In honor of this week’s Power 100 rankings of real estate professionals, I figured I would create the first annual Power 5 rankings of the top submarkets by year-to-date leasing activity. To make things even across all 17 submarkets, they are based on leases signed and renewed as a percentage of the submarket’s total inventory. So without further ado, here are the Power 5.
5. Flatiron/Union Square – 2.9 percent of its inventory was leased or renewed during the first four months of 2013, led by AppNexus’s 222,000-square-foot renewal and expansion at 28-40 West 23rd Street. Shockingly, this is the only Midtown South submarket represented in the Power 5.
4. Grand Central – 3.2 percent of its inventory was leased or renewed through April. This is so despite its current availability rate of 15.3 percent, as 750,000 square feet of renewals between Simpson Thacher and EisnerAmper skews its number. Then again, aren’t all polls skewed in some way?
3. City Hall/Insurance – With 4.6 percent of its inventory leased or renewed, City Hall comes in as the biggest surprise in this year’s Power 5. Being the smallest submarket in the poll does help, but the uptick in demand for Downtown space also has a hand in this ranking. If this were the Power 7, all three Downtown submarkets would be accounted for, as the World Trade Center and Financial submarkets ranked sixth and seventh.
2. Penn Plaza/Hudson Yards – The soon-to-be hottest submarket on the planet witnessed the leasing of 5.5 percent of its inventory this year, and that does not include the leasing activity in buildings under construction. The Macy’s renewal at 11 Penn Plaza for 646,000 square feet assisted in getting this submarket into the top two.
1. Fifth/Madison – Is top-tier space making its comeback? A total of 6.3 percent of the inventory was leased or renewed through April. The Sony renewal of 798,000 square feet at 550 Madison and Jefferies Group’s 457,000-square-foot renewal at 520 Madison Avenue fueled this ranking, but it also ranked third in total leases signed, with 34.
Richard Persichetti is the vice president of research, marketing and consulting at Cassidy Turley, with 14 years of NYC research experience.