Downtown Alliance Year in Review Reports Blockbuster Year of Leasing in Lower Manhattan

Downtown Alliance Year in Review Reports Blockbuster Year of Leasing in Lower Manhattan

New Market Data Shows 80 percent Increase Over 2010 Leasing Activity

Reflecting a growing interest in all of the amenities Lower Manhattan has to offer, the Alliance for Downtown New York today announced a surge in  2011 leasing activity in Lower Manhattan – with nearly 5.86 million square feet of leases in 2011.

The year-end leasing total was the market’s second highest in the past decade. In addition to strong leasing trends, the local economy continues to diversify and vacancy rates dropped as more businesses relocate  or renew leases in Lower Manhattan.

“With these robust 2011 leasing trends, there is no question that Lower Manhattan is the place to be,” said Elizabeth H. Berger, President of the Downtown Alliance. “While financial services and professional services remain signature industries in Lower Manhattan, there has been a remarkable rise in professional services, creative services, non-profits, and hospitality.”


The Downtown Alliance’s year-end review – which can be accessed here:, reported that 13 of the year’s top 20 leases were over 100,000 square feet, with the World Trade Center at the center of the market’s strong performance.  In May, 1 World Trade saw the city’s largest deal of the year when Condé Nast signed on for one million square feet.

Media is one of the area’s growing industries, with publisher American Media and popular wedding planning site, The Knot, signing leases and relocating to Lower Manhattan in 2011. These media companies join more than 60 others already located in Lower Manhattan, occupying 1.3 million square feet, according to CBRE.

Although leasing data shows that finance, insurance, government and professional services remain Lower Manhattan’s signature industries, the economy has significantly diversified over the past six years. A total of 338 companies have relocated to Lower Manhattan since 2005 and of those companies:


  • 17 percent were creative services firms (including architecture, design, and publishing companies);
  • 16 percent were nonprofits; and
  • 7 percent were technology companies.

 With this notable increase of relocations, Lower Manhattan ended the year at 9.5 percent total vacancy, down from 9.9 percent last quarter and 11.5 percent in 2010. According to Cushman & Wakefield, the area also maintained its ranking as the business district with the third-lowest vacancy rate in the nation. Sublease vacancy was just 0.9 percent, the lowest since 2000. Midtown’s total vacancy stands at 9.6 percent, down from 10 percent in Q3 2011 and 10.6 percent in Q4 2010.