The 50 largest Manhattan office deals of 2012 were smaller and involved fewer new tenants than in the previous year, according to CoStar Group research provided to Crain’s. In 2012, the top 50 Manhattan office transactions added up to 12.8 million square feet, a 6.7 percent decline from 2011. And of those 50 deals, 29 were renewals, as were all of the top ten. Back in 2011, only 27 of the top deals were renewals.Office tenants are taking a conservative approach with their space needs in New York,” Adrian Ponsen, a senior economist at CoStar, said. “Very few are making large expansions into pricey submarkets. They are instead renewing in places that expire.”
But Manhattan’s office market is hardly stagnating. Viacom’s 1.6 million-square-foot deal at 1515 Broadway — an expansion of 200,000 square feet — was the largest deal in a decade, according to Crain’s.
“I definitely think we will start to see more leases pick up as GDP growth moves up and people become more confident,” Ponsen said. [Crain's] –Christopher Cameron