Bruce Brodoff Communications
Bruce Brodoff Communications
Lower Manhattan in 2007: Progress and Promise
Progress and Promise, from January 2007

2006 was a watershed year for Lower Manhattan. Many of the programs and initiatives that were put in place over the past five years to help the area recover and rebuild have come to fruition, and the results have been remarkable.

A wide variety of companies have discovered the benefits of locating in Lower Manhattan, including excellent space with affordable rents, valuable financial incentives, unparalleled access to public transportation, inviting parks and open spaces, spectacular water views, a growing population of affluent and influential residents, and a bustling retail, restaurant and cultural scene.

The Downtown office market is again one of the strongest in the country. In the third quarter of 2006, Lower Manhattan's office market posted the heaviest leasing activity in eight years, with signed leases totaling 2.7 million square feet of space. This activity fueled a dramatic decline in Lower Manhattan's office vacancy rate, which is now barely over 8%, the lowest point seen since the third quarter of 2001. 117 businesses, representing many different industries and more than three million square feet of space, have moved Downtown since the beginning of 2005 and have helped diversify Lower Manhattan's economy.

Lower Manhattan is now a destination for luxury retailers and many of the nation's biggest hotel developers and operators, who are building and planning projects that will more than double the number of rooms available Downtown.

The finalization of the plans for the World Trade Center site, which calls for millions of square feet of Class A office and retail space, has been an important catalyst for the improving market conditions in Lower Manhattan. Once completed, the complex and related infrastructure projects will help position Downtown as perhaps the most modern, competitive and attractive central business district in the world.

Despite all of the progress made over the past few years, Lower Manhattan still faces many challenges. There is much work to do to ensure the long-term success of Lower Manhattan, the nation's fourth largest central business district.

The Alliance for Downtown New York is completing a four-year strategic plan that identifies these challenges and will help us remain a strong and effective advocate for the Downtown business community.

One of the projects and initiatives that will help promote continued positive momentum in Lower Manhattan in 2007 is the continuation and expansion of business incentive programs. These programs have helped attract thousands of new companies and employees Downtown and restore the number of businesses currently located in Lower Manhattan to its pre-September 11, 2001 level.

Of particular importance are the Real Estate Tax Abatement Program, which is set to expire on March 30, 2007, and the Lower Manhattan Energy Program and the Industrial and Commercial Incentive Program, both of which will lapse on June 30, 2007. The Alliance for Downtown New York is working with public and elected officials to extend and improve these critical incentive programs.

It is also imperative that building for the future does not impede the present and that the impact of construction does not discourage growth and new business activity in Lower Manhattan. The Downtown Alliance and leading Downtown businesses created the Construction Mitigation Group to lessen the impact of construction on daily life in Lower Manhattan, and the Downtown Alliance is also working closely with the Lower Manhattan Construction Command Center to coordinate all construction activity Downtown. Those with questions, comments or concerns regarding construction Downtown may contact the Construction Mitigation Group at

Improved access to Long Island's labor force and New York City's major international airport is critical to the long-range future of Downtown as a business center. The proposed Lower Manhattan/Jamaica-JFK rail link will enhance public transportation between Lower Manhattan and Long Island's labor force, provide a one-seat ride to JFK Airport, increase the global competitiveness and sustainability of New York City and help boost the city's long-term economic development and job creation efforts.

The Lower Manhattan/Jamaica-JFK Rail Link is vital to the future not only of Lower Manhattan and the region, but of the entire nation. The Alliance for Downtown New York is working with the many high-level elected officials and business leaders who support the rail link to help ensure that this vital project becomes a reality. Nothing less than keeping Lower Manhattan a premier business center is riding on it.

Lower Manhattan is now New York City's most dynamic and desirable location, and its best days are still ahead. The Alliance for Downtown New York is committed to ensuring that the district remains the nation's business headquarters as well as a great place to work, live and visit during this period of rebuilding and beyond.

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