Downtown Top Five

TAMI, falling vacancy and top-floor availabilities are other Downtown issues to think about


When Saturday Night Live opened a few weeks ago paying tribute to the late music icon Tom Petty, I felt the need to do the same. In connection with the Commercial Observer’s Downtown market issue this week, here are five of his songs that correlate with the Downtown leasing market’s performance so far this year.

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5. Room at the Top. Top-floor availabilities are limited Downtown, as only 12 of the 33 Class A buildings, with 30 floors or more, have space available in at least one of the top two office floors. These 12 buildings total 317,915 square feet of available top-floor space and have an average asking rent of $73.27 per square foot.

4. Here Comes My Girl. Yes, TAMI (tech, advertising, media and information services) came Downtown in full force this year with nearly 1.1 million square feet of new leases greater than 10,000 square feet signed and is on pace to surpass 2015 and 2016 totals combined. 

3. Free Fallin’. Downtown vacancy plummeted by 140 basis points since the end of 2016 to 8.7 percent, marking the second time this year vacancy dropped to its lowest level since March of 2013. Class A and C space are driving this decline, down 190 basis points to 10.1 percent and 300 basis points to 5.3 percent, respectively.

2. Don’t Do Me Like That. Although the title of this song does not directly correspond to a market stat, it is a song about respect. And the line from the song “If you were in the public eye, givin’ someone else a try” makes me think of the public sector, which gained some respect as the top industry for new leases this year. With nearly 1.2 million square feet of new leases greater than 10,000 square feet completed through the third quarter, activity is up an astounding 222.7 percent compared with one year ago.

1. I Won’t Back Down. Downtown won’t back down to Midtown or Midtown South, as it has outperformed both markets in leasing, vacancy and asking rents. Leasing is up 62.2 percent year-over-year and has already surpassed the yearly totals for 2015 and 2016, individually, with three months left to go. It is also the lone market with increases in overall Class A and B asking rents compared with  one year ago.