Why Downtown is the “New” New York - Commercial Observer

By: David Greene | Commercial Observer

Is it just us, or does it seem there was no post-holiday hangover this year? People got right back to work this month, and so did we. MHP Real Estate Services, with Clarion Partners, closed on the $470M purchase of 180 Maiden Lane, a 1,200,000 square foot Class A office tower in downtown Manhattan.

What makes this glass tower so special, aside from the spectacular 270 degree views—which take in the East River, the Brooklyn Bridge and stretch north to the Plaza district—is how there is 800,000 square feet that can be leased by MHP and Cushman & Wakefield. And we believe the market is coming to us.

Everyone who attended the Commercial Observer Downtown panel in November heard Andrew Essex of marketing firm Droga5 explain perfectly, from a tenant’s point of view, why the company was willing to consider moving Downtown from NoHo, rather than look for space on Madison Avenue, the traditional Midtown locale of advertising agencies. Nowadays, companies are seeking to attract and retain top tier talent. This means leasing office space closer to where their valued employees live. (Many of whom now reside in Brooklyn, a much closer commute to Downtown.) It also means that firms are no longer tied to a specific location or submarket.

Though no official figures have yet been tallied, we saw more than 6.5 million square feet of leasing in the Downtown market in 2014. Publisher Harper Collins leased 185,000 square feet at 195 Broadway. Media Investment Management outfit Group M will occupy 516,000 square feet at 3 World Trade Center. Time Inc. leased 670,000 square feet at 225 Liberty Street. And those were just the big deals. Over the last year, hundreds of tenants leased Downtown spaces ranging between 2,000 and 25,000 square feet, creating a dynamic shift in the way tenants look at the area and perceive its value.

To learn more about why Downtown is the “new” New York, please join us at CO‘s breakfast panel on Feb. 25 at 180 Maiden Lane. See the building, check out the views and hear from the experts.

News: 01.21.2015