Lower Manhattan is ‘Back in Business,’ Industry Data Shows


Lower Manhattan is “back in business,” according to a report from the Downtown Alliance that charts the unprecedented response to the devastation that Hurricane Sandy wreaked just over four months ago.

The data shows that 99 percent of office and residential space, 96 percent of hotel inventory and 90 percent of retail stores are online; while the group said leasing was unfazed.

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“Lower Manhattan’s recovery from Sandy has been vigorous,” said Downtown Alliance President Elizabeth Berger, in a statement.  “The Downtown Alliance’s research shows dramatic improvement across of all of Lower Manhattan’s major markets.”

Lower_Manhattan_from_HelicopterNo existing tenants cancelled leases after the storm, and ten tenants based outside of Lower Manhattan moved in, while “nearly all pending transactions before Hurricane Sandy continued in the weeks following the storm,” the group said in a statement issued prior to the roll-out of the official report next week.

“Leasing activity has gone undeterred since the storm hit,” Ms. Berger said.

The statement called on industry-wide data to chart the progress made:  year-over-year leasing jumped 16 percent to 1.23 million square feet of office space in the fourth quarter, according to CBRE.

Data from Jones Lang LaSalle showed that 99 percent of office building square footage was open 16 weeks after Sandy; up from 96 percent after nine weeks; 89 percent after seven; and 80 percent after three.

Downtown Alliance data showed 5,950 units (20 percent) of the district’s residential inventory was inaccessible following the storm, but by year end, 4,914 of those were back online.

One week after the storm, 1,473 hotel rooms (36 percent of Lower Manhattan’s inventory), were closed.  Today, 96 percent is open.

And, 30 percent of the district’s 1,082 shops, restaurants and storefront services were closed for more than a week after the storm, with 111 retailers along the Seaport alone closed for a week or more.  By the end of December, a total 87 percent of retailers were open south of Chambers Street; today the number is 90 percent.