Volume 22, Number 32 | The Newspaper of Lower Manhattan | December 18 - 24, 2009
By Patrick Hedlund
Leasing keeping pace
November proved one of the most active months of the year for Downtown office leasing with deals totaling more than 300,000 square feet.
According to CB Richard Ellis’s monthly market report for Downtown — which covers the Financial District, World Financial Center and City Hall — the area counted 320,000 total square feet of lease signings last month. That figure marks an 18 percent drop from the five-year monthly average of 390,000 square feet, but still proved to be Downtown’s third-strongest month of activity for the year to date (behind 430,000 square feet in August and 400,000 square feet in July).
The Financial District led the way with lease deals totaling 240,000 square feet, including the Depository Trust and Clearing Corporation signing for a 200,000-square-foot renewal at 55 Water St. The World Financial Center counted just one deal in November — the Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s 55,000-square-foot lease at 3 World Financial Center — while City Hall accounted for 30,000 square feet of the total activity. Still, the Financial District, World Financial Center and City Hall submarkets fell short of their five-year monthly averages by 11 percent, slightly less than 50 percent and 25 percent, respectively.
The Noho/Soho submarket, which is included in data for Midtown South, stayed on par with its five-year monthly average by posting 20,000 square feet of activity last month, slightly above its average. Hudson Square/Tribeca, also included in Midtown South, had only one signing last month — the Brennan Center for Justice’s 14,000-square-foot lease at 161 Sixth Ave.— significantly trailing its monthly average of 60,000 square feet.
With such scant eating options in the Financial District, hungry Lower Manhattanites either licked their lips or gagged at news that a fried-chicken joint would be taking over the space formerly occupied by a vegetarian restaurant.
Chicken BonChon, a fast-food eatery specializing in Korean fried chicken, recently signed a 10-year lease for 2,000 square feet at 104 John St., the one-time home of Asian fusion/vegetarian restaurant Zen Palate between Cliff and Pearl Sts.
BonChon’s mid-December opening is set to coincide with another in Midtown, and the restaurant also counts a location on Fifth Ave. in Koreatown. According to some exhaustive online research, fried chicken in Korea is equivalent to chicken wings in the States, so we have a feeling the space should do brisk business.
Winick Realty Group represented both tenant and landlord in the deal.