Manhattan office availability hits record high…again

April leases signed about half March’s total

New York /
May.May 05, 2021 09:00 AM
1540 Broadway and 31 West 52nd Street (Google Maps, Hines)

1540 Broadway and 31 West 52nd Street (Google Maps, Hines)

Manhattan’s office market reached another new record last month, but it wasn’t one any landlord would boast about.

Office availability rate in the borough climbed to 16.5 percent in April, the highest it’s ever been, according to Colliers International’s monthly market snapshot. Despite falling Covid cases and rising vaccinations across the city, availability in the borough has steadily ticked up since the start of the year.

April was also the 11th consecutive month Manhattan’s availability has climbed, eclipsing the 16.1 percent record set in March. It also stands in contrast to April 2020, when the figure stood at 10.3 percent, according to the report.

About 980,000 square feet of leases signed last month, down 46 percent from March and 27 percent from a year ago. Leasing volume was also a staggering 75 percent below the pre-pandemic monthly average in 2019.

Average asking rent was $72.97 a foot, down 0.4 percent from March and 8.3 percent from a year ago.

April’s largest lease was pharmaceutical software developer Schrödinger, which signed a 17-year deal for 109,000 square feet at Edge Fund Advisors’ 1540 Broadway.

Another notable new lease was law firm Bracewell LLP’s 54,000 square feet at Paramount Group’s 31 West 52nd Street. With that 16-year deal, Paramount backfilled about 40 percent of its vacancy in the 29-story office tower.

There was one small bit of good news. Net sublease availability across the borough decreased slightly — 30,000 square feet — for the first time since May 2020. Manhattan sublease inventory in April was 21 million square feet, about a quarter of the total office availability in the borough.





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