Commercial Real Estate Continues At Sluggish Pace in Lower Manhattan
First quarter office leasing in Lower Manhattan was up from the previous quarter’s record low but still over 60% below the five-year quarterly average, according to the Alliance for Downtown New York’s Lower Manhattan Real Estate Market Report, Q1 2021. The report also noted that while the commercial real estate market lags, the number of Lower Manhattan residents are on the rise. The daily residential population in Lower Manhattan recovered to 85% of the pre-pandemic population, after falling to a low of 66% in June 2020.
The report noted that the current hesitancy in real estate decision-making might change as increased vaccination rates and relaxed capacity restrictions draw more employees back to offices across the city — an effort being led by the city, which welcomed its staff back this week and has set July 1 as the date when spaces can return to full capacity.
On the retail front, 26 Lower Manhattan retailers closed in the first quarter, in addition to 163 closures that were recorded in 2020. The quarter also saw 13 businesses open and opening announcements from 25 more.
“The economic impacts of COVID-19 are deep and real but we are starting to see a gradual reawakening of Lower Manhattan. Vaccinated workers are starting to return to their offices. Locals are meeting for dinner. Tourists are taking in the sights,” Jessica Lappin, President of the Alliance for Downtown New York, said. “We can’t say for certain what the next few quarters will bring, but Lower Manhattan is a vibrant neighborhood and we’re excited to welcome those who are ready to return.”
Read the full Lower Manhattan Real Estate Market Report, Q1 2021.