Saturday, April 05, 2008

Stoler: Outer-borough office market in trouble

What are the chances for the flagship Miss Brooklyn office tower? There certainly are question marks, despite Frank Gehry's assurances reported by the Brooklyn Paper, which has quickly re-spun its Miss Brooklyn assessment from "dead" to "hotter than ever."

From an article headlined Office Space Glut Talk of the Industry, by Michael Stoler in Thursday's New York Sun:
At least 4 million square feet of office buildings are in the planning stages in Brooklyn and Queens, not including Forest City Ratner's Atlantic Yards development.

Construction has not yet commenced on Tishman Speyer's planned office development on the site of the Queens Plaza Municipal garage. The developer has announced plans to build the Gotham Center: four towers, some more than 40 stories tall, totaling 3.5 million square feet of mixed-use space on the two parcels in Queens Plaza. Real estate sources said the first phase of the project will be a 20-story, 750,000-square-foot office tower, with the city committed to leasing about half of the space.

Industry leaders are voicing skepticism about new office development in Brooklyn and Queens, however. As one real estate banking officer put it: "If these projects did not happen when the market was hot as a pistol, I don't see this going to happen over the next couple of years. Who is going to pay the rents for the new construction in these locations?"


Gehry's design surely carries some cachet. Whether that's enough is another story.

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