As one of New York City’s oldest neighborhoods, Lower Manhattan is rich with history. Home to Wall Street, South Street Seaport and City Hall, the area is bustling with the energy of downtown New York City. Often referred to as the “Financial Capital of the World,” the area is the 4th largest business district in the country. With its many iconic attractions and cultural institutions, both historic and modern, Lower Manhattan also serves as one of the City’s major tourist attractions. Extensive investment and development in the area is transforming Lower Manhattan into a thriving 24/7 neighborhood with the fastest-growing residential market in the country.
Lower Manhattan provides unparalleled access via the single largest concentration of transit facilities in the world. Transportation amenities include 14 subway lines; 32 bus lines; the PATH Train to New Jersey; ferry service to Queens, Brooklyn, Staten Island, New Jersey, and Yonkers; heliport access; and major highways, tunnels and bridges such as Brooklyn Battery Tunnel and the Brooklyn and Manhattan Bridges. With access to a vast inventory of quality commercial office buildings, cultural institutions, restaurants and retail, a diverse mix of tenants, and an extensive transportation network, Lower Manhattan is an ideal location to establish your business.
With more than 100 million square feet (SF) of commercial office space, nearly 70 million of which is Class A, Lower Manhattan’s office market is roughly equivalent to that of San Francisco and Philadelphia combined.
Several major commercial deals have highlighted the ongoing prominence of Lower Manhattan as a successful location of top firms in finance and media, among other industries. Conde Nast recently completed a letter of intent for 1 million SF at One World Trade Center, and the New York Daily News signed a nearly 1 million SF lease at 4 New York Plaza. Healthfirst, Inc., who will be moving from another Lower Manhattan location, signed a 20-year lease for 173,000 SF at 100 Church Street and the New York City Pension Fund renewed its 56,000 SF lease at 233 Broadway.
Also noteworthy is one of the newer additions to the Lower Manhattan skyline, 7 World Trade Center, a 52-story 1.7 million SF Class A office building, offering the latest in design and cutting edge technology. The space includes high profile tenants such as Moody's Corporation, Ameriprise Financial, Arnell Group, and a number of companies that relocated from midtown including WestLB, one of Germany's leading financial institutions; the New York Academy of Sciences; Mansueto Ventures, publisher of Fast Company and Inc. magazines; Kostelanetz & Fink law firm; and Silverstein Properties.
By 2011, more than 800,000 SF of new retail is expected to open in Lower Manhattan. Notable retailers like BMW, Hermes, Hickey Freeman, Papyrus, Sephora, and Thomas Pink have opened stores in the area, and Tiffany & Co. has returned to Lower Manhattan, with a store at 37 Wall Street. The Downtown Alliance manages the Downtown-Lower Manhattan Business Improvement District (BID), serving the area roughly from City Hall to the Battery, from the East River to West Street. The BID provides supplemental security and sanitation; streetscape, design and transportation services; marketing and enhanced tourism programs; and promotes special events throughout the year.
The City is making a $68 million investment in Fulton Street, helping to transform the area's only river-to-river corridor into an exciting connector between the redeveloped World Trade Center and South Street Seaport. Retail along Fulton Street continues to make progress as streetscape improvements bring new sidewalks, granite curbs, lighting, and street furniture. City planners are working with Fulton Street building owners to create more unified storefronts and facades on the corridor. In addition, the $535 million redevelopment of the South Ferry subway station has recently been completed, offering residents and tourists enhanced public transportation access to Lower Manhattan.
Lower Manhattan’s retail market is buoyed by steady growth in residential and hotel development and a growing tourist industry. Since 2003, the local residential population increased nearly 85%, from approximately 30,000 to over 55,000. With almost 6 million annual visitors, Lower Manhattan has an 85% occupancy rate for its 3,700 existing hotel rooms with an additional 850 under construction.