Despite bargain rents, corporate relocations down

By Peter Kiefer | June 18, 2010 10:30AM

Firms still wary of cost of moving

From the June issue: Inertia is king. Even fire-sale deals and oceans of available space in some of the toniest commercial quarters have largely failed to persuade companies to pick up and move during one of the great bargain periods in the history of Manhattan real estate.

In fact, the percentage of lease renewals versus relocations in the last two quarters — the lowest point for rents since the recession set in, according to some reports — has risen. The number of relocations over the past six months is dramatically down compared to previous fiscal quarters, according to data compiled by Studley, a firm that bucked the trend and moved its own headquarters in April from 300 Park Avenue to 399 Park Avenue. Experts say relocations likely won’t return in full until employment rebounds.

“We looked at [relocating] for ourselves and for a number of other clients,” said Jay Neveloff, a partner and board member at the law firm Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel, who works in the real estate and commercial transactions branch. “But all things being equal, if the space is right, almost any tenant is going to stay where they are.” [more]