Lower Manhattan Real Estate Overview, Q1 2021

Lower Manhattan Real Estate Overview, Q1 2021

The Alliance for Downtown New York’s first-quarter report provides data on commercial office, retail, residential, hospitality and development projects. Major findings include:

Commercial Leasing Activity Improves, But Still Lagging

The first quarter saw Lower Manhattan office leasing reach 440,000 sq. ft. — up from the record low during the previous quarter, but still over 60% below the five-year quarterly average. Only 10% of employees have returned to their offices. However, increased vaccination rates are an encouraging sign, and companies are beginning to plan for employees to return to the office, as capacity restrictions continue to be relaxed.

Retail Closures Continue, but Notable Openings On The Horizon

Twenty-six retailers permanently closed in the first quarter, but 13 stores also opened.

Hospitality Sector Continues Facing Headwinds

Two properties operated by Sonder opened, while six hotels faced foreclosures. 

Residential Population Rebounds As Rents Dip

The daily residential population in Lower Manhattan has recovered to 85% of the pre-pandemic population, after falling to a low of 66% in June 2020. The residential recovery in early 2021 can also be evidenced anecdotally by how cheaper rents have driven leasing activity in Lower Manhattan apartment buildings. Median rents fell to $3,000 in Lower Manhattan — the lowest in a decade.

Major Public-Space Projects Are Complete

Elizabeth H. Berger Plaza and Peck Slip Park were completed.

Downtown Alliance COVID Recovery Dashboard And Resource Page

The Downtown Alliance created a homepage acting as an up-to-date clearinghouse for Lower Manhattan’s COVID recovery data, as well as highlighting our most prominent initiatives supporting local businesses. Our COVID recovery dashboard includes real estate market data across all sectors, as well as metrics related to transportation, population and pedestrian traffic in the district.