LandlordsNY Briefing for October 10th

Midtown Manhattan has seen 13.9 million square feet in rental agreements through the third quarter of the year. According to a report by CBRE Group Inc, this is the best first three quarters for the area since 2006, when 15.6 million square feet of office space was leased.

Financial companies led the way, with 36 percent of the leasing. Law firms and legal services were second, with 14 percent. The largest deal was a 343,606-square-foot lease to renew and expand Evercore’s offices at 55 East 52nd Street. The average asking rent in the area for the third quarter was $78.41 per square foot—a 2 percent increase from the second quarter, but a 3 percent decline from this time last year.

Crain’s New York has more.

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During a panel discussion at the Urban Land Institute’s Fall Meeting in Boston, numerous developers and investors considered the possibility of moving beyond transit-oriented development models. They believe that, eventually, an area’s walkability could be more important to tenants than easy access to public transportation.

There is evidence that this shift is already beginning to happen. Ridership on public transportation is declining in many large cities, though there is some dispute about the exact causes of the decline. Some believe it is due largely to the rise of companies like Uber and Lyft, while others see telecommuting and biking as playing a significant role. Meanwhile, demand for walkable communities is on the rise.

David Bragg, managing director of Green Street Advisors, said that there could be additional consequences of such a paradigm shift. For one, two-car households could become one-car households, which would free up garage space. This could have a negative impact on the self-storage industry.

Urban Land Magazine has more.

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In a Landlords New York Minute – A (Very) Brief Look Around the World

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s popularity is waning due to rising inflation and skyrocketing rice prices, the number of “irregular migrants” into Germany so far this year is less than half the anticipated number, Turkish officials believe that a Saudi assassin squad was sent to Istanbul to kill journalist Jamal Khashoggi, officials in Bulgaria have announced that the murder of television journalist Viktoria Marinova was a random act of violence, and Facebook’s war on fake news is not going well. In real news, Hurricane Michael (which reached Category 4 status last night) is said to be the worst storm to hit the Florida Panhandle in a century, the United States Government Accountability Office has found that military technology is easy to hack, the Veterans Association is refusing to provide Congress with documents concerning accusations that members of the Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida have a significant influence over department policy, and Sears is preparing for bankruptcy. In other economic news, the producer-price index increased by 0.2 percent in September from August and 2.6 percent from last September, investors appear to be positioning themselves for a potential downturn as they pull money from active funds and slow investment into mutual and exchange-traded funds, new federal regulations will require foreign investors who are involved in deals pertaining to technology deemed critical to U.S. national security submit to national security reviews or face fines equivalent to the value of the proposed transaction via the Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S. (known as Cfius, which is pronounced Siff-ee-yus not See-fee-us), SoftBank is evidently considering becoming the majority share owner of WeWork, the number of commercial real estate collateralized loan obligations (CRE CLOs) issued is on the rise, and Swiss startup Innolith has developed a new kind of battery that has a lifespan more than fifty times longer than batteries powered by current lithium-ion technology. An audit showed everyone who hasn’t noticed the massive number of train delays that NJ Transit is not doing well, the number of unsold luxury homes in Manhattan’s prime market is beginning to pile up, and Greenland USA’s development at 18 Sixth Avenue in Brooklyn will now be entirely rentals instead of a combination of rentals and condominiums.

Millennials are ruining divorce, “misery bacon” (“Kummerspeck” in German) is the weight you gain after a breakup, discarded oyster shells are helping to save New York Harbor, you can buy a house that was designed to keep you alive forever in East Hampton for $2.495 million, and the finalists for the 2018 National Book Awards have been announced. Finally, a group of thieves broke up a Dungeons and Dragons game and got away with several wallets and cellphones, a PlayStation 4, and “several swords”; there are zombie raccoons in Prospect Park; and a lawsuit alleges that Happy, an elephant who resides in the Bronx Zoo, is actually quite sad.

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