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WHITE PLAINS, NY—Record-setting leasing activity thus far in 2000 has resulted in sharp declines in the office availability rate in Westchester County, NY. According to the Insignia/ESG Midyear Commercial Report released today, the countywide availability rate at the end of the second quarter stood at 12.8%, down from 16.7% a year ago.

The findings suggest that the long-troubled White Plains CBD is now one of the hottest markets in the northern New York suburbs. For the second quarter of the year, the availability rate Downtown dropped 10% from a year ago to 16.9%. Only 18 months ago the CBD posted a bloated office availability rate of 30%.

And, year to date, 1.8 million sf of office space was leased, an increase of 44% from the same period last year, according to Insignia/ESG figures.

“Buildings like 360 Hamilton Ave. [owned by Reckson Associates Realty Corp.], which formerly housed much of the available space in the county, are now almost totally leased,” says Dean Shapiro, executive director of Insignia/ESG’s Westchester-Connecticut office “As available space in Manhattan, which currently measures just 5% of the inventory, and Fairfield County, CT (8%) continues to tighten, more tenants will consider Westchester County.”

Insignia/ESG notes that at the end of June 2000, there were only six blocks of available space greater than 100,000 sf, collectively totaling 1.7 million sf. By comparison, in ’99 there were 13 units of available space of more than 100,000 sf, coming to three million sf. The average asking rent in Westchester at the end of the second quarter stood at $24.76 per sf, while tenants in the White Plains CBD have seen asking rents average $25.20 per sf.

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