Office Rents are Through the Roof for Downtown Manhattan

If you were paying attention to office leasing activity and increased rents last year, you might say there’s no finer place than Downtown—even though it’s still a bargain compared to Midtown.

Total average rent for Class A office space in Lower Manhattan last year hit $51.65 per square foot, according to new market research by Savills Studley provided exclusively to Commercial Observer. It marks the first time since the recession that the area had rents above $50 per square foot. And rents are expected to climb as the available space gets tighter and leasing activity will slow down as a result. Read More

Sammons Says

Midtown Rent Round-Up

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

Stat of the Week

March Midtown Madness


In the spirit of the N.C.A.A. basketball tournament, we created the first ever Midtown Madness Elite Eight bracket. The nine Midtown submarkets are split into East and West regions, with the seeding based on the submarkets’ total size. Unfortunately, the West region has five submarkets, and since Penn Plaza/Hudson Yards is the smallest, it did Read More

Sammons Says

The Manhattan Office Market: Absorbing It All

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

Stat of the Week

Available Sublease Space Declines


Available sublease space continues to decline and only accounts for 17.5 percent of overall Manhattan available space. At 8.2 million square feet, the available sublease supply has dwindled from 12 months ago when there were more than 10.5 million square feet on the market. This marks the lowest percentage of available space being offered on Read More


Tending the Garden: An Annotated Look at the New MSG


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.

Read More

Stat of the Week

What New York Jets Quarterback Geno Smith Has In Common With Midtown Rents


Life is full of ups and downs. Just ask the New York Jets rookie quarterback Geno Smith, who through the first seven games of his young NFL career has played a great game followed by a less-than-stellar performance. This made me think of the Midtown Class A average asking rent, which started 2013 at $78.01 per square foot but has been up and down throughout the year. Midtown Class A average asking rents are actually down from January by $0.80 per square foot to $77.21. But why is this?

Read More

Stat of the Week

Midtown Availability Plunges in Third Quarter


With three quarters in the books and the Manhattan office market strong, the availability rate dropped 20 basis points in the third quarter to 11.2 percent—the lowest since 2008. The overall average asking rent increased $1.41 per square foot to $63.55—the highest since 2008. But how did the three major markets perform in the third quarter?

Read More

Sammons Says

We Need to Clear the Air About Midtown

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

And the Awards Go To…


Are you ready for some football?

The National Football League kicks off its 2013 season this Thursday as the defending Superbowl Champion Baltimore Ravens take on the Peyton Manning-led Denver Broncos. In the spirit of the start of a new NFL season, I figured I would hand out some football-themed awards for the Manhattan commercial real estate market through the first eight months of the year. Read More


Midtown Leasing Remains Below 10-Year Average

CO 4-2 Postings Page 18

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. Read More

Stat of the Week

Midtown Average Asking Rents Experience Largest Dip Since 2010


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. Read More

the lead indicator

Girding for Growth in Midtown

chandan silo for web

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. Read More