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NEW YORK CITY-In June, average asking rents here were down slightly to $59.87 per sf in Midtown, to $43.27 per sf Downtown and to $44.22 per sf in Midtown South, according to data compiled by Insignia/ESG. Increases in space coming back on the market saw small increases in Midtown and Downtown (6.4%) and Midtown South (9.2%).

Midtown–Year to date, 6.17 million sf have been leased in this part of town, including Chanel’s signing for 61,000 sf at 9 West 57th St. Just a little over half a million sf of available space was returned, including 135,000 sf from NBC at 30 Rockefeller Plaza. Despite this influx, however, the availability rate moved up to just 6.4%, three-tenths of a percent from the month before, Insignia/ESG notes.

Downtown–This year, 2.64 million sf of space was leased here during the first six months of the year, less than half of what was signed for during the same period in 2000 (5.75 million sf). About 350,000 sf of space came back to the market in June, pushing the availability rate up one point to 6.4%. That news should be tempered by the fact that in 1999 availability was pegged at 11.4%.

Midtown South–With the addition of 2.51 million sf, the Midtown South availability rate has reached 9.2%. Although that is at equilibrium, according to Insignia/ESG, its still a far cry from the 4% of a year ago. Leasing activity during June amounted to 130,000 sf, nearly half of if involving deals with space below 25,000 sf. Among those transactions was the 20,000 sf taken by Facts on File at 132 West 31st St.

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