Manhattan gears up for mid-decade office construction boom

June 28, 2011 10:13AM

While for the first time since 2000 Manhattan will see an entire year go by without the opening of a significant new office tower, the borough is gearing up for a surge in new office construction mid-decade, according to recent analysis by the New York Building Congress, released yesterday.

Manhattan added about 20 million square feet of new office space between 2001 and 2010, a modest offering by historical standards. Nearly 4 million square feet of new office space was created annually in the 1970s and 1980s.

“It is remarkable how little office space was actually added in Manhattan during the recent building boom,” said Richard Anderson, president of the Building Congress.

The next major office building set to open is Extell Development’s 700,000-square-foot Gem Tower in 2012. Other projects currently in the works are 1 World Trade Center and 4 World Trade Center, set to open in 2013.

Other potential mid-decade developments include Brookfield Properties’ Manhattan West project, Vornado Realty’s 15 Penn Plaza and the initial phases of Related’s Atlantic Yards.

“Today’s major corporate tenants are finding it difficult to locate large blocks of available, contiguous space within Manhattan’s CBD (cental business district),” added Mr. Anderson. “The options narrow even further for tenants who require technologically-advanced, “green” and efficiently-configured office space. Fortunately, the projects currently on the drawing board will go a long way toward filling that gap. It is now up to New York City to get them built or risk ceding our competitive advantage to other global centers of commerce.” — Katherine Clarke