LIC office market begins recovery

February 21, 2011 01:30PM

With just 6.9 million square feet of office space, Long Island City is one of the smallest and most fragile commercial markets in the city, and “was greatly affected by the downturn,” Howard Kesseler of Newmark Knight Frank told Crain’s. But, he noted that “the market is starting to recover in terms of leasing activity.” In 2010, average office rents dropped 1 percent, according to Newmark’s latest report on the submarket. But things started to improve for the Queens neighborhood early last year, when JetBlue Airways leased more than 200,000 square feet at the MetLife building on the northern edge of the area. In the final quarter, tenants leased about 32,000 square feet of space, almost double the total in the previous quarter, according to the report. However, in the final three months of the year, the amount of space added to the market was 31,473 square feet more than the amount leased. But even that net absorption figure was a sharp improvement over the previous quarter’s level. [Crain’s]