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Manhattan's Working on a Monster Leasing Year

New York Office

The RFPs just keep coming, which means Manhattan's massive office leasing volume (2014 is on pace to become this decade's second "once in a decade" performance) will keep on chugging next year, too, Cushman & Wakefield tristate president Ron Lo Russo tells us. (We guess the "R" doesn't stand for relaxing summer.)


Ron says 21.4M SF has already leased through August, and the remaining four months are plenty of time for 2014 to beat 2011's record 30.1M SF. Relatively new sectors like tech have proven they can drive NYC growth, he says. (Announced yesterday: Squarespace, repped by CBRE, leased 100k SF in Trinity’s 225 Varick St.) Professional services firms supporting tech also will absorb space (think venture capitalists and law firm IP groups). Science and engineering companies, too, will look in NYC on behalf of employees who want to be near other smartypants (like Roche’s move this year from Nutley to Alexandria Center for Life Science). Once the financial services industry returns in full force (and Ron vows it will happen), it’ll have to compete for space with tenant pools it never had to worry about before.


Midtown is still hot, owing to deals like R/GA's 173k SF in Brookfield's 5 Manhattan West (being marketed by C&W global brokerage chair Bruce Mosler and colleague Josh Kuriloff). And Downtown just won’t quit, says Ron (who swears the espresso machine is mostly for guests and he only has two or three cups a day). C&W itself is relocating its Downtown office (40 employees) into 1 WTC, which it’s working with Durst to lease. He’s also seeing lots of big RFPs from tenants looking for office on the New Jersey waterfront. (We guess they all coulda been contenders.)


On our way out from meeting with Ron, we ran into Bruce—himself on his way to see Ron—so we snapped a quick pic. Ron tells us owners are responding to the flux of foreign capital and selling while they can. The sentiment is, “Let’s capture it now.” High-profile office properties on the market include Invesco and Monday Properties’ 230 Park Ave and Vornado’s 1740 Broadway. These will breed even more deals, Ron says, as these investors likely will redeploy the capital elsewhere in NYC.