Lower Manhattan is one of Manhattan’s most historic neighborhoods and contains smaller submarkets such as TriBeCa, World Trade Center, the Financial District, Battery Park, Water Street Corridor, and Two Bridges. Lower Manhattan is demarcated as the area south of Canal Street and is widely referred to as synonymous with Downtown Manhattan, although Lower Manhattan maintains a broader definition of the district.
The Financial District encompasses a significant portion of Lower Manhattan, so it’s no surprise Lower Manhattan is seen as the financial capital of the world and is the fourth largest business district in the U.S., after Midtown Manhattan, Chicago Loop, and Washington, D.C.
Lower Manhattan office space is increasingly in demand, boasting high-value commercial office buildings with lower average rents and a higher vacancy rate than both Midtown and Midtown South.
Lower Manhattan Office Space | Lease Data & Trends
Commercial tenants seeking Lower Manhattan office space will find average overall asking prices to hover in the low $60s. Office space in Class A buildings sees a larger average range, available anywhere from $63-$70 per square foot. These asking rents are well below the NYC office space averages of $72 per square foot and $80 for Class A units.
TriBeCa holds the highest asking prices, with Class A properties renting at an average of $92. World Trade Center, with nearly two million square feet available between 1 and 3 World Trade Center alone, has the second highest Class A asking prices in the low $80s. Class A commercial office space in Lower Manhattan can be found at more affordable rents in the $50-60 range in the Financial District, City Hall, and Water Street Corridor.
Lower Manhattan’s commercial real estate inventory is close to 90 million square feet with a vacancy rate around 10%. Over two-and-a-half million square feet are currently under construction.
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Leasing activity in Downtown Manhattan swelled in 2017, with data showing a 63.6% increase over 2016. World Trade Center and the Financial East District showed the strongest leasing trends, which contributed to Lower Manhattan’s lowest vacancy rate in the last five years.
Lower Manhattan office space is ideal for commercial tenants in financial and government services due to unmatched proximity to New York City’s core infrastructure. However, slow downsizing of the financial services sector over the last ten years has opened up commercial real estate to the Technology, Advertising, Media, and Information sector.
Notable companies with headquarters in Lower Manhattan include Investment Technology Group, Condé Nast, Goldman Sachs, Hudson’s Bay Company, Spotify, Verizon Communications, and IBT Media.
Getting Around Lower Manhattan
Downtown Manhattan has multiple transportation options, including 14 subway lines, 32 bus lines, PATH service to New Jersey, water taxis, and ferry service to Queens, Brooklyn, Staten Island, Yonkers, and New Jersey. Brooklyn Battery Tunnel, Brooklyn Bridge, and Manhattan Bridge all connect to Lower Manhattan. The Fulton Center and the World Trade Center Transportation Hub and PATH station received pricey facelifts in recent years and had made transportation more visually appealing, though the renovations’ benefit to commuters isn’t as apparent.
Bike paths run throughout Hudson River Park, Battery Park, and East River Park, and there are plenty of bike lanes in Lower Manhattan’s streets. As with most of the city, the safety of bike lanes is primarily dependent on tourist and vehicle traffic.
Lower Manhattan Neighborhood & History
Rich with history, the narrow, twisting streets lead to many of New York City’s historical buildings and landmarks, such as Federal Hall, New York City Hall, Bowling Green, the Charging Bull, Wall Street, St. Paul’s Chapel, and Trinity Church. The newest — and tallest — landmark is One World Trade Center which opened in late 2014.
Post-9/11 ushered in a residential resurgence. Many buildings once holding office space were converted to apartments, condos, retail shops, and restaurants, and the residential population has tripled since 2000. With these new additions, Lower Manhattan is shifting away from its 9-to-5 reputation and attracting more families and young professionals who are looking to both work and live in the area.