Downtown continues to get stronger with year-to-date leasing reaching 6.8 million square feet-a 42.5% increase year-over-year.
“Lower Manhattan is now a true destination versus simply being the low-price alternative,” says Hal Stein, who leads Newmark Grubb Knight Frank’s Lower Manhattan office. “Tenants-like Condé Nast, which just moved into its new offices at One World Trade Center-are enticed by the exciting new retail blossoming at Brookfield Place, World Trade Center and South Street Seaport, as well as the area’s unbeatable transit experience.”
NGKF just expanded its presence there, inking a 10-year-lease on the 29th floor of Brookfield’s One Liberty Plaza, in a relocation to the Class A building it also represents. The 54-story, 2.3-million-square-foot office building, where 500,000 square feet is currently available, boasts 45,000-square-foot, column-free floor plates, and Mr. Stein expects a mix of tenants to fill the space. Recent deals include engineering firm The AKF Group (57,000 square feet) and flexible office provider Regus (23,000 square feet), which join a prestigious roster of tenants like Cleary Gottlieb, Zurich, FINRA, Transatlantic Re, and Investment Technology Group. It’s also one of the most desirable spots in Lower Manhattan, he says, with proximity to the new Fulton Center, exciting retail projects and direct access to PATH.
NGKF handles nine million square feet of agency assignments in Lower Manhattan for top landlords like Brookfield, Savanna, Northwood Investors, CIM Group, AmTrust and the Wolfson Group. It has also completed 36% of all leases over 40,000 square feet there since 2008, Mr. Stein says. As this strong, steady growth continues-from representing 2,000-square-foot leases to 1.2-million-square-foot mega deals like a recent REBNY Most Ingenious Deal winner on behalf of a global financial services firm-NGKF is tapping new talent to boost its Downtown presence.
Top producer and Downtown specialist Andrew Peretz, and David Malawer and Courtney Adham, joined from Cushman & Wakefield earlier this year. Together, they have decades of experience representing tenants and landlords.
“The market is now vibrant with a diverse mix of sectors, including technology and creative firms who want be close to their employee base,” says Mr. Peretz.
The ownership landscape has also changed over the last few years. “Many organizations that have never had a presence in Lower Manhattan have recognized the allure and magnitude of what is transpiring while simultaneously replacing the old-world way of doing business,” Mr. Stein says.
Prices for buildings are surging, with 61 Broadway selling for $423 per square foot and One Exchange each selling for $448 per square foot. Savanna and KBS snapped up 110 William Street from The Swig Company for $261 million earlier this year, and NGKF will be assisting the new owners with the leasing campaign, which includes upgrading the lobby and constructing new, creative pre-builts. Mr. Stein says they’re confident they will replicate the success Savanna had at 80 Broad Street, where NGKF helped in the repositioning and lease up of over 250,000 square feet in just 18 months.
About Newmark Grubb Knight Frank
Newmark Grubb Knight Frank is one of the world’s leading commercial real estate advisory firms. Together with London-based partner Knight Frank and independently owned offices, NGKF’s 12,000 professionals operate from more than 330 offices in established and emerging property markets on six continents.
With roots dating back to 1929, NGKF’s strong foundation makes it one of the most trusted names in commercial real estate. NGKF’s full-service platform comprises BGC’s real estate services segment, offering commercial real estate tenants, landlords, investors and developers a wide range of services including leasing; capital markets services, including investment sales, debt placement, appraisal, and valuation services; commercial mortgage brokerage services; as well as corporate advisory services, consulting, project and development management, and property and corporate facilities management services. For further information, visit www.ngkf.com.
NGKF is a part of BGC Partners, Inc., a leading global brokerage company servicing the financial and real estate markets. BGC’s common stock trades on the NASDAQ Global Select Market under the ticker symbol (NASDAQ: BGCP). BGC Partners is led by Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Howard W. Lutnick. For more information, please visit www.bgcpartners.com.