There has certainly been a lot of opining about the tightening of the Midtown South submarket and how asking rents there have been climbing sharply. At the same time, there have been questions regarding how Midtown average asking rents have managed to hold their own despite the apparent push by tenants to relocate farther south. Read More
Although it’s still early in the year, net absorption for the Manhattan office market is looking healthy. Breaking the latest figures down by submarket and district level reveals a few cracks, but nothing terribly alarming and, most importantly, nothing unexpected.
Through February, net absorption for all classes of Manhattan office product totaled positive 2.45 million Read More
Last week, Madison Square Garden unveiled the final stage of its massive $1 billion renovation project to the media and special guests. The following night, the arena reopened to fans for the Knicks final preseason game.
The three-year process has yielded a number of unique new features for the iconic venue, which was beginning to show its age, a ripe 45 years.
Below are some key facts and figures about the newly renovated arena and what fans have to look forward to this season.
I wonder how many people can say they both live and work on 42nd Street in Manhattan.
Well, there is at least one: me.
Crazy, perhaps? Certainly not the work part—I mean, how convenient to work in an office that looks out over Grand Central Terminal, surrounded by shops, restaurants, a CitiBike rack and the Read More
There has been a lot of innuendo about the lack of spark in prime Midtown submarkets of late.
Headlines such as “Midtown South Remains Hot” and “Downtown Lands Another Tenant” have been quite prevalent. You may have even seen “Penn Station: the Next Hot Submarket”—oh, wait, that was mine a few weeks ago.
In any Read More
Stat of the Week
Lately overshadowed by neighboring Midtown South, the Midtown market is feeling the pressure. Year-to-date leasing remains below the 10-year average, and vacancy rates have been stagnant for the past two years.
Jonathan Mazur, director of research at Cushman & Wakefield, spoke with The Commercial Observer last week to shed light on several of the more significant numbers from the firm’s February Midtown office market report, ahead of the brokerage firm’s release of its quarterly statistics, set for later this week.
the lead indicator
In March, Manhattan Class A direct average asking rents dropped $0.19 per square foot. It’s only a mere $0.19, but the bulk of the decline came due to an $0.85-per-square-foot drop in Midtown Class A average asking rents.
The decrease was the largest since 2010 for Midtown Class A space, and represented the second consecutive month of declines. The $0.98-per-square-foot decline over the past two months is indicative of the shift in demand for space throughout Manhattan. At 22,036,093 square feet, available Class A Midtown space surpassed 22 million square feet for the first time since—you guessed it—2010.
There are good reasons to envisage a refresh of Midtown Manhattan’s office inventory.
A prolonged lull in construction has left us with an abundance of heirlooms but few modish buildings. As a global center of finance, Midtown East’s built environment compares especially poorly with its peer markets. Average rents are much higher in London, but the premium over Midtown is less pronounced when comparing our small basket of best apples with theirs. Rezoning with an eye to new construction has its winners and losers. As new properties come online over the next decade, incumbents saddled with older buildings may find their highest and best use takes them outside the office sector altogether.
The New York City commercial real estate investment sales market is on fire. Demand is outpacing supply by a wide margin, and historically low interest rates have provided the rocket fuel for a seller’s market unlike anything we have seen since 2006-2007.
Almost all product types in all neighborhoods have seen average prices per square foot recently exceed the peaks achieved during the last cycle.
The one notable exception is Midtown office buildings, a fact that sends a very profound message. I have been writing since late 2007, and in that time there has never been a period in which the relationships between politics, economics and real estate have been more closely tied. Poor economic policy and policy overreaction to the great recession have created a broader economy that is simply limping along. Coming out of a recession as deep as the one we recently suffered should result in gross domestic product growth of up to 6 percent annually. We have been at less than one-third of that.
A Cushman & Wakefield report released today finds that there was less direct available office space in Manhattan in the first quarter than at any point since April of 2009.
So far this year, Class A, B and C office leasing activity totals 5,633,974 square feet, a 2.3 percent decline from the same period last year. The total vacancy rate across 1,401 buildings held steady at 9.1 percent. The average rental rate edge up 1.2 percent, to $59.69 per square foot.
Stat of the Week
Midtown Manhattan, the biggest and most expensive U.S. office market, is still adapting to New York’s post-financial-crisis economy, as technology and new media companies flood into the more affordable areas and banks remain wary of expanding in higher-priced real estate.
With construction getting under way on millions of square feet of planned Class A offices on the West Side, much of the leasing action for the year to date has centered on neighborhoods like Murray Hill, the Penn Station area and the Garment District, which are attracting companies that have been priced—or crowded—out of the technology hub in Midtown South, brokers said. Financial companies, traditionally the biggest occupiers of Midtown real estate, remained conservative, pursuing greater efficiency in their use of real estate rather than growth.
“The days of bigger is better are gone,” said Eric Thomas, senior vice president of Cresa, a specialist in tenant representation. “Capital preservation is still key. That’s why renewals still reign in many cases.”
Stat of the Week
The current difference between average Class B Midtown and Midtown South asking rents is $6.45 per square foot. If we polled brokers on which market’s asking rent was higher, nine out of 10 would probably choose Midtown.
And they would be wrong.
Talk about a nice round number—50!
Well, maybe not so nice, as 50 is the total number of Midtown Manhattan buildings with at least 100,000 square feet of (mostly) contiguous availability. (I say “mostly” because, in some cases, there are two large chunks within a building that can be put together to equal more than 100,000 square feet.)
Stat of the Week
If one of the dominant stories in Midtown South this year is the flood of tech and media startups, then the lack of forward movement by large corporate tenants may be the story in Midtown.
Indeed, nary a single lease in excess of 250,000 square feet has closed this year, a conspicuous change from a year ago, when five such deals were inked, including a 1.6-million-square-foot whopper by TV network Viacom at 1515 Broadway.
Despite the dearth of big transactions, however, a wave of smaller ones kept Midtown active. After the jump, Ken McCarthy, senior economist at Cushman & Wakefield, reviews third-quarter leasing activity in Midtown and explains why the market and its 11 submarkets have performed the way they have.
The Midtown Class A average asking rent, defying a rather weak leasing market, jumped 2.4 percent in the third quarter to close at $76.75 per square foot and is now at its highest since attaining $80.70 per square foot in January 2009.
It has risen in each of the three quarters thus far in 2012 and is up 8.3 percent year-to-date. Furthermore, each of the five Midtown submarkets has seen a rise this year (some quite substantially).