Top-tier landlords up asking rents

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Asking rents are on the rise at some of the city’s most sought-after office buildings, in a move by landlords that tests the waters of the nascent rebound in leasing activity, up 84 percent in the first quarter from one year ago, according to Cushman & Wakefield. One month ago, SL Green Realty, the largest landlord in the city, increased rents by 5 to 7 percent on its most high-end offerings, including the tower floors at 100 Park Avenue. At the Seagram Building and the Lever House on Park Avenue, asking rents are up about 5 percent. Other buildings that have seen upticks include 712 Fifth Avenue, 540 Madison Avenue and the upper floors of 1 Grand Central Plaza. The trend is confined to the very top-tier of the market, however. Office vacancies are still on the rise in Manhattan, and rents in the overall office market are declining further still, down to $55.38 per square foot — the lowest level in three years — in the first quarter, according to Cushman & Wakefield. [Crain’s]

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