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New York markets still a tale of two cities.

Certain districts of Midtown Manhattan - such as Rockefeller Center - are showing significant leasing activity, whereas other Midtown blocks - notably the Grand Central/United Nations area - have shown large blocks of space opening up, according to market statistics for the first quarter 1994 compiled by CB Commercial Real Estate Group, Inc. The statistics show continued stagnation in Downtown Manhattan, with a slight increase in vacancy rates over fourth quarter 1993 figures.

"While a significant amount of space opened up in the Grand Central/United Nations area, there was a substantial amount of leasing activity in the Rockefeller Center market which offset the negative numbers," said Steven A. Swerdlow, executive vice president and managing officer of CB Commercial's New York City office.

Midtown North Market Shows Slight Increase in Vacancy Rates

While 1993 showed a steady decrease in vacancy rates in the Midtown North area (comprised of the east-west area bounded by 42nd Street through 59th Street), culminating in the lowest level in more than a year of 11.89 percent in the fourth quarter of 1993, market statistics reflected a slight increase to 12.1 percent in the first quarter of 1994.

More than 750,000 square feet of space became available for immediate occupancy in the Grand Central/United Nations district (comprised of the blocks between East 41st and 46th Streets and First and Fifth Avenues) and the Park Avenue/Lexington Avenue Midtown blocks, including the space previously occupied by American Home Products, which moved to Madison, New Jersey and Ernst & Young, which relocated to Seventh Avenue.

The Rockefeller Center area (comprised of the blocks between West 47th and 52nd Streets and Fifth and Sixth Avenues), on the other hand, experienced a significant amount of leasing activity, due to the moves of Societe Generale to 1221 Avenue of the Americas and Kidder Peabody to 1251 Avenue of the Americas.

Asking rents have steadily increased over the year, reflecting an increasing demand for the fewer large blocks of space available and were up slightly from $32.10 in the fourth quarter to $32.51 in the first quarter 1994. One year ago, Midtown asking rents held at $30.88.

Vacancy rates in Downtown Manhattan crept upward to 22.77 percent in the first quarter, and net absorption was -215,898 square feet. "It's a tale of two cities," said Philip Sprayregen, senior vice president, CB Commercial. "While we see certain Midtown submarkets recovering, Downtown will continue to lag behind with no substantial leasing activity."
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Title Annotation:certain parts of Manhattan, New York, New York show increased leasing acitivity; others stagnate
Publication:Real Estate Weekly
Date:May 18, 1994
Previous Article:US Housing Secretary to address REI conference.
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