Tight Midtown Real Estate Market is Boon for Downtown

There's so little office space available from Canal Street to 32nd Street — an area known as Midtown South — that more companies are setting up shop in Lower Manhattan, according to data released Wednesday by commercial real estate firm Cushman & Wakefield.

"It's a very compelling economic story downtown," said Andy Peretz, a Cushman & Wakefield executive vice president. "We're seeing increased activity because of the dynamics of Midtown South."

Traditionally, financial professionals worked south of Canal and "creatives" worked north of Canal, but with less commercial real estate available in Midtown South, the lines between the two groups has started to blur.  According to Peretz, it's a trend that has been developing for a decade.

Taken as a whole, office buildings in the neighborhoods of Midtown South like SoHo and Union Square have a vacancy of 6.9 percent, a few percentage points lower than the Manhattan average of 9.1 percent.

"Never has there been more of a crossover between these two submarkets," he said. "The wall is gone."

(Midtown South has to the lowest vacancy rate in the country, according to Cushman and Wakefield. Graphic courtesy of Cushman and Wakefield.)