Office vacancies on Sixth Avenue could reach 20-year high

Office buildings along Sixth Avenue in Midtown (credit: Google)
Office buildings along Sixth Avenue in Midtown (credit: Google)

As large office tenants either move or lay off employees, vacancies in the Sixth Avenue submarket could hit 12.5 percent—a 20-year high, Crain’s reported. The vacancy rate currently stands at 10.7 percent.

AXA Equitable, the life insurance company, has plans to downsize its 1290 Sixth Avenue operations and move employees to Jersey City, potentially putting 400,000 square feet of its current 500,000-square-foot space on the market, sources told Crain’s.

The exodus from Sixth Avenue began when Societe Generale left 400,000 square feet at 1221 Sixth Avenue for new digs at 245 Park Avenue. Even Dewey & LeBoeuf’s collapse delivered 500,000 square feet of space at 1301 Sixth Avenue.

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Most recently, Microsoft landed a deal in late December for space at 11 Times Square, leaving its 1290 Sixth Avenue home.

“If you look at what’s going on in the economy right now, it’s affecting corporations and their decision making and Sixth Avenue is the home of the large corporate user,” Ken McCarthy, chief economist at Cushman & Wakefield, told Crain’s. “They’re the ones being cautious right now. They’re not leasing spaces and in some cases they’re giving space back.” [Crain’s]Zachary Kussin