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New York's new real estate rumbles Print E-mail
Saturday, 09 September 2006

The tragedy of the World Trade Center towers instantly erased 15 million square feet of office space  from the New York commercial real estate market.

That sudden reduction is proving to be a boon for New York real estate brokers who are scrambling to find spaces, large and small, for businesses that have been displaced by the 11 September attacks.

For commercial real estate brokers it truly is the best of times and the worst of times.

Prior to the attacks, New York was looking at a softening real estate market as firm's began failing and other companies put unused space on the market for sub-leasing.  The attacks could lead to a sustained real-estate boom
That extra space has played a key role in helping some businesses relocate and keeping operations up and running after the attacks.

But it is far from enough. In response to the disaster, businesses have had to double up, backfill existing facilities and, in some instances, lease space outside the city.

Financial-services firm American Express, for example, has leased 700,000 square feet in suburban locations in New Jersey and Stamford, Connecticut.

The rush for office space has also stimulated interest in unfinished developments going up around the city.

Filling the demand for office space for HQ is not easy. Most of its available space tends to be smaller and not all together.

With more variety available for smaller firms, they have the ability to shop around and reassess space needs.

Despite rumors of rampant suburban flight by companies that previously have had headquarters or offices in the World Trade Center area, the percentage of fleeing firms is actually small.


Edwina Baniqued


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