Volume 79, Number 29 | December 23 - 29, 2009
West and East Village, Chelsea, Soho, Noho, Little Italy, Chinatown and Lower East Side, Since 1933

Mixed Use

By Patrick Hedlund

Downtown dregs
Average asking rents for Downtown’s highest-quality office buildings tumbled by more than 20 percent during the past six months, falling below $50 per square foot for the first time in years.

According to a report from real estate firm Jones Lang LaSalle, the average price per square foot of Downtown’s trophy buildings dropped from $60.23 in the spring to $47.16 in the fall — a 21.7 percent dip for the six-month period. Prices for the market’s top-flight properties had come in at $64.54 in fall 2008, marking a nearly 27 percent change year over year.

“Vacancy rates for Downtown New York trophy-class properties have remained around 9 percent over the past few months,” said James Delmonte, vice president and director of research for JLL’s New York office. “It is likely that availability will spike over the next several years, as several large institutions have yet to finalize occupancy plans. Depending on what decisions are made, vacancy rates in Lower Manhattan could potentially rise above 20 percent by 2014.”

Downtown’s Class A buildings suffered less-severe decreases, slipping from $47.36 per square foot to $41 since the spring — a 13.4 percent drop-off. Year over year, Class A properties have fallen by 24 percent, settling at $41 per square foot from $53.95 in fall 2008.

The average price per square foot of all Downtown building types, including Class B and C buildings, was $38.59 — a 9.6 percent reduction since the spring and a 20.8 percent decrease year over year.

By comparison, all building types in Midtown averaged $59.92 per square foot, with trophy properties sitting at $73.58. The Midtown trophy market took the biggest hit of any year over year, slipping by 37.4 percent since fall 2008.

Nadler nets $5M
Congressmember Jerrold Nadler has secured millions in federal funding for the Downtown part of his district, including a hefty sum for youth H.I.V. prevention services.

Nadler — whose congressional district includes most of the Village, Chelsea, the Lower West Side and Financial District — was able to score $5.3 million in total for 11 priority projects in Manhattan and Brooklyn.

Chelsea’s Gay Men’s Health Crisis will benefit from the largest allocation, $1.5 million, for its youth-focused H.I.V. prevention programs, while the neighborhood’s Penn South co-op complex will receive $500,000 for supportive services at the naturally occurring retirement community, or NORC.

The New York Eye and Ear Infirmary on E. 14th St. will get $200,000 toward Project Chernobyl, a large-scale preventive effort of thyroid cancer screening of immigrants exposed to radiation following the Chernobyl disaster of 1986. A total of $150,000 will be given to the Lower Manhattan-based Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty’s effort to expand career services.

Other allocations include $150,000 for Urban Assembly New York Harbor High School to construct a Maritime and Science Technology and Training Center on Gover-nors Island; $250,000 for GoGirlGo’s New York City Initiative to promote sports and physical activity to at-risk girls; $500,000 for the Lincoln Center Redevelopment Project and $800,000 for Jazz at Lincoln Center’s community and educational programming; $600,000 for the Doe Fund to provide job training and counseling to former drug addicts and convicts; and $350,000 for Ohel’s child-abuse prevention programs.


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