LIC office market sluggish

Feb.February 06, 2009 05:23 PM

The office market in Long Island City, Queens, weakened slightly in the last quarter of 2008 as vacancy rates rose and average asking rents dipped, according to a quarterly report released today by Newmark Knight Frank.

The market across the Queensboro Bridge from Midtown has about 6.8 million square feet of office space and is home to top New York firms such as Citigroup. Barclays recently subleased 66,600 square feet from Metropolitan Life Insurance at 27-01 Bridge Plaza North.

The vacancy rate in Long Island City rose to 8.6 in the fourth quarter of 2008 from 7.8 percent in the third quarter and 6.7 percent in the last quarter of 2007, the report showed. Average asking rents were down slightly to $25.11 in the fourth quarter 2008 from $25.25 the quarter before, but had fallen from a high of about $25.80 in the first quarter of 2008, it said.

The report said Class A office space was hard to find in the submarket. However in all office classes, Long Island City saw negative absorption of 55,000 square feet for the quarter and 128,000 square feet for the full year.

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