Big office-leasing deals returned to Manhattan in April

Leasing activity rose year-over-year by 73% to 3.5M sf for the month

The kinds of large leases that reigned supreme over the Manhattan office market last year returned in April, helping push what was shaking out to be a significantly slower year back closer to 2017’s heady levels.

Pfizer’s 800,000-square-foot lease at Tishman Speyer’s [TRDataCustom] the Spiral tower in Hudson Yards last month and Latham & Watkins’ 407,000-square-foot deal at the Rockefeller Group’s 1271 Sixth Avenue made for a particularly strong start to the second quarter of the year.

Leasing activity for April – including renewals and new deals – totaled 3.53 million square feet, according to a new report from Colliers International. That was up 12.8 percent from the 3.13 million square feet recorded a year ago, and the first month this year that saw positive year-over-year activity.

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Average asking rents remained nominally flat year-over-year at $72.36 in April, Colliers’ figures show.

Year-to-date through the end of April, Manhattan leasing activity totaled 11.1 million square feet, according to Colliers. That’s off by roughly 10 percent from the 12.3 million square feet recorded the same time last year, though the gap is narrowing. Just a month ago at the end of the first quarter, leasing activity was down 17.8 percent from the first three months of 2017.

Other large leases from April include McDermott Will & Emery’s 105,000-square-foot lease at SL Green Realty’s One Vanderbilt, Jay Suites’ 90,000-square-foot sublease with Hudson’s Bay at 15-17 West 38th Street and Investcorp’s 75,000-square-foot renewal at 280 Park Avenue, owned by SL Green and Vornado Realty Trust.