Sammons Says

Small but Feisty: Tiny Submarkets With Big Heart

Typically, I write about big-picture items, such as the overall New York City economy or the major Manhattan submarkets. I have managed to work in a few tidbits on areas such as Dumbo, but that has been the exception rather than the rule.

This week, though, I’ve decided to focus on Newmark Grubb Knight Frank’s two smallest submarkets in Manhattan (as measured by inventory): the Village and Lower Sixth Avenue.

Why focus on two submarkets, you ask? Primarily because they have a lot in common. For example, both are located in Midtown South and in fact adjoin one another, and they are almost equal in size (square footage-wise). Plus, I thought it might be fun to pit one against the other, because, this being Manhattan, even these “cozy” neighborhoods have a lot going on!

First, the basics:

 

VILLAGE

LOWER SIXTH AVENUE

Total Square Feet

3.6 million

3.7 million

Number of Buildings

20

24

Current Availability

5.3 %

6.2 %

Availability 1 Year Ago

10.1 %

10.3 %

Current Asking Rent

$62.35/sf

$55.00/sf

Asking Rent 1 Year Ago

$55.33/sf

$55.26/sf

Largest Building

770 Broadway—1.1 million sq. ft.

620 Ave of the Americas—700,000 sq. ft.

Class A Buildings

3

1

The tech/new media sector has been very active throughout Midtown South recently, and these areas are no exception, pushing the availability rate lower in both submarkets. In the Village, Facebook took a healthy chunk of space at 770 Broadway, while for Lower Sixth Avenue it was Mediaocean signing a large transaction at 620 Avenue of the Americas.

These NGKF submarkets, however, aren’t identical twins. First, the Village covers a lot of territory, stretching from river to river (and almost encircling another submarket). Lower Sixth Avenue, meanwhile, is quite a compact submarket, literally running the length of Sixth Avenue (aka Avenue of the Americas) from 14th to 23rd Streets.

And finally there is this: The Village is imminently going to be the proud submarket “parent” of a healthy 400,000-square-foot shiny glass building, 51 Astor Place. The property has yet to land a tenant, but have no fear—one will arrive eventually. And it will certainly change the face of the (primarily) brick-and-mortar office stock. At least temporarily, it will add quite a bit of space, causing its current 5.3 percent availability figure to jump to 13.9 percent, which will be the highest rate among the 9 Midtown South submarkets.

Small but feisty indeed.

Follow Robert Sammons on Twitter or via RSS. rsammons@ngkf.com