NYC Office Space for Rent
New York City is the most populous and densely populated city in the United States, with nearly 9 million residents distributed over 300 square miles. NYC is a global hub for culture, art, media, commerce, finance, advertising, legal services, accounting, insurance, entertainment, transit, international diplomacy, tourism, and technology.
With nearly 24 million people living in the metro area and more than 800 languages spoken, the city is a hub for local and international businesses. If the New York City metro area were its own country, its GDP would rank among the 20 largest in the world.
With businesses ranging from sole proprietorships to multinational firms, there is more than 500 million square feet of NYC office space to accommodate all sizes and budgets. Feel free to filter our real-time listings by neighborhood and number of employees, and check out the rest of our city guide for everything else you need to know about finding New York office space.
Office Space New York | Lease Data and Trends
Based on publicly available commercial real estate leasing data, the average asking rent for New York office space is around $75 per square foot, and units in Class A buildings rent for around $84 per square foot. For businesses looking for more budget-friendly options, there is more than 150 million square feet of Class B office space for rent. In New York City, the average asking rent for these spaces is slightly less than $60 per square foot.
Additionally, office subleases present a cost-effective, short-term option for fast-growing businesses that want added flexibility. However, office subleases involve renting through current tenants, which isn’t ideal for every business.
According to a recent report from Jones Lang LaSalle, there is around 450 million square feet of office space in Manhattan alone, and about 20 million square feet under construction. Nearly half of this new construction is part of the Hudson Yards project.
Between Brooklyn and Long Island City, there is an additional 45+ million square feet of office space in New York, with average direct lease prices of slightly more than $40 per square foot. This makes New York City the largest commercial real estate market in the United States, ahead of other major cities such as Chicago, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, San Francisco, Houston, and Dallas–Fort Worth.
What Our Brokers Say About New York Office Space for Rent
Across New York office space for rent has been flying off the market, driven by tenants from a diverse array of industries. Growth across the direct lease and sublease markets has resulted in the highest year-to-date leasing activity number in a historic high. While direct lease prices continue to rise, there has been in increase in office sublease options that have kept overall average prices stable.
The city’s vacancy rate declined for the sixth straight quarter, with a mix of major lease signings and a continued healthy local economy driving growth across the board. Midtown South leasing is currently on track to reach its highest annual total since 2014. Demand and competition are high, so while lease prices are always going to be high in New York compared to other cities, it is a favorable environment to get lease concessions from landlords, for tenant improvements or added lease perks.
Employment data in August 2018 reported nearly 4.5 million jobs, up more than 50,000 from the previous year. Job growth was particularly strong in education, health, leisure and hospitality sectors. Despite a slowdown in financial services hiring, the city’s economy continues to thrive, with unemployment below 4.5% for the longest consecutive period on record.
A few notable leases signed during 2018 include Pfizer’s 798,278 square foot lease at The Spiral (66 Hudson Boulevard), Latham & Watkins’ 407,000 square foot lease at 1271 Avenue of the Americas, and Discovery, Inc’s 362,000 square foot signing at 230 Park Avenue South.
Popular Neighborhoods to Rent NYC Office Space
Lower Manhattan: Based around Wall Street at the southern tip of Manhattan, the Financial District’s ecosystem is one of the leading drivers of NYC’s economic engine, from the New York Stock Exchange, Federal Reserve, and NASDAQ to banks, hedge funds, and fintech startups. The Financial District is a popular and affordable location to lease office space. FiDi is also home to the newly near the newly constructed Freedom Tower and Oculus, where workers can access the PATH trains to New Jersey. The Staten Island Ferry conveniently drops off at Battery Park, and commuters can reach Lower Manhattan via the 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, A, C, E, J, Z, R, or W trains.
Flatiron District: Named after the iconic triangular Flatiron Building at the intersection of 23rd Street, Broadway, and Fifth Avenue in Manhattan, the Flatiron District is the heart of Silicon Alley, New York City’s technology and startup sector, which has grown by more than 70 percent in the past decade. The smaller NYC office space market has seen significant support from startups. Today, the tech ecosystem includes more than 7,000 companies valued at a combined $71 billion, and more than 600,000 employees.
Flatiron office spaces for rent commonly have high ceilings and open floor plans, making them extremely popular among advertising agencies, startups, photographers, and businesses that regularly bring clients to the office. The neighborhood is bordered by Union Square in the south and Madison Square Park in the north. Commuters can take the 1, 2, 6, F, M, R, and W trains, as well the PATH train to New Jersey.
In addition to the direct leasing options, Flatiron is home to several coworking and flexible office providers, giving businesses a range of options on lease length and cost per square foot.
Midtown Manhattan: Midtown stretches across Manhattan from 14th Street in the south up to 59th Street, but some people will refer to it as anything as far north as the 70’s or 80’s. Midtown is the country’s largest central business district, and a massive entertainment, commercial, and media hub. It is home to some of the city’s most iconic landmarks, including the Chrysler Building, Empire State Building, United Nations headquarters, Rockefeller Center, Times Square, Broadway theater, Grand Central Station, 42 Street Library, Bryant Park, Herald Square, The Intrepid, and Madison Square Garden.
Midtown and the Plaza District are home to major television networks and biotechnology, fashion, insurance, accounting, consulting, and technology firms. A major part of the draw to Midtown is accessibility to public transit. In addition to the MTA network of trains and buses (nearly every train runs through Midtown), Pennsylvania Station, Grand Central, and Port Authority Bus Terminal alone combine to shuttle nearly 2 million commuters each workday. Midtown office spaces also give employees access to nearly unlimited options for work/life balance, including countless top-rated restaurants, proximity to Broadway musicals, and outdoor space in Central Park and on the Hudson River Greenway and High Line.
SoHo and Hudson Square: This part of Midtown South is a hub for NYC culture and business. Numerous high-profile technology, finance, advertising, consulting, and retail firms are based in the area. Employees enjoy easy access by train, bus, PATH, or bicycle, and hundreds of coffee shops, restaurants, and bars to choose from.
Chelsea: Though primarily residential, Chelsea is an easily accessible neighborhood rich in culture and diversity and a fantastic choice for office space. Chelsea is home to tech firms such as Google and Twitter, which have taken advantage of warehouse buildings’ large, open office spaces and high ceilings, and the convenience of being near Chelsea Market, a restored historic factory, for food and retail. The area is known as one of the city’s centers for art and culture, and the neighborhood is home to more than 200 galleries. You can get to Chelsea by taking the 1, 2, 3, A, C, E, or PATH trains.
DUMBO: Short for Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass, DUMBO has exploded to become one of the trendiest mixed-use neighborhoods in New York City. Old warehouses have been converted into office space for ad agencies, tech startups, boutique retailers, high-end restaurants, cafes, and art galleries. DUMBO is also home to Washington Street, an iconic street with an irresistibly photogenic view of the Manhattan Bridge. If you haven’t seen it in a commercial or fashion ad, it’s probably popped up on your Instagram feed. DUMBO and Downtown Brooklyn are most accessible from the 2, 3, 4, 5, A, C, F, and R trains.
Long Island City: Located in the Southwest corner of Queens, Long Island City (Hunters Point) is conveniently close to both Brooklyn and Manhattan, and a fast-growing hub for office space. Long Island City is home to a wide range of companies and an area with numerous corporate real estate projects underway. The neighborhood can be reached on the G, F, 7, N, R, W, E, and M trains, as well as the Long Island Rail Road.
Garment District: As the name indicates, the Garment District is where many global fashion brands operate showrooms and create designs. Major fashion brands such as Calvin Klein, Liz Claiborne, Nicole Miller, Andrew Marc, and Carolina Herrera have offices in the Garment District. Though the textile manufacturing industry no longer thrives in the area, many of these spaces have been filled by media, advertising, and technology companies. The nearby Hudson Yards redevelopment project is also flooding the area with new Class A office space, and is becoming a very popular destination for hedge funds. The Garment District is popular thanks to its affordable prices, proximity to the Port Authority Bus Terminal, Penn Station, New Jersey Transit, Long Island Rail Road, and Times Square. Commuters are also a short walk or shuttle ride away from Grand Central Terminal.
Transportation in New York City
A core advantage of having an office in Manhattan, Brooklyn, or Queens is access to millions of talented employees, thanks to the city’s vast and robust transit system. The web of trains, commuter rails, buses, and ferries cover thousands of miles and allow for millions of people to reach the city from nearby suburbs without driving.
In addition to the CitiBike fleet, starting in July 2018, the Department of Transportation will be piloting a dockless bike program. There will also be pedal assist bikes available for longer commutes from The Rockaways, North Shore in Staten Island, and the area around Fordham in the Bronx.
Because of all these public transit options alongside a fast-growing network of bicycle lanes and bike-share docks and the highest WalkScore rating of any US city, NYC is the most energy-efficient city in the country. Employers have the advantage of recruiting from far-away suburbs, local colleges, and residents from just down the block.
While NYC office space is accessible to million of potential employees, the transit outlook isn’t entirely rosy. Despite all the non-driving options, New York City suffers from among the worst traffic congestion in the world. Based on 2017 data from INRIX, New York commuters spend 91 peak hours stuck in traffic last year, tied with Moscow for second place for the most amount of hours spent in congestion.
Additionally, New York drivers spent 13 percent of their time sitting in congestion, with 11 percent of that being attributed to daytime traffic. Over the next five years, the congestion is estimated to cost the city $100 billion in lost productivity. The MTA’s notorious subway issues alone cost nearly $864,000 per day in lost work time.