Can Midtown Compete in a New Manhattan Market?

Companies are looking for hip and rejuvenating office spaces, which do not include the low ceilings and outdated assets offered by most Midtown offices.

In this artist’s rendering provided by BerlinRosen for SL Green Realty, One Vanderbilt, center, rises above Midtown Manhattan in New York. PHOTO: /ASSOCIATED PRESS

(New York, NY) — Midtown is due for a makeover. With a new and competitive Manhattan market, The Midtown market is in need of a new design in order to stay relevant.

While Midtown stays true to its original image, Midtown South and the Far West Side are currently the city’s most desirable office markets.

Companies are looking for hip and rejuvenating office spaces, which do not include the low ceilings and outdated assets offered by most Midtown offices. In fact, more than 20 big-name tenants have relocated from Midtown to the Far West Side. Some of these tenants include Pfizer, EY, Time Warner and Wells Fargo. According to Newmark Knight Frank data, former Midtown tenants have accounted for a shocking 64 percent of all new leases signed on the Far West Side since 2013.

David Falk, president of Newark Knight Frank’s New York tri-state region, says, “The [Manhattan] market is almost bleeding into one, and it’s about what the building offers that differentiates it—does it speak to the brand of the company that is considering the building?”

According to C&W data, over the next two years, Manhattan is expected to see 12.6 million square feet of new office space. “The millennial generation has spoken: They want [offices with] light, air, amenities and column-free efficient space,” says Bruce Mosler, C&W’s chairman of global brokerage.

Is there hope for Midtown?

Yes, L&L Holding Company, a vertically-integrated real estate company, is looking to modernize and redesign two of their Midtown assets. Both 425 Park Avenue and 390 Madison Avenue are due for major makeovers. Both were mid-1950’s buildings in need of a more modernized look.

At 390 Madison there will be higher ceilings, more efficient floor plates, and an additional eight stories. As for 425 Park Avenue, the building is getting a ground-up reconstruction. The new 47-story building will have a modern spin with office space carefully and specifically designed.

Along with improving buildings, Midtown also provides easy access to subways and trains, a draw for out-of-city commuters, and a way to keep its name in the game.

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