As the “unofficial” start to the summer season approaches, what better way to celebrate Memorial Day weekend than by heading outdoors for some fun in the sun? Since it’s not quite warm enough to head to the beach, let’s stroll through some of Manhattan’s most famous parks and enjoy the cool breeze and greenery. Everyone knows office buildings with views of the 843-acre Central Park command a premium compared to the rest of the office leasing market. Analyzing the office buildings around three other parks within Midtown and Midtown South uncover similar results, as the average asking rent of $92.16 per square foot for buildings surrounding Union Square, Madison Square and Bryant Park are $20.16 per square foot higher than the Manhattan average.
The first park on the list is Union Square Park, which is bordered by 10 office buildings totaling more than 978,000 square feet. Currently there is more than 79,000 square feet of vacant office space in this park set, for a vacancy rate of 8.1 percent. Despite a vacancy rate higher than Midtown South’s 6.1 percent vacancy, at $74.94 per square foot, asking rents in these buildings are $5.01 higher than the Midtown South average.
The second park examined is Madison Square Park, which is surrounded by 12 buildings totaling more than 6.9 million square feet. This park set is extremely tight with only 169,115 square feet of vacant space—a 2.4 percent vacancy rate—370 basis points lower than Midtown South. Asking rents in these buildings are averaging $77.86 per square foot, a $7.93 premium over the Midtown South average of $69.93 per square foot.
The last park analyzed, Bryant Park, resides within Midtown, and this park set contains 20 buildings totaling more than 9.6 million square feet. Despite having the highest vacancy of the three park sets, at 9.3 percent it is still 10 basis points lower than Midtown’s 9.4 percent vacancy. In the Bryant Park set, asking rents are $101.91 per square foot and command a $23.12 premium over the $78.79 per square foot Midtown average.
So, as you stroll through Manhattan’s parks this season, keep in mind that even though money doesn’t grow on trees, you need quite a bit to look at them from your office window.