Downtown office leasing soars 73 percent

March 19, 2013 11:00AM

Downtown office leasing jumped 73 percent in January and February, more evidence of the area’s strong recovery from Hurricane Sandy, according to Cushman and Wakefield data cited by the New York Observer.

A spike in large leases — more than 50,000 square feet — helped spur the surge in activity; seven big deal closed in the first two months of 2013, compared with only two in the first two months of 2012. And seven of the top 10 leases were relocations from Midtown, Midtown South or “expansions by tenants migrating to the market,” according to Jones Lang LaSalle.

Among the big deals: HarperCollins’s 180,000-square-foot lease at 195 Broadway, GfK’s 75,000-square-foot deal at 200 Liberty Street and WeWork’s 120,000-square-foot lease at 222 Broadway.

And with five million square feet space of set to hit the market at 1 World Trade Center, developer and leasing agent the Durst Organization is confident that firms will continue to move downtown.

“As the economy has gotten stronger, we’ve had a steady stream since [the] first of the year,” Robert Becker, Durst’s senior leasing manager, said of the groups checking out 1 World Trade Center, which is 55 percent leased and scheduled to open next year. “We’re very happy,” he said. “We’re expecting to have a busy 2013.” [NYO] — Christopher Cameron