Top Manhattan Office Space Now Costs More Than Ever; Companies Lap It Up

Up, up, and way away went Manhattan office rents in October, according to new numbers from a top city brokerage.

Colliers ABR says the average asking rent for Class A space – the sort of top-tier stuff in Midtown skyscrapers and in downtown addresses like 7 World Trade Center – hit $63.26 a square foot last month, a record that bests the previous all-time high of $61.48 in April of 2001.

Robert Sammons, Colliers’ research director, credits the spikes in Manhattan office rents to the strength of Midtown, were the average asking rent for Class A space in October was $73.95 a foot, up from around $70 in September. Sammons said that the asking rent for top Midtown office space will likely smack $75 a foot by the end of 2006; in Manhattan overall, it will be renting at $65 a foot by year’s end.

Will companies continue to pony up the dough for such pricey addresses? Apparently.

Colliers ABR reports that the vacancy rate for Class A space in Manhattan tumbled in October to 6.5 percent, its lowest level since July of 2001.

- Tom Acitelli