Commercial leasing takes a backseat to buying

August 06, 2012 08:30AM

Market dynamics are increasingly compelling users of commercial real estate to buy their spaces instead of renting them, according to Crain’s. As rents creep ever higher, especially for retail space in Manhattan, property prices remain somewhat depressed and interest rates for large corporations to finance purchases descend lower and lower, it’s beginning to make more financial sense for companies to buy their space.

This trend has come to life recently, in the form of Nordstrom’s decision to buy its Manhattan retail space, and similar decisions by the Federal Reserve at 33 Maiden Lane, Coach at Hudson Yards and Young & Rubicam at 3 Columbus Circle. At Hudson Yards, Related said Coach’s decision to buy helped finance construction elsewhere on the mixed-use project — just as Time Warner’s decision to buy in Columbus Circle did more than a decade ago.

“Buying is something a lot more of our clients are interested in,” said Michael Rotchford, head of corporate finance and investment banking at Cushman & Wakefield. “It is an emerging trend, but it is a strategic decision that is not made lightly.”

Companies also get to control costs and capitalize on the value their presence adds to a property when they make the decision to buy. [Crain’s]