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Downtown's Still Got It

New York

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Downtown's Still Got It
Alliance for Downtown New York president Liz Berger
Despite vacancy woes, Downtown is buzzin'—five of the market's top deals were signed there last year, including Stroock & Stroock & Lavan's 225k SF renewal (112k SF per Stroock) and Claremont Preparatory School's 200k SF move and expansion. We met with Alliance for Downtown New York prez Liz Berger, who filled us in on its recent initiatives to attract businesses and residents. On the top of the list is making daily life better for both the district's 55k residents and the 5.8M annual visitors, focusing on sanitation, safety, and visitor services, she says, as well as launching a revamped website and an enhanced social media platform. And it just released new editions of its Shopping and Dining guides.
Alliance for Downtown New York president Liz Berger and the alliance's security officers
Liz with the Alliance's ubiquitous red-clad security officers-slash-friendly Downtown street guides on the steps of Federal Hall. Also paramount are small businesses in Lower Manhattan, which have grown by 270 since '08, Liz notes. The Alliance is researching and assisting the businesses with incentives, and she says that '09 saw a net increase in retail and restaurants, including the Michelin-starred SHO Shaun Hergatt at 40 Broad St. This past year, the non-profit opened Hive at 55, a new co-working facility that offers shared workspace for more than 30 people at 55 Broad St., which has seen a 150% increase in occupancy since January. The WTC development resolution and progress on the Fulton Street Transit Center also bode well for the district, Liz tells us.