BETHESDA, MD-Hundreds of businesses are looking for space in New York City after the devastating terrorist attack on the World Trade Center. The devastation has left businesses large and small scrambling for office space. At least one area firm plans to step in and help those businesses meet their real estate needs.

Based in a Washington suburb, CoStar Group has a database that tracks more than 2 billion sf of space in more than 800,000 buildings nationwide. CoStar has also has information on more than 1 million tenants.

Spokeswoman Pamela Silberman told that CoStar has a comprehensive process to gather data. “We call brokers and building owners, we canvas properties,” said Silberman. CoStar has identified six or seven properties that were damaged or destroyed in Tuesday’s attacks. According to CoStar data, there was more than 33 million sf of office space available in New York before the attacks, and a vacancy rate of about 7.4%.

In the report, CoStar director of analytics, Jay Spivey, said “Over 80% of these displaced tenants will have viable relocation options in Manhattan, but this may not hold true if significant additional structures are deemed uninhabitable.” The issue facing both New York and to a lesser degree Washington, DC is whether or not tenants will want to stay in the central business district, which was clearly a target in both attacks. Silberman could not comment on intent, but the data shows that if the majority of businesses that lost their space relocated within Manhattan, that market could have an unprecedented low of 4.3%.

Andrew Florance, CoStar president and CEO, has asked all of its subscribers to provide them with their latest information. “At a time when necessity is the greatest,” said Florance, “we urge owners and commercial real estate brokers to assist CoStar Group by updating your available space information and temporary lease opportunities with our research staff.”

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