Manhattan office leasing volume picks up

Office leasing activity in Manhattan so far this quarter has beaten the volume tallied from the first quarter of 2012, Crain’s reported, citing Jones Lang LaSalle data. This month alone, about 2.3 million square feet were leased after 4 million square feet were taken up in April. A total of 5.6 million square feet were leased around Manhattan during the first quarter.

However, these numbers are not caught up with the amount of square feet leased in the same period last year. Jones Lang LaSalle Tri-State President Peter Riguardi previously referred to this year’s office leasing activity as shocking, as office leasing activity through February was down 40 percent year-over-year. On a sub-market basis, Third Avenue ranked this month as the weakest area.

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The second quarter figures so far include renewals for office spaces, such as Viacom’s renewal for 1.3 million square feet at 1515 Broadway, Citibank’s signing for 500,000 square feet at 601 Lexington Avenue and Morgan Stanley’s deal for 1.1 million square feet inside One New York Plaza. As previously reported, more companies have been favoring office renewals over relocations.

The trend is disconcerting for the ultimate success of new office towers slated to open, including the World Trade Center complex, the office portion International Gem Tower, office complexes at Hudson Yards and others. [Crain’s]