By: Hellen Zaboulani
While office and retail real estate in the Big Apple continues to struggle, Sixth Ave is experiencing a boom.
As reported by the NY Post, the Sixth Avenue/Rockefeller Center submarket’s 42 million square feet are recovering faster and taking over tenants from other commercial districts. For the Avenue of the Americas, 2022’s first-quarter vacancy rate was 14.6 percent, compared with more than 20 percent in all other similar-sized submarkets in Manhattan, as per Cushman & Wakefield. CBRE reported just 12.3 percent availability for Sixth/Rockefeller, compared to 18.5 percent commercial availability in Manhattan as a whole. So, when the Avenue of the Americas Association holds its annual meeting on May 25 at the Rainbow Room, there will be reason to celebrate.
Buildings, including the Durst Organization’s 1155 Sixth, and Rockefeller Group’s 1271 Sixth, have seen a burst of leasing activity. Global Relay USA recently signed on for the top five floors in the 40-story building at 1155 Sixth. Law firm Latham & Watkins signed a lease for an additional half floor at 1271 Sixth. The law firm, which is the largest tenant in the 2.1 million square foot building, would now occupy over 435,000 square feet, bringing the building’s occupancy to an impressive 100 percent. The 48-story skyscraper, which recently underwent a $600 million redevelopment project, will also have a new oversized Avra restaurant opening in June on its ground floor.
As per the Post, developers on Avenue of America have invested tens of millions of dollars to upgrade their properties, hoping to breathe life into the neighborhood. At 1221 Sixth Ave, Rock Group is opening a lavish new, $50 million public plaza later this year. At 1100 Sixth Ave., known as Two Bryant Park, Brookfield Properties is transforming the dreary 15-story building into a glossy glass haven for Bank of America.
“Many were writing off Sixth Avenue in 2013-15 when numerous large blocks created the highest vacancy in the city. But those large blocks created large-space opportunities for large tenants,” said CBRE dealmaker John Maher. “The reinvestment and re-leasing at the time to high-quality large tenants has created the strength and stability that the avenue is now seeing.” He added, Sixth and Park Avenues are the “best business streets in the world.”
“While Park Avenue is largely dominated by the elite of banking and finance, Sixth has an extraordinary level of diversity, including headquarters for sports such as MLB, media and entertainment (News Corporation, Comcast), and tech firms (SalesForce),” Maher said.