Downtown, No Finer Place for Sure
Richard Persichetti March 18, 2014, 7 a.m.
While searching for old Atari games in the basement this past weekend, I came across my mom’s old 45 records. For obvious reasons, one that jumped out at me through the dusty pile was Petula Clark’s “Downtown.” It debuted in 1964 at number 87 on the Billboard Top 100 chart with the lyrics we all remember:
Downtown, things will be great when you’re
Downtown, no finer place for sure
Downtown, every thing’s waiting for you
Downtown essentially had its own marketing campaign that came with a super catchy tune that I can’t stop humming. However, along the way, these statements that should not have been forgotten were lost. At least they were through June 2013 when the availability rate Downtown peaked at 14.6 percent.
But since then, things have been great Downtown as the overall availability rate plunged 190 basis points to 12.7 percent. The Class B market has fared even better, with a 260-basis-point-plummet to 9.7 percent. Downtown is also the only market that offers Class B space with a sub-$40-per-square-foot-asking rent. In fact, all 14 submarkets in Midtown and Midtown South average north of $50 per square foot.
Since June 2013, there is no finer place as the state-of-the-art new office development at the World Trade Center starts to take shape with the opening of 4 World Trade late in 2013, and the soon-to-open 1 World Trade is set for this year. Also, 550,000 square feet of retail is slated to open in 2015, to the tune of 150 global brands. Everything’s waiting for you Downtown, as the 130 tenants that have migrated into lower Manhattan over the past 26 months can attest.
So, despite the lowest rents in Manhattan and the highest availability, the shift in demand makes me know that you’re gonna be all right now, Downtown.