. The economy of New York City is on a “relatively rapid rebound in 2010, with local employers adding more than 50,000 private-sector jobs in the first half of 2010.”
What’s to Come: While no one can say for certain where these roads will lead us, all signs point to a prosperous present and an even better future. While you may think that you cannot open up a new office on Park Row in downtown Manhattan, the question that many of us who know the area may ask is, “Why not?” There’s no time like the present, and there is just this one moment. For New Yorkers who’ve lived through the horrors of the last nine years and remain to speak about it, the words “why not now” have never rung more true.
David Lebenstein, “Downtown on a Budget: Nonprofits and Others Stand to Gain from Downtown’s Inventory Changes,” Observer.com.