Bad economy, influx of new rentals cause more landlords to offer incentives

In a tough market when roughly 1,500 new Manhattan apartments are coming to market, landlords plan to keep offering prospective renters incentives, including free rent as well as free amenities from health club memberships to storage space to transportation services.

Months of free rent are being offered on the West Side, where a number of buildings are under construction within walking distance to the Port Authority and the High Line. Tenants at Emerald Green, Glenwood Management’s newest residential development at 320 West 38th Street, can get one month of free rent on a 13-month lease, as well as payment of brokerage fees.

At Hudson Yards, a Rockrose Development at 455 West 37th Street, tenants can receive two months free rent, according to the building Web site.  

A few blocks away is Silver Towers at 600 West 42nd Street, where developer Silverstein Properties is offering prospective tenants two months of free rent on a 14-month lease, as well as payment of brokerage fees.

On the Upper West Side is Columbus Square, a development of Stellar Management and Chetrit Group on Columbus and Amsterdam avenues from 97th to 100th streets. New tenants can get two-and-a-half months free rent if they move in by Oct. 15.

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The best rental deals, however, can be found outside Manhattan, in Downtown Brooklyn, where there are 2,700 units in various stages of planning.  

After concession periods of free rent, effective rents for brand new apartments will run $2,000 a month for a one-bedroom unit. Properties include the Brooklyner the tallest building in Brooklyn, as well as Avalon Fort Greene at 343 Gold Street.

The ripple effect of the down market and the influx of new developments is that landlords are reducing rents for renewals as well as providing other incentives. In Manhattan, for example, tenants can secure at least two to three months of free rent at Stuyvesant Town, which stretches from First Avenue to Avenue C between 14th and 23rd Streets, as well as Archstone residential buildings, which are in Manhattan and Brooklyn as well as other areas.

Michael Stoler is a columnist for The Real Deal and host of real estate programs “The Stoler Report” and “Building New York” on CUNY TV and on WEGTV in East Hampton. His radio show, “The Michael Stoler Real Estate Report,” airs on 1010 WINS on Saturdays and Sundays. Stoler is a director at Madison Realty Capital as well as an adjunct professor at NYU Real Estate Institute, and a former contributing editor and columnist for the New York Sun.