The Flatiron District is named after the Flatiron Building, an iconic triangular building that is one of the oldest original skyscrapers in New York City. The building was considered groundbreaking at the time of its construction in 1902, and now symbolizes both the historical importance and innovative spirit that defines the area.
Based on SquareFoot’s commercial real estate leasing data, the average Flatiron office for rent costs around $70 per square foot. Office space for rent in Class A buildings costs an average of $88 per square foot, while Class B office space for rent leases for $68 per square foot. These average asking rents to not account for Flatiron’s vast sublease market, where offices in Class B spaces can be secured for $45-$65 per square foot.
Flatiron Office Space | Lease Data & Trends
Flatiron District, defined as between Union Square and Madison Square Park, has more than 31 million square feet of commercial real estate inventory, but direct vacancy rate is one of the lowest in New York at 3% (as of 2018, the city average is around 8%). Despite low availability, demand for Flatiron office space remains high, in part to be at the heart of the NYC’s startup scene. Rental rates vary by building class, lease length, building amenities, and much more. To better understand the nuances of the commercial real estate leasing process, review our Leasopedia resources.
The Flatiron District is widely recognized as the center of Silicon Alley, New York’s technology hub. Startups, publishers, fashion designers, nonprofits, consulting firms, and advertising agencies work side-by-side. Notable recent leases signed include Yelp (154,000 square feet at 104 5th Ave), Tiffany & Co. (17,00 square feet at 53 West 23rd Street), Betterment (16,909 square feet at 61 West 23rd Street), WeWork (35 East 21st Street and 511 West 25th Street), Buzzfeed, Spotify, and Yext.
|Office Space for Lease||Price per square foot||Vacancy||Inventory|
|Class A||$88||2%||13 msf|
|Class B||$68||5%||9 msf|
Flatiron & Midtown South | Market Sentiment
Midtown South is the country’s tightest commercial real estate market entering the third quarter, and the vacancy rate decreased an additional 80 basis points in Q3 2018, representing a post- recessionary record low. Unrelenting demand and limited vacancies resulted in Midtown South’s sixth consecutive quarter of positive net absorption. 2018 office space lease volume is on pace for its most active year since 2014.
Commercial real estate performance was especially strong at the top of the market. Class A office spaces accounted for 94 percent of Midtown South’s positive absorption, dropping that segment’s vacancy rate by 140 basis points quarter-over-quarter. In 2011, Class A office space for rent in Flatiron and Midtown South averaged around $60 per square foot, well below today’s average asking rent of around $90 per square foot.
For budget-tight businesses seeking to set up shop in the heart of Silicon Alley, the office sublease market presents numerous enticing options for flexible, affordable office space. Office subleases in Flatiron can be signed in the $50-$60 per square foot range, especially in Class B or Class C buildings on numbered streets (avenue addresses tend to have higher asking rents).
What Our Brokers Say About Flatiron Office Space for Rent
Madison Square Park, fully restored in 2001, is just north of the building the neighborhood is named for. Over 50,000 people visit daily, it’s the perfect spot for both locals and tourists to take lunch, enjoy a coffee, or people watch.
Due to zoning laws, many of the tallest buildings are still no higher than 20 stories. Older buildings along the side streets are often only 3-6 stories tall. These smaller buildings mean that tenants seeking square footage of 5,000 or less can enjoy the privacy of occupying their own floor, which is rare in other parts of the city. With more modest floor plans with high ceilings, many spaces are ideal for open office concepts.
Since the formation of the Flatiron/23rd Street Partnership Business Improvement District (BID) in 2006, over 2.2 million in funds are invested annually in the neighborhood’s sanitation, public safety, marketing, social services, and public improvements. Due to the BID’s dedication to a clean and safe area, Flatiron is increasingly attractive for families and young professionals looking for a strong sense of community. There are currently 247 new residential units, including luxury rental condominiums, planned or under construction.
Flatiron District | Fitness and Food Culture
In response to the high number of young workers, the fitness and wellness sector has rapidly taken hold of Flatiron, with 47 fitness gyms and studios available within walking distance and companies like Athleta, Equinox, and Sweaty Betty renting office space.
As much as fitness is a part of the Flatiron culture, so is food. Host business meetings at Eleven Madison Park, Craft, Gramercy Tavern, and Cosme, or take a more casual outing to Shake Shack, Tappo Thin Crust, Live Bait, and Eisenberg Sandwich Shop. Flatiron is also home to Eataly, a 58,000 square foot Italian marketplace with seven unique restaurants that opened in 2010. During the summer, workers can choose from dozens of food trucks at Madison Square Eats. For a more complete list of things to do in the Flatiron District, check out our Best of Flatiron neighborhood guide.
Flatiron District | Neighborhood History
After evolving from the commercial “Toy District” to a more residential neighborhood, Flatiron was briefly referred to as the “Photo District” from the 1960s-1980s. Expansive lofts with plenty of natural light and relatively cheap rent were ideal for photographers. The appeal of these unique loft-style buildings brought an influx of tech and media companies, once again changing the character of the neighborhood until it officially became the Flatiron District in the mid-1980s.
Getting to, From, and Around the Flatiron District
Pedestrians outnumber vehicles 18:1 in Flatiron, so it’s no surprise that Flatiron has a walk score of 100% and is considered the 6th most walkable neighborhood in Manhattan. Foot traffic can be heavy during the day and at lunch time but lightens up in the evening. Bikers have access to 13 bike share stations and approximately 500 docking spaces within the district.
Flatiron’s transit score is also 100%. In addition to 24 bus lines that pass through Flatiron, commuters can take the F, M, N, R or 6 trains. Many choose to make slightly longer walks from express stops at Grand Central Station, Penn Station, Herald Square, or Union Square, which provide additional access to the 4, 5, A, C, E, B, D, N, Q, and L trains, as well as Amtrak and Metro North.