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Kal Vaughan
Kal Vaughan
  • 1 Minute Read
  • 13th December 2012

15-18million sq ft of unusable Lower Manhattan office space a ‘ticking time bomb’

Lower Manhattan now has more deserted office space than most cities as a result of the devastation caused by hurricane Sandy, the New York Times reported today.

15 to 18 million sq ft of office space now lies wasted in Lower Manhattan, an amount comparable to the individual office provisions of cities such as Miami, Phoenix or San Diego.

Mobile boilers and portable generators now line the streets, powering lifts and banks of fluorescent lights. Ventilation tubes coil around scaffolds and above sidewalks.

Power and transport infrastructure failures are far from fixed, while the areas telephone line scheduled for completion in May, 2013, something Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg said was “just not acceptable,” in a speech given on Thursday morning.

The devastation in Lower Manhattan caused by Hurricane Sandy has forced many businesses in the area to relocate, causing the demand for fully functional flexible office spaces rise to record levels.

The problem is a potential commercial real estate time bomb, as tenants will be freed from the terms of their lease if their premises are not fit for purpose for a specific period of time, usually around three months.

It will be the only piece of positive news for affected businesses who signed tenancy deals when rents were too high, or took more space than they needed, as they will be able to walk away from their contract without being penalised.

One of the largest businesses relocations on the East Coast post Sandy was Brownstone Agency; a leading New York based insurance company, who SOS successfully managed to allocate 100 fully furnished workstations.