Financial West Submarket Still Waiting, Waiting, Waiting for Market Boost
An improved transportation hub at South Ferry and the overhaul of Battery Park have yet to translate into gains for the Financial West office market.
The area west of Broadway and South Street and south of Albany and Liberty Streets had the lowest average rent and highest vacancy rate among downtown submarkets in the third quarter, according to Cushman & Wakefield.
Capital improvements in the area have included a $530 million Metropolitan Transportation Authority project that linked the South Ferry and Whitehall Street subway stations. The station has been open since 2009, as work continues on transportation hubs at Fulton Street and the World Trade Center.
Improvements at Battery Park have been boosted by $118 million of fund-raising by the Battery Park Conservancy, which was formed in 1994. The work continues with the construction of a bike path linking the Hudson River Bikeway and the East River Esplanade and the projected opening next year of SeaGlass. The nautical-themed carousel is part of a plan to develop a ferry link to the New York Aquarium at Coney Island. Carousel riders will sit “within iridescent fish that glide through the sights and sounds of a 360-degree aquatic adventure,” according to the Conservancy’s website.
Such investments are “very positive” for the neighborhood, as will be the reconstruction of the World Trade Center immediately to the north, said William Rudin, chief executive officer of Rudin Management Co. and chairman of the board of the Battery Conservancy.
Financial West is the smallest downtown submarket, with 15 buildings that add up to less than 6 million square feet of space. The overall vacancy rate is 15.4 percent, compared with a 9.3 percent rate for all of Downtown. Rents averaged $33.11 a foot, versus $40.31 for all of Downtown.
Update: An earlier version of this story incorrectly described William Rudin as president of Rudin Management Co. rather than chief executive officer. It also incorrectly characterized his feelings about the reconstruction of the World Trade Center, which he views as wholly positive. The Commercial Observer regrets the error.