Midtown leasing slides in August: Cushman

By Adam Pincus | September 08, 2010 04:00PM

Kenneth McCarthy of Cushman

Office leasing activity cooled in Midtown from the brisk levels seen over the previous months, but overall in Manhattan, the vacancy rate and average asking rents improved in August, new data from commercial firm Cushman & Wakefield show.

The volume of new space leased in Midtown slowed to 1.1 million square feet last month from an average of about 1.6 million square feet over the prior five months — which marks the most active period of leasing since the second half of 2006 — Kenneth McCarthy, managing director of research for the firm’s New York metro region, said.

“It is a bit of a slowdown, but it could be seasonal factors. I would not read too much into one month,” he said.

There were fewer large leases signed last month compared with July, a report from commercial firm Jones Lang LaSalle shows. In August, the largest new lease was for 140,000 square feet taken by bank Capital One at Vornado Realty Trust’s 90 Park Avenue in Midtown. In contrast the largest new lease in July was German financial firm Allianz Global Investors taking 213,000 square feet at Paramount Group’s 1633 Broadway.

Overall, there were 1.7 million square feet of new leases signed in Manhattan last month, up from just over 1 million square feet in August 2009, Cushman statistics show.

The vacancy rate for Manhattan fell by .2 points to 10.9 percent in August from a peak of 11.6 percent in the first quarter, while the average asking rent rose by 15 cents per foot to $54.14 per square foot, figures from Cushman show.