Lower Manhattan commercial market activity down, report shows

October 20, 2009 04:46PM

While the rest of Manhattan holds its breath for a commercial market collapse, Lower Manhattan has been experiencing dramatic ups and downs over the last nine years, according to a report
released today by Eastern Consolidated.
The market
freeze of September 2008 and the devastation of 9/11 led to a
preponderance of delayed developments and vacant retail
properties rarely seen in other neighborhoods, the report says.

With more than 200 office buildings containing more than 100 million
square feet, Lower Manhattan is the third largest office submarket in
the U.S., yet the volume of office building sales has dropped dramatically in
2009, with just one office building sale so far this year. For all of last year, eight
buildings sold. During the peak year, 2007, 24 office buildings in the
neighborhood were sold.

Source: Eastern Consolidated, CoStar, Property Shark and NYC Department of Finance

One key finding in the report was that residual damage from 9/11 may be hampering success in the neighborhood. According to Barbara Byrne Denham, chief economist at
Eastern Consolidated, stalled construction at the World Trade Center
and the troubled Deutsche Bank property have had a particular negative
effect on residents’ mindset toward the neighborhood.

“The neighborhood seems forever marred by scaffolding and unfinished
projects,” Denham said in the report. “Unless more of this
re-construction starts to show real progress, Lower Manhattan will lag
the rest of Manhattan.”
TRD