NEW YORK CITY- Hoping to contact more than 5,000 companies involved in the business services and high-tech sectors, the Alliance for Downtown New York has launched a program to attract them to Lower Manhattan. The organization has targeted the suburban markets of New Jersey and New York as well as Manhattan’s Midtown and Midtown South submarkets.

“Similar efforts have been conducted over the years by New Jersey and other suburban regions to draw businesses out of the city, but we are now turning the tables and attempting to lure companies to Lower Manhattan,” explains Shirley Jaffe, vice president of economic development for the organization.

The effort includes mailing a 14-page guidebook that details the benefits of doing business in Lower Manhattan to thousands of companies in its target markets. The publication outlines such advantages as an advanced telecommunications infrastructure, highly skilled workforce, proximity to the bars and restaurants of Tribeca in addition to lower or competitive rents. The Alliance will then follow-up with telephone over the next few months.

The Alliance has created two tools to help companies see what the financial benefits can be and learn where space is available. To help with all the financial details, the Alliance has created the Downtown Incentives Calculator, which helps firms determine the savings available from government incentives and competitive rents. The online calculator considers details such as number of employees, rent per square foot, location of business on Sept. 11, 2001, expected energy use and corporate tax rate to determine the savings available.

The Downtown Space Finder enables companies to identify specific commercial and retail space that meets their individual needs. The online function features virtual space tours and contact information for appropriate brokers. Companies can search the entire area or narrow their choices to specific sub markets. Businesses can also sort options by address, rent, height, number of floors and more.Both may be viewed at Manhattan has seen a substantial decrease in direct vacancy rates at midyear 2003, according to Jones Lang Lasalle, and it has reaped the benefits of 200,000 sf of positive absorption in the second quarter.

“Business services and high-tech companies are particularly well suited for the high-quality, relatively inexpensive office space near not only the world’s leading financial companies, but also the vibrant nightlife of Tribeca,” says Jaffe.

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