Stat of the Week: "44.4 Million"

In greater New York City, there is a total of 11.3 million square feet of office product under construction with another 33.1 million square feet proposed. That makes a grand total of 44.4 million square feet that will or could be delivered in the next few years.

And if new construction and proposed development are any guide to need and desire, then Manhattan certainly has the jump on the rest of metropolitan New York City. Nearly 90 percent of the new office buildings under construction and 57 percent of the proposed development is located in the city.

The majority of all that space is, of course, either at the new World Trade Center or on the west side of midtown/midtown south. No other market in the area comes close in new construction—Suffolk County has just under one million square feet underway, but that is almost all because of the future Canon USA headquarters being built in Melville and delivering in late 2012.

Probably most surprising is how far Jersey City has fallen back, with absolutely no major office product underway though there is more than eight million square feet on the drawing board. During the past decade, high-rise residential development in New Jersey moved to the head of the line, bypassing office expansion (you can thank the housing boom for that).

One can’t count Jersey City out of the race yet, though with several sites almost “construction ready,” a quicker build time than Manhattan and very generous incentives available, it still has great appeal. That said, the build-it-and-they-will-come scenario rarely happens for commercial real estate in greater New York City, and thus developers won’t break ground on any major proposed project without a serious commitment from a tenant, or several tenants for that matter.
—Robert Sammons, Cassidy Turley New York