New York Office Space

New York at a Glance

New York City is home to one of the largest and most vibrant business districts in the world. As the longtime leading business center of the United States, the city contains over 520 million square feet of space, an industry larger than the next five biggest U.S. markets combined. Manhattan is home to the likes of the MetLife, Empire State, and Chrysler Buildings, all which have been featured prominently in the news and media throughout the years.

Organizations looking for New York commercial real estate are certainly spoiled for choice. There are a myriad of options available across price ranges. Typically, space closer to business centers like Midtown and Downtown are pricier, with lower cost options available in the outlying boroughs of Queens and Brooklyn. Thanks to one of the world’s most efficient public transportation networks, space in the city is often easily accessible at little cost, leading to a huge commuting culture. Commuters are able to live in lower-cost areas like New Jersey, Upstate New York, and Connecticut yet travel quickly into the city on a daily basis.


New York City is home to the world’s second largest city economy behind Tokyo, and the largest regional economy in the United States. The New York metropolitan area as a whole had an estimated Gross Metropolitan Product (GMP) of $1.28 trillion in 2010 and accounted for the vast majority of economic activity in the states of New York and New Jersey. There are a number of industries that drive this activity, most notably the real estate, media, trade, finance, health care, and now to a larger extent, technology. In 2012, New York City was ranked first in the Global Economic Power Index, an index that measures global economic clout amongst the world’s most powerful cities. This is in large part due to New York City’s huge economic output as well as the presence of a large number of multinational firms and organizations, most notably the United Nations world headquarters on East 42nd street.

While the economy suffered in 2008 due to the financial meltdown, it has since recovered and the city is enjoying growth in a number of industries including finance, real estate, retail, and technology. Technology especially has burst onto the scene in recent years. Due to the high concentration of educated people (three out of five people in Manhattan have college degrees and one out of four have had advanced education), technology giants such as Google, Facebook, and Twitter have purchased space in the city and have all set up centers for operation. The technology scene has also birthed a number of successful startups such as Tumblr and FourSquare, with the burgeoning entrepreneurial scene being referred to as ‘Silicon Alley’ in reference to California’s Silicon Valley.

Finance is also one of the economy’s largest drivers, with New York City often referred to as the financial capital of the world. Every major global investment bank, brokerage firm, or investment fund has offices in the city and the New York Stock Exchange is the largest exchange in the world in terms of global market capitalization in its listed companies. The city is also home to the largest Federal Reserve District in the country, with the New York Federal Reserve Bank owning more assets than any other region.

Finally, tourism is a major industry that serves over 47 million people and is a major driver of the city’s hospitality and retail industries. New York has one of the highest hotel occupancy rates in the country, with arrival rates remaining competitive even through the 2008 economic meltdown. The city is host to a number of professional sports teams including the New York Giants, Jets, Yankees, Rangers, Metropolitans, Knicks, and Red Bulls. The city also sports a rich cultural history as well as one of the most wide ranging culinary capitals of the world.

New York City commercial real estate offers many options for businesses looking for all types of space. Upper Midtown is populated by a swath of large, ultra-modern, class A skyscrapers that are well suited for firms looking for large blocks of office space. Downtown and the Financial District, meanwhile, is comprised of relatively older buildings that feature a large number of financial services firms and institutions. The concentrated geography creates network effects for financial institutions and organizations looking for proximity to partner firms or clients. Downtown is also easily accessible as it serves as the converging point for many of the city’s subway lines.

Between Upper Midtown and Downtown is an area known as Lower Midtown, which harbors a large number of different industries including retail, fashion, media, and technology. Spaces within ‘Silicon Alley,’ which is a collection of neighborhoods that house technology firms, are known for their wide loft-like spaces and communal working settings. These areas are great for firms looking for an alternative to the typical cubicle and office setup.

The New York office space market has gained traction in recent years. The volume of real estate transacted in 2013 was around $19.7 Billion, up from just $1.5 Billion in 2009 post-crash. There are a variety of factors that have led to this outcome, including shrinking unemployment rates and consistently low interest rates. These effects have caused the amount of available premium space in the market to decrease and overall asking prices for office space to increase. In addition, there are lower vacancy across the board, with landlords gaining bargaining leverage over tenants.

TheSquareFoot has an office in New York City and our speciality is helping small business and entrepreneurs find New York commercial real estate. With TheSquareFoot, our goal is to make the search for New York office space easy with availability and pricing, so that you can tour and quickly lease / rent the perfect space for your business.

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