When most people think of New York City, The Big Apple, or The City That Never Sleeps, Manhattan is the image that comes to mind. Manhattan has earned a reputation as the world’s leading financial, cultural, and entertainment center. The borough is home to the most iconic places and landmarks in NYC.
Manhattan is the most densely populated borough in New York City with approximately 1.6 million residents. The borough’s daytime population more than doubles during weekdays as commuters flood the city to work in over 500 million square feet of office space. New developments such as Hudson Yards add to the square footage of office space inventory every year, ensuring that companies of all shapes and sizes will continue to have plenty of direct lease, sublease, and flexible lease options to suit their needs.
Manhattan Office Space for Rent | Popular Neighborhoods
Office space in the Plaza District attracts two-thirds of all NYC hedge funds and is ideal for small to mid-sized financial services businesses. Subway lines B, D, F, M, 1, N, Q, and R, as well as seven bus lines, pass through the area.
Chelsea’s lower average rent of $76.60 per square foot combined with its abundance of sprawling brick and beam spaces have attracted a variety of big-name tech companies to the neighborhood, including Google, Twitter, YouTube, and Venmo. This eclectic Midtown South neighborhood is known for its inclusion of Chelsea Market and the High Line. Penn Station makes Chelsea easily accessible for employees traveling by intercity or commuter rail. Six bus routes and the A, C, E, F, M, 1, 2, and 7 trains also make stops in Chelsea.
Named after the iconic, triangular Flatiron Building, Flatiron has more than 21 million square feet of in-demand office space with a low vacancy rate. Floor plans tend to be modest with high ceilings, which attracts companies looking for open office concepts at an average of $65 per square foot. The original center of Silicon Alley, Flatiron is one of the most walkable neighborhoods in NYC and boasts excellent transit options, including 24 bus lines and the F, L, M, N, Q, R, 4, and 5 trains.
Financial District (FiDi) is defined by its inclusion of Wall Street, the Federal Reserve, the New York Stock Exchange, and NASDAQ. Widely considered the financial center of the world, FiDi offers some of the most affordable office space in Lower Manhattan at rents averaging just over $56.25 per square foot. Commuters can reach FiDi via the 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, A, C, E, J, Z, R, or W trains; the PATH train; or the East River and Staten Island Ferries.
World Trade Center, a complex in Lower Manhattan with five high-rise office buildings, has more than 21 million square feet of inventory with one of the highest vacancy rates (16 percent) in Lower Manhattan. The average asking rent in the complex is $79.50 per square foot. The World Trade Center Transport Hub provides a connection for the 2, 3, 4, 5, A, C, J, Z, N, R, W, and PATH trains.
Known as a major tourist destination and the center of entertainment in NYC, Times Square is one of the more expensive Manhattan submarkets. Class A office space typically costs $88 per square foot to rent, while Class B goes for an average of $65 per square foot. Times Square-42nd Street/Port Authority Bus Terminal is the busiest station complex in the system and is served by the 1, 2, 3, 7, A, C, E, N, Q, R, and W trains.
Short for South of Houston Street, SoHo is an upscale, mixed-use neighborhood that boasts more than four million square feet of office space for rent. It’s also one of the world’s most popular locations to acquire office space. Commercial tenants will pay an average of just over $88.25 per square foot (across all building classes) and up to $115 per square foot for Class A properties, due to high demand. The 1, 6, A, C, E, N, R, J, and Z trains pass through the neighborhood, as well as the PATH train.
A hub for advertising, media, and technology, Hudson Square is an up-and-coming business district located within an attractive community. A majority of Hudson Square’s inventory is in Class A buildings. The average asking rent for office space is just over $91.50 per square foot. The 1, A, C, and E trains and M5, M20, and M21 buses serve the area.
Tribeca is a trendy and expensive Manhattan submarket. Short for “Triangle Below Canal Street,” Tribeca is bordered by Canal Street, West Street, Broadway, and Vesey Street. Tribeca is a haven for walkers and bikers, and offers a variety of transportation options via train, bus, PATH, and ferry. Office space seekers can expect to pay just under $69.50 per square foot for office space (across all classes) and around $76.50 per square foot for Class A.
Hudson Yards, the newest development in Manhattan, is located between Chelsea and Hell’s Kitchen. Plans for Hudson Yards include 16 skyscrapers with close to six million square feet designated for commercial office space. Office space at Hudson Yards is already in high demand, mainly by the tech sector, and growing at a faster rate than Silicon Alley. Time Warner, HBO, Boston Consulting Group, Coach, and DNB Bank already work out of Hudson Yards. Office space in Hudson Yards rents for $86 per square foot on average. Hudson Yards is incredibly easy to reach by train, bus, bike, or ferry.
Conveniently located in the heart of Manhattan, Union Square is a prime location for office space. The district shares its name with Union Square Park and represents the southern end of Silicon Alley. The 14th Street-Union Square station is located directly below Union Square and is served by the 4, 5, 6, L, N, Q, R, and W trains. Rent office space in Union Square for around $81 per square foot.
Grand Central Station is a vast commuter terminal in the heart of Midtown served by the 4, 5, 6, 7, and S trains, multiple bus lines, and the Metro-North Railroad. The iconic transit center provides easy access around the city and is located close to the UN Headquarters. JP Morgan, Oracle Inc., Pfizer, and Salesforce are examples of notable tenants work in Grand Central. The average asking rent for office space is just over $72.25 per square foot. Current inventory has a relatively high vacancy rate of 12.5%, and more than 1.7 million square feet are under construction.
One of Manhattan’s two central business districts, Midtown is composed of multiple submarkets. Over two-thirds of Midtown’s inventory is Class A product with an average rent of $83 per square foot. Nearly every train runs through Midtown, and Pennsylvania Station, Grand Central Station, and Port Authority Bus Terminal are all located in Midtown.
What Our Brokers Say About Manhattan Office Space
New leasing activity in Manhattan increased by 21.5 percent in the second quarter of 2019. Vacancy rates have increased during the first two quarters, and currently, subleased space accounts for almost 21 percent of the available space. Because Park Avenue pricing has risen so significantly, the overall Manhattan asking rent increased by $1.14 per square foot in Q2 of 2019. So far, it looks like new leasing activity in Manhattan will reach or exceed the rates of 2018.
In Q2 of 2019, Warner Media completed a sale-leaseback of 1,418,000 square feet of space at 30 Hudson yards. Emblem Health renewed more than 400,000 square feet of space at 55 Water Street. SL Green bought more than 600,00 square feet of office space at 460 West 34th Street.
Manhattan Commercial Space For Lease | By the numbers
|Office Space for Rent||Price per square foot|
Manhattan Office Space | Lease Data & Trends
Manhattan houses more than 400 million square feet of office space, most of which is in Midtown Manhattan. Currently, the overall asking rent for office space in Manhattan averages just over $74 per square foot. Midtown South is the most expensive submarket with an average rent of just over $82 per square foot. Downtown Manhattan is cheapest at just under $64 per square foot, and Midtown is in the middle, with office leasing prices around $77 per square foot. Class A office space in Manhattan leases for an average of just under $80 per square foot. See the section about Manhattan submarkets below for neighborhood-specific pricing.
Subleasing office space is a cost-cutting option for businesses who want to save money but still work in Manhattan. Office subleases are arranged directly with a current office tenant and may lack the assurances that come with a direct lease through a landlord. However, for businesses that need additional flexibility, lower costs, and privacy unavailable at a coworking office, subleasing could be a good strategy.
Recent notable leases include Pfizer’s 792,000 square foot commitment at The Spiral (66 Hudson Boulevard), Discovery Communication’s 362,000 square foot lease at 230 Park Avenue South, a 320,000 expansion by Facebook within 770 Broadway in NoHo, and J. Crew moving into 325,000 square feet at 225 Liberty Street.
Getting Around: Transportation In Manhattan
Businesses in Manhattan have access to a vast abundance of transportation options. Whether by train, bus, commuter rail, or ferry, the majority of residents in and around NYC use public transportation to get to work. Penn Station and Grand Central Station are both located in Manhattan, connecting Manhattan to suburbs and major cities throughout the region and creating an impressively large hiring pool. 151 Subway stations are in Manhattan alone, and New Jersey’s PATH system also connects to six stations in Manhattan.
The neighborhoods in Manhattan are all highly walkable, and the city has a growing network of bike lanes and Citi Bike stations.
Manhattan’s traffic tends to be very congested. According to the annual INRIX Global Traffic Scorecard, New York City is the third most congested city in the world and second in the United States, only behind Los Angeles. Four of the 10 worst traffic corridors are within the NYC metro area, such as the eastbound section of the Cross Bronx Expressway (I-95). On the 4.7-mile stretch, drivers waste an average of 118 hours per year sitting in traffic. The other corridors that made the list include E. 34th Street from the FDR Drive to Fifth Avenue, eastbound on the Belt Parkway from exit 3 to exit 17, and E. 42nd Street from the FDR Drive to Seventh Avenue.
In October 2017, NYC’s Independent Budget Office published a report revealing that the city’s decaying subway system costs businesses $864,000 per day in lost work time. Traffic will cost the metro an alarming $100 billion over the next five years. Traffic congestion in Manhattan increased by 53 percent since the office’s last study in 2006. Residents in Manhattan and Queens were affected the most by delays, costing commuters more than $1,500 per year.
Top Commercial Properties For Lease In Manhattan
Manhattan has an enormous real estate market with seemingly endless options for businesses of all sizes. Contact one of our experienced brokers to discover specific options in the market that will suit your business needs. Or, check out the available space in these three SquareFoot-recommended properties in Manhattan:
80 Maiden Lane: 80 Maiden Lane is a Class B office building located at the corner of Maiden Lane and William Street in Financial District. Designed by famous architect Daniel H. Burnham and constructed in 1912, the building features rich neo-classical ornamentation and a lusciously carved main entrance. At 26 stories high and 535,000 square feet in size, it offers plenty of office space. Right now three units are vacant; two are around 1,700 square feet in size, and one is larger, at 11,879 square feet. Contact us for pricing or a tour. Current tenants of 80 Maiden Lane include korres USA, Wasser & Russ, and Quad Preparatory School. Access the building using trains 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, A, C, J, R, W, or Z. Multiple restaurants are located less than .1 mile from the building, such as Tr3s Carnes, Terri, Ramen Co., Hale, and Hearty Soups.
4 New York Plaza: 4 New York Plaza is a skyscraper located at the corner of Broad Street and Water Street in Lower Manhattan. It was first built in 1968 and recently renovated. 4 New York Plaza is 22 floors in size with more than 1 million square feet of space, but currently only one unit (22,718 square feet in size) is available for rent. Epiq Ediscovery Solutions, Radio One, and Premier Home Healthcare Services already work in 4 New York Plaza. The building has a Walk Score of 97. Employees working at 4 New York Plaza can take a stroll in nearby parks Elevated Acres or Stone Street Historic District. Trains 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, J, R, W, and Z deliver passengers to the area.
1251 Avenue of the Americas: 1251 Avenue of the Americas is an office building at the corner of 50th Street and 6th Avenue called the Exxon Building. It stands at 54 stories tall and is actually one of the tallest buildings in America and the second-tallest building in the Rockefeller complex. Current tenants include High Road Capital, Ostrum Asset Management, JC Trading, and International Council of Shopping Centers. Seven units ranging from 3,284 to 15,864 square feet in size are available to rent in the Exxon building. The Yellow, Orange, and Red MTA subway lines bring passengers to the building, and the area has a Walk Score of 100.