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Sales market strong in metro N.Y.

Banks and other lending institutions have been very prudent in keeping the finance spigot closed in recent months. Accordingly, there has been little speculative commercial development, and that is one of the main reasons why I remain bullish on today's commercial sales and leasing markets.

As the local economy recovers near-term, vacancies will begin to shrink. But even though office leasing has been sluggish, sales prices have remained surprisingly strong in our RiverOak funds' immediate target region -- New Jersey, New York City, Westchester and Connecticut. The multi-family sector also remains strong.

Some of the best examples of sales market resilience include 745 Fifth Ave. in Manhattan, Pickwick Plaza office complex in Greenwich, Conn., and 300 Main St. in Stamford, Conn. There is tremendous interest in these office properties, and potential buyers are standing in line for a shot at them.

In my experience, geographic pockets of opportunity will always flourish, no matter the market condition. Buyers just have to keep a sharp eye, know where to look, and be "first out of the box" with their bid. RiverOak invests in multiple deals, each deal being $10 - $15 million in total capitalization. Currently, we are actively exploring the Groton, Conn., residential market. It's got a lot going for it. Two hugely successful gaming venues, sources of formidable economic development, are within commuting distance. Pfizer Inc. recently completed construction of a world-class research headquarters in Groton, and the Electric Boat Division of General Dynamics steadfastly perseveres as a major defense contractor.

Another pocket of opportunity, in my view, is the New Jersey Shore region, where almost a decade of federally- sponsored beach replenishment has created miles upon miles of pristine oceanfront views. This local market, Monmouth and Ocean counties, will be an outstanding attraction and engine of statewide economic activity, adding value to commercial and multi-family assets. Likewise, White Plains, NY, just 40 minutes away from Grand Central Terminal by rail, is poised for growth.

To sum up, the entire New York metropolitan area and the northeast corridor are relatively stable, and continue to present opportunities for investment. There has been a restraint in new development, and very little is speculative. I believe that the demand for commercial and industrial space will increase significantly during the next eight to 12 months. We are still in a favorable interest environment, allowing owners to have some staying power as they lower rents in their effort to keep up occupancy rates.
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Article Details
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Title Annotation:commercial sales and leasing markets in New York area
Author:DeNardo, Stephen
Publication:Real Estate Weekly
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:May 15, 2002
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