Buoyed by the area’s burgeoning tech scene and growing residential market, the Flatiron/23rd Street Partnership Business Improvement District this morning presented its third annual report to a room of brokers and indicated available commercial space in the district is sparse.
With more than 200 commercial office buildings offering upwards of 22 million square feet of rentable space, Flatiron’s overall vacancy rate sits at just 6.96 percent, with only 1.55 million square feet available for lease. The average price per square foot of that space hovers just below $50 at $49.10.
Our pal Elevator View (one of the best photo tweeters/bloggers in town) shot us this photo of new construction fencing going up at 400 Park Avenue South, suggesting that Christian de Portzamparc’s long-delayed crystalline apartment building will finally rise there starting this year.
The investment sales market, most brokers agree, has been heating up over the past 12 months. Approximately $25.8 billion in commercial properties changed hands last year, a turnaround that represented an 88 percent increase over 2010. But while the positive uptick is easily verifiable, what happens next for Manhattan’s investment sales market is still up in the air.
Accordingly, The Commercial Observer set out to speak with the real estate industry’s most accomplished capital markets and sales practitioners to learn what’s in store for 2012. Over the next several days, we’ll post interviews with heavy hitters like Richard Baxter of Jones Lang LaSalle, J.D. Parker of Marcus & Millichap, Darcy Stacom and William Shanahan of CBRE and Peter Hausperg of Eastern Consolidated. But, first, after the jump, none other than Woody Heller of Studley.
“The project is now 10 years old, it’s time to build it!”
That was Andre Terzibachian’s response when The Observer emailed him about 400 Park Avenue South on Friday. A partner at Atelier Christian de Portzamparc, Mr. Terzibachian is responsible for many of the firm’s projects in New York, where the Pritzker Prize-winning Frenchman has had a number of surprising successes: the jagged LVMH North American headquarters on 57th Street; the skyline-redefining, outrageously priced One57 now rising a few blocks to the west; and beyond that, abutting the Hudson River, a daring complex of five towers at Riverside South.
All the while, 400 Park Avenue South was in the works the middle of Manhattan as a small-time developer tried, and eventually failed, to get an ambitious project off the ground. (Oddly enough, it is the only of Mr. de Portzamparc’s projects not somewhere on 57th Street.) Construction was set to begin after years of development and zoning approvals. Then the recession hit. In December, the site was sold to a partnership of two of the nation’s biggest builders, Toll Brothers and Sam Zell’s Equity Residential. It was not clear at the time what the fate of this crystalline castle would be, but it turns out Mr. de Portzamparc will be planting another shard in the New York skyline after all.