In a new survey conducted by the accounting firm Marks Paneth & Shron LLP (MP&S), the greatest percentage of more than 100 commercial property executives (24%) named the Garment Center/West 30s as the ‘next hot area where office rents will skyrocket.’ The next greatest number – 17% – chose the Grand Central area, followed by Hell's Kitchen/Far West Side (15%) and downtown Brooklyn (12%). Only 11% of executives said the Financial District/World Trade Center/Battery Park City is the next hot area, despite the Freedom Tower and Fulton Center developments that are under way. And only 8% chose the white shoe ‘Plaza District’ in northeast midtown.
‘Perhaps sooner rather than later we will see more upscale restaurants and retailers populating the Garment Center, which will in turn draw in up-and-coming executives in new, booming industries,’ says William H. Jennings, partner-in-charge of the Real Estate Group at Marks Paneth & Shron.
The executives polled by MP&S also expressed concern on the impact of Hurricane Sandy on commercial real estate in Lower Manhattan. Fifty-six percent of those polled said that commercial property values there will either be permanently lowered or at least lowered as a result of the storm and its damage, while 19% said existing commercial tenants will look to relocate from Lower Manhattan when their leases expire. Nearly half (47%) predicted that property owners will be forced to lower rates and offer incentives to retain existing tenants.