Cover Story

Midtown South: Hitting the Ceiling

51 Astor Place

“I’ll be honest with you,” Gregg Weisser said. “It caught me by surprise.”

Mr. Weisser, the senior vice president and director of commercial real estate at the Moinian Group, was discussing the dramatic rise of Midtown South as a real estate, tech, media and fashion powerhouse. But he likens the fast-paced big-city success story to a leisurely drive upstate.  Read More

3Q2013

Sunshine by the Square Foot

Aerial Photographs of New York City - Archive Images

While it did not rival what some recalled as a “blistering” second quarter, the Manhattan commercial real estate office market continued to gain momentum in the third quarter, and most real estate observers took the growth as a sign of more to come.

Positive absorption and rising rents throughout Manhattan are on track to rain in a strong end to the year, as Midtown remained steady, Midtown South shined, and Downtown turned heads.

Read More

2Q13

The Return of the Mega Deal

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Dominated last year by smaller middle-market transactions, New York’s investment sales market has welcomed the return of large institutional transactions in 2013, while leasing activity in the first half of the year also experienced positive year-over-year growth.

With 10 transactions in excess of $400 million under contract through the second quarter, 2013 is set to be the single most active year for large deals since the Great Recession began in early 2008, according to midyear statistics from Cushman & Wakefield. Read More

opinion

New Columnists, More Opinions, Now!

If you hadn’t already noticed, The Commercial Observer late last night added seven new columnists to its already formidable roster of real estate thought leaders.

Indeed, along with veteran prognosticators Robert Knakal, Sam Chandan, Richard Persichetti and Robert Sammons (back from a short hiatus), we’re now happy to welcome David Greene, Christopher Havens, Barry LePatner, Kenneth McCarthy, J.D. Parker, Joshua Siegelman and Scott Spector. Find web-exclusive columns along the right rail of our website every week. Read More

Stat of the Week

Nearly Half of 1Q13 Transactions Were Renewals

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Leasing activity in the first quarter of 2013 totaled 7.15 million square feet, a 30 percent increase from each of the last two quarters of 2012. However, peeling back the layers reveals that 46 percent of these lease transactions were renewals. Yes you read that correctly—almost half of the square footage leased in the first quarter was renewals. Seven out of the top 10 transactions were large tenants opting to remain in place; this is a big contributor to the trend. Read More

Stat of the Week

Chelsea and Meatpacking District Availability Rate Lowest in NYC

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The Midtown South availability rate was stagnant in the first quarter of 2013 at 9 percent, but it still remains the lowest of the three Manhattan markets.

Of the five submarkets in Midtown South, three have experienced declines in availability this year. Meanwhile both the Flatiron/Union Square and Hudson Square/Tribeca submarkets had four large blocks of space 50,000 square feet or greater added to the market, which pushed availability higher in these areas. Read More

Stat of the Week

Midtown Average Asking Rents Experience Largest Dip Since 2010

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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

Stat of the Week

Which 3 Submarkets Have Surpassed 2007 Asking Rents?

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Flash back to the year 2007: Manhattan real estate was red-hot, and asking rental rates were at all-time highs across all 19 submarkets tracked by Cassidy Turley.

But then the financial world collapsed, and real estate quickly followed. Instead of a long, drawn-out down cycle, the market showed resilience and began to bounce back in 2010. Since that time, though, only three out of the 19 submarkets’ current overall average asking rents have surpassed those historical highs from 2007, with nine of the submarkets still 10 to 25 percent off those numbers. Read More

Postings

The B Team: The Biggest Occupancy Shifts in Class B and Class A Buildings

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For the first time in recent history, the availability rate across Manhattan’s stock of Class B buildings is lower than that of their Class A counterparts, suggesting a flight to value, propelled in part by the latest wave of technology startups and media companies looking for affordable space. Indeed, at 10.6 percent, the current availability rate for Class B space is 170 basis points less than the Class A rate of 12.3 percent, according to Richard Persichetti of Cassidy Turley.

With Cassidy Turley’s help, The Commercial Observer decided to put a spotlight on some of the most dramatic occupancy shifts across Manhattan over the last three years. Read More

Stat of the Week

Number of Contiguous Blocks of 100,000 Square Feet Rises

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There are currently 89* contiguous blocks of 100,000 square feet and greater on the market.

As with most things in the world today, there is a caveat—and this is where that asterisk comes into play. This total number of 89 includes eight available blocks of space in buildings that are under construction. Compare that with 2010, when 78* such spaces existed (including five blocks under construction), and it is clear that today large blocks continue to be an impediment on market recovery. Read More