February 23rd - March 1st, 2007
Office Vacancies Down in Lower Manhattan
Sunday, February 25th: The Associated Press reported that office vacancies in Lower Manhattan are down to pre-9/11 levels and rents are increasing at a steady pace. Nearly all of the World Financial Center is leased, and 7 World Trade Center is two-thirds leased since its opening less than a year ago. Average monthly rents have increased from $35 a square foot two years ago to $45 a square foot today, with some space garnering as much as $70 a square foot.
Several private investors are also reportedly interested in buying the Freedom Tower. "Six months ago, people would say that would be absolutely inconceivable," Deputy Mayor Dan Doctoroff told the AP. The vacancy rate for prime buildings, at 5.1 percent, is among the lowest in the nation, second only to a suburb of Seattle, the New York Times reported. And the trend is continuing with a new lease just signed by Legg Mason for 97,000 square feet at 55 Water Street, the Times added.
More Remains Unearthed at Ground Zero
Tuesday, February 27th: During the last week, 36 additional bones were recovered from the World Trade Center site service road that is being excavated for human remains, the Associated Press reported. More than 350 bones, in addition to office debris and large pieces of World Trade Center steel, have been recovered since October. The search for remains at and around the site is being conducted by the city at an estimated cost of $30 million.
Seaport Owner Launches Redesign Concept Phase
Wednesday, February 28th: More than 100 attendees filled the community room of Southbridge Towers on Monday, February 26th -- many more than normally attend an average Community Board 1 Waterfront Committee meeting. The members, neighbors, and other guests were eager to hear the latest on the South Street Seaport redevelopment from General Growth Properties (GGP), which took ownership of Pier 17 and the Seaport historic and shopping district in November 2004. By that time, the Seaport had long since shifted from a hot spot for local business people and residents to a tour-bus destination with waning popularity, giving GGP cause to rethink its purpose.
Retail Space to Open on Wall Street
Wednesday, February 28th: The former headquarters of J.P. Morgan, located at 23 Wall Street and 15 Broad Street, will house high-end retail in addition to 382 condominium apartments, the New York Times reported. The luxury retailer Hermes has signed a lease and plans to open a store in the fall. The project developer, Leviev Boymelgreen, is marketing most of 23 Wall Street and the lower floor of 15 Broad Street as retail space. "High-end residential goes hand in hand with high-end retail," Jeremy Hirsch, the development manager at Leviev Boymelgreen, told the Times. The company bought the two buildings at 15 Broad Street and 23 Wall Street for $100 million in 2003.