The Real Deal New York

Meatpacking District packs ’em in as retailers move Downtown

Office vacancy rate now less than one percent in the former industrial area
March 28, 2014 12:25PM

Once home to hundreds of slaughterhouses and packaging plants, the Meatpacking District is undergoing a dramatic makeover, one that involves the construction of a number of sleek office towers. In turn, those new structures are attracting a whole new breed of upscale retail tenants into the area.

Some of the developers of the five office-and-retail developments currently going up in the neighborhood are Taconic Investment Partners, Thor Equities and William Gottlieb Real Estate, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Since most of the area is designated a historic district, developers have sought to keep their building heights in line with existing structures, the paper said. Architect Morris Adjmi is designing a six-story office building at 837 Washington Street, and a 10-story mixed-use tower is rising adjacent to High Line part at 860 Washington Street, as previously reported.

Since vacancy rates are low — less than 1 percent, according to commercial real estate firm Newmark Grubb Knight Frank — those towers can sell space for $85 to $125 per square foot, the Journal reported.

Retailers like the trendy eyewear purveyor Warby Parker have also set up shop in the area, which is Bound By Gansevoort Street, West 14th Street and Hudson Street on the Hudson River. Although high-end stores have mostly moved on from the area, landlords are asking $200 to $500 per square foot, the paper said. [WSJ]Angela Hunt