Market Reports

Reports: Downtown Vacancy Rates Fall While WTC Rises

Downtown Vacancy

Downtown Manhattan’s vacancy rates decreased by more than three percentage points in the last year despite large amounts of space for tenants at the World Trade Center, according to new quarterly data released by JLL and other market observers.

Downtown’s overall vacancy rate dropped from 13.7 percent to 10.6 percent between the third quarter of 2013 and the third quarter of this year, while downtown Class A vacancies plummeted from 15.5 percent to 11.2 percent over the same period, according to the JLL report. The trend reflects the area’s growing appeal to tenants from the technology, advertising, media and information sector who are moving from other neighborhoods, said John Wheeler, the director of JLL’s downtown office. Read More

The Sit-Down

JLL’s Downtown Don: John Wheeler

John Wheeler. (Credit: Lea Rubin)

John Wheeler was tapped in March 2012 to run JLL’s lower Manhattan office after returning to the firm in 2009. He is a managing director at the company and has been with JLL for 14 years. He had two stints working on the principle side of the business for Gramercy Capital and Antares Real Estate Partners. Today he directs JLL’s efforts on Gramercy Capital’s 13.5-million-square-foot national portfolio. A couple of his key transactions have been a 500,000-square-foot sublease to Morgan Stanley at 1 New York Plaza and a 450,000-square-foot master lease to the City of New York at 180 Water Street. In his entire career, Mr. Wheeler, 52, has negotiated 13 million square feet of leases for clients. Last week, Commercial Observer sat down with Mr. Wheeler in his office at 140 Broadway and talked about lower Manhattan post-Superstorm Sandy, leasing prices being pushed from the bottom up and the newly distinguished submarket of the Water Street corridor. Read More

Lease Beat

Law Firm Takes Jones Day Space at 222 East 41st Street


Wood Smith Henning & Berman has signed an 11,972-square-foot sublease from Jones Day at 222 East 41st Street, Commercial Observer has learned. Asking rent for the space was $45 per square foot.

“We started off our search downtown and worked our way uptown,” said Kirill Azovtsev of Jones Lang LaSalle, who represented the tenant. “The proximity to Grand Central was a big driver.” Read More

Lease Beat

GFK Market Research Close to World Financial Move: Report

GFK Market Research is closing in on a 75,000-square-foot lease at 1 World Financial Center, Crain’s New York reported yesterday.

It is believed GFK will take one of the building’s lower floors on a 10-year lease. Asking rent is in the $40s per square foot, Crain’s reported. There is currently vacant space on the fourth and fifth floors, according to the report, both measuring approximately 75,000 square feet. Read More

Post-Tropical Storm Sandy

Nearly 80% of Lower Manhattan Office Space Back Online

One New York Plaza came back online over the weekend

The pace at which Lower Manhattan buildings are coming back online is a pleasant surprise, even for those tracking the progress day by day.

A total 19 buildings have reopened since The Commercial Observer last reported on Lower Manhattan’s progress 12 days ago.

And as of yesterday, just 25 of 183 Class A and Class B building stock remained closed in Lower Manhattan, compared with 44 on Nov. 7, according to the latest data from Jones Lang LaSalle. Read More

Post-Tropical Storm Sandy

44 of 183 Class A and Class B Buildings in Lower Manhattan Remain Closed


Thousands of people who work in Lower Manhattan have yet to return to their offices, due to the power outages and flood damage caused by Hurricane Sandy.

As of today, 44 of 183 Class A and Class B building stock remained closed in Lower Manhattan, according to the latest data from Jones Lang LaSalle.

That accounts for 32.8 percent of the total 101,175,754 square feet of inventory. Read More

The Plan

Check Out New Space on the Market at Brookfield Property’s 200 Liberty Street

200 Liberty Street.

Recently it was announced that XL Insurance, a tenant on the third floor of the World Financial Center, otherwise known as 200 Liberty Street, would vacate its space in order to expand onto the 25th floor of the building.

This shift made it possible for executives at Brookfield Office Properties to link the fourth and fifth floors with the ground floor and the terrace.

John Wheeler, a managing director at Jones Lang LaSalle, and David Cheikin, a vice president of leasing at Brookfield, reviewed available space on the third, fourth and fifth floors of the building with The Commercial Observer and explained what, exactly, potential tenants can expect in moving into the lower Manhattan property. Read More

The Lobby

Eastern Consolidated, Partner Engineering and Science, Lee & Associates and Jones Lang LaSalle

John Wheeler, Jones Lang LaSalle.

Jones Lang LaSalle has promoted John Wheeler to head the firm’s lower Manhattan office, it was announced this week.

Mr. Wheeler, who boasts nearly 30 years of commercial real estate experience, including the past 16 years with Jones Lang LaSalle, will oversee the lower Manhattan office while continuing to provide brokerage and advisory services to some of the firm’s most significant clients.

“John Wheeler was the natural choice to lead Jones Lang LaSalle’s activities in Downtown New York,” said Peter Riguardi, president of Jones Lang LaSalle’s New York region. “Lower Manhattan is one of the most important and challenging office submarkets in the tristate area, and our commitment to the area has never wavered. John is one of a very few individuals with the skill and expertise to oversee our work downtown, and to continue to expand on our track record of success there.” Read More

Lease Beat

Deutsche Bank Takes 50K in Brooklyn

4 MetroTech. (Courtesy Property Shark)

Deutsche Bank AG will be opening its first office in Downtown Brooklyn after it agreed to take 50,000 square feet at the JPMorgan Chase-owned 4 MetroTech Center, The Commercial Observer has learned. Read More