A year after Sandy, Lower Manhattan thrives: report

October 29, 2013 08:28AM

One year after Hurricane Sandy ravaged Lower Manhattan, the area has mostly recovered, or so claims a new report from local advocacy group the Downtown Alliance. All sectors of the real estate market – office, residential and retail – have been steadily improving over the year, and have shown impressive gains in the last quarter, the report says.

In fact, the office leasing market appears stronger than before the storm. Average asking rent is up 16 percent year-over-year, the report shows. And since the storm, 51 tenants signed deals totaling over one million square feet to relocate to the neighborhood so far this year — a 13 percent increase over relocation activity in the same period year-over-year, the report says.

These deals include HarperCollins Publishers, which took 179,436 square feet at 195 Broadway, and Nyack College, which took 166,385 square feet at 17 Battery Place North.

On the residential front, sales volume is up 58 percent year-over-year, and 10 percent quarter-over-quarter, the report shows. Moreover, Lower Manhattan properties are spending an average of 87 days on the market – selling twice as fast as they did one year ago.

The average rental price, $3,968, remained stable year-over-year, according to the report.

In the hotel sector, the average daily room rate was $280 in Lower Manhattan, a three percent year-over-year increase. The occupancy rate was down two percent year-over-year, to 83 percent.

On the retail front, 66 businesses remain shuttered since the storm, but several of these businesses have either had their leases taken over by new tenants or will soon be replaced by new tenants, the report says.

Since the fourth quarter of 2012, 73 retailers have opened new businesses in the area. — Hiten Samtani