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Washington, D.C. office rents pass Midtown rates.

Once known as the city "first in war and first in peace," Washington, D.C. is now first in another area -- average asking rents for Class A office space, a position long held by New York City Midtown.

Washington's average asking rental was $38.22 per square foot (psf) in the first quarter of 1992, while New York City Midtown's was $37.56 (psf), according to a report by the business real estate services firm, Cushman & Wakefield, Inc. And that's the first time in memory that New York has been displaced as No. 1 in that category.

"We had a great many leases signed at record high rental rates in the 1980's, and many of these are still in effect," said Richard Hollander, managing director and branch manager of Cushman & Wakefield's Washington, D.C. office.

"In addition the downtown Washington, D.C. office market has remained relatively healthy," he added. "This was helped greatly by the overwhelming demand for office space by the federal government. As a result, we never experienced the severe fall off in demand caused by the downturn in financial services in New York." Washington, at 13.5 percent, has the third lowest vacancy rate in the nation, behind Bellevue, Wash. (10.2 percent) and San Francisco (12.9 percent). "Our vacancy rate shows that the market is very strong," Hollander said. "It's important to keep in mind that transactions are being done here at rents materially lower than the asking rent, especially when you take into, consideration workletter, free rent and other concessions."

The top five central business district (CBDs) markets in the country for average asking rental are Washington, D.C., New York Midtown, New York Downtown ($33.02 psf), Chicago ($30.76 psf) and Los Angeles ($29.60 psf).
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Title Annotation:Midtown Manhattan, New York, New York
Publication:Real Estate Weekly
Date:May 13, 1992
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