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Real Estate Bisnow
January 14, 2012 

7 Reasons Downtown
Is So Compelling


Here are seven reasons why Swig Equities prez Kent Swig is investing again in FiDi, giving residential and commercial buildings some TLC.

Swig Equities prez Kent Swig

1) Transportation: Since his initial investments from 1998 to 2005, significant projects have been completed or will open soon: the Staten Island Ferry and Battery Park Ferry terminals, the WTC PATH hub, and the Fulton Center transit hub. “All have radically changed our transportation system,” he says.
2) Retail Awakening: Stores previously found only on Madison Avenue have made their way to FiDi, including Hermès, Tiffany, Maison du Chocolat, Canali, and Tumi. More are on the way.

3) Tourism: Visitors to Broad and Wall streets and the 9/11 Memorial now make the second-largest tourist population behind Times Square.

110 William St

4) Office Mecca: Downtown is the fourth-largest office market in the US behind Midtown, Chicago, and DC and has a fast-growing tenant base among 4,000 to 12k SF users. Kent wants to invest in multi-tenanted buildings like those he already owns in FiDi (including 110 William St, above).

5) Population Boom: Residents have exploded from 10,000 to more than 60,000 over the past decade. The workers and residents boast some of the highest income per capita in the US.
6) Infrastructure Improvements: Brand-new underground water pipes and electrical and telecom conduits have been installed from Chambers Street south, and another $16B in improvements have been done or are planned.

7) Development: More schools are being built in FiDi than anywhere in Manhattan, and since 9/11, 17 parks have been created or renovated. There's also the much-anticipated Water Street redevelopment taking place.

Come hear more details at Bisnow’s Future of Downtown event Wednesday, where Kent and the following panelists will speak. (Register here.)

The Albanese Organization prez Christopher Albanese

The reasons above are attracting not only investors but also residents. The Albanese Organization prez Christopher Albanese says his firm’s rental and condo buildings—which include The Visionaire at 70 Little West St, The Verdesian at 211 North End Ave, and The Solaire at 20 River Terrace—have strong occupancy rates not impacted by Hurricane Sandy and the highest rents and sales he’s seen since the '07 peak. The 247-unit Visionaire is now sold out.

Herrick partner and zoning attorney Mitch Korbey

Downtown has seen a dramatic change from the mid-'90s, when Herrick partner and zoning attorney Mitch Korbey lived in Battery Park City. “There is new life, new vitality, and new connections to be made,” he says. The WTC development, Fulton Center, and new retail will connect the river with Downtown, linking the Battery with Broadway and the canyons of Wall Street with new entertainment, open spaces and retail.

Brookfield VP David Cheikin

Also Downtown, Brookfield Office Properties is renaming the World Financial Center to Brookfield Place this fall. “People need a handle to believe a change will become a reality,” says Brookfield VP David Cheikin. Big changes there: the upcoming West Street pavilion entrance, the underground connector to the WTC and Fulton Street transit hubs, and the revamping of the retail and waterfront areas. Following Transatlantic Reinsurance Co's 134k SF deal at One Liberty Plaza, Brookfield is trading paper with more large office tenants, retail stores, and restaurants, soon to be announced.

FTI Consulting managing director Glenn Brill

But there’s an unanswered question looming, says FTI Consulting managing director Glenn Brill: Did the unprecedented Hurricane Sandy trigger a crisis of confidence in Lower Manhattan? The storm, which impacted millions of square feet, may have “thrown a monkey wrench” into Downtown’s second coming. “What types of assurances can be provided to investors, residents, and tenants that the future is still bright?” Find out at Bisnow's Future of Downtown this Wednesday. Last chance to sign up!

Your Secret New Bisnow Career
Bisnow wants to let you in on a happy little secret: We’re hiring. But we can't tell you the specifics until we meet in person. It's kind of a big deal. Think high-level sales but on a higher level than you just thought. Requirements: love to travel, work hard, play hard, hustle, and have fun. Non-negotiable: Be amazingly proactive and able to easily chat up super-intelligent people. We’re seeking the embodiment of charisma and attitude. (The right attitude, that is. If you’re the right candidate, you’ll understand.) Clock-watchers and complainers need not apply. Zest for life a major plus. People persons are encouraged. Send your resume to careers@bisnow.com.

Upcoming Bisnow Events!
Wednesday, Jan. 16, 7am-10am. Bisnow's Future of Downtown Manhattan. With new sectors calling downtown home, new apartment towers, and expansive retail at World Financial Center and the WTC underway, the future looks bright. Register here.

Don’t park your frog on the wrong side of a NYC street—it might get toad. Send story ideas to amanda.metcalf@bisnow.com and amanda@bisnow.com.

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