Financial District not likely to see mass exodus of commercial tenants

November 13, 2012 01:00PM

Despite the Financial District’s current state of water pumping, closed buildings and workers in Hazmat suits walking down the streets, analysts don’t think that Hurricane Sandy damage will cause tenants to pack their boxes en masse, the New York Times reported. Not only that, commercial tenants interested in setting up shop in the neighborhood won’t likely be deterred from the area over flood concerns. Brokers say it’s a good place to do business.

Similarly, Lower Manhattan residential properties remain in demand despite the storm’s impact.

But there are significant challenges ahead. Getting an accurate assessment of the neighborhood’s damage has been complicated by major landlords refusing to answer question about their properties’ status. As of yesterday, 20 percent of all major office properties below Canal Street are closed — 37 out of 183 buildings and a total of 29.2 million square feet, according to Jones Lang LaSalle. Standing out is 4 New York Plaza, which could stay closed for a year.

But some tenants aren’t convinced that downtown will rebound. WBAI, a public radio station that has space at 120 Wall Street, is considering a move elsewhere. The investment bank Toussaint Capital Partners is also pondering relocation, as their 110 Wall Street location was flooded. However, CGI Group, an IT company, said it’s staying put to be close to its client base. [NYT]Zachary Kussin