Manhattan Office Rental Market

Manhattan Office Rental Market

Whoever makes it in New York City can make it anywhere — or so says that famous song by Frank Sinatra. The largest major city in the U.S. may be a tough field of play, but it offers uncountable options and possibilities for companies of all sizes across its five boroughs. And while Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island, and the Bronx all have their unique perks, the indisputable champion for business infrastructure is Manhattan.

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Many assume that New York City and Manhattan are synonyms. Who could blame them? It is common knowledge that NYC's most famous borough is perhaps the biggest global hub for many industries, from finance and real estate to media and tech. The massive influence Manhattan has in commerce, entertainment, research, art, fashion, tourism, and more, makes it the reigning capital of the world and a land of great opportunity.

Although geographically the smallest borough in New York, Manhattan is the largest business district in the U.S. and not just in the state. "The City," as locals lovingly call it, has the highest concentration of serviced office spaces and coworking facilities in the state of New York. This borough is where the action happens, and it's also the most extensively accessible for commuters as all subway lines cross it --- except for the G train. Here's a comprehensive guide to the office rental market in Manhattan for those looking to start or expand their empire there.

Renting Office Space in Manhattan: Where To Look

Manhattan is a bustling and energetic place for business. It offers numerous office space options for companies across sectors. Yet, with so many factors to consider --- cost, distance to public transportation, nearby amenities, proximity to customers, neighbor companies, etc. --- figuring out the most convenient location for a specific company can be quite the challenge. With that in mind, these are the top areas to start looking for the perfect office rental. 

Financial District

Median price for a dedicated desk: $516

The Financial District is where the greatest city in the world started taking shape back in the early 1600s. It's framed by the Brooklyn Bridge, Chambers Street, City Hall Park, the Battery, the West Side Highway, and the East River.

Also known as FiDi, the Financial District of Manhattan is in the southernmost section of the island and houses NASDAQ, the New York Stock Exchange, and the Federal Reserve. It's presumably the economic epicenter of the world and contains up to 40 million square feet of the total office space in Downtown Manhattan. FiDi is home to world-renowned financial institutions like: 

  • HSBC
  • Goldman Sachs
  • Deutsche Bank
  • JPMorgan Chase
  • SCOR
  • Western Union
  • Citibank
  • AXA

Flatirion/ Union Square

Median price for a dedicated desk: $483

This historic neighborhood stretches across the nine blocks between the iconic Flatiron building, at 5th Avenue, Broadway, and 23rd Street, and Union Square Park, at East 14th Street. The Flatiron/Union Square area has numerous restaurants and cozy coffee shops, making it a highly attractive location for remote workers. 

Although this area is plagued with casual home office alternatives, it does offer more professional settings for companies of all sizes. Coworking companies around the neighborhood are often in buildings from the early 1900s, so tenants can expect high ceilings and open floor plans.

The Flatiron/ Union Square area has easy access to the main parts of the city within minutes. Although widely residential, this zone is a major tech startup hub. Some companies headquartered around the neighborhood:

  • mParticle
  • AppNexus
  • Work-Bench
  • Vettery

Greenwich Village

Median price for a dedicated desk: $802

Redbone, Mad Men, Friends, and Sex and the City fans may recognize Greenwich Village as the main character in their favorite episodes. This neighborhood is best known for its scenic tree-lined streets and picturesque brownstones. "The Village," as most New Yorkers may call it, is home to the emblematic Washington Square Park. This neighborhood is enclosed by 14th Street, Houston Street, Broadway, and the North River.

Located in the heart of Manhattan, this area also houses two of the most popular academic institutions in the city: New York University and the New School --- hence the large student population. Because of its buzzing cultural schene, it's also the best area for artists and creatives of all kinds.  

Some of the companies located in Greenwich Village are:

  • American Heritage Magazine
  • Bobby Brown
  • Fortune Magazine
  • The National Audubon Society 

Midtown

Median price for a dedicated desk: $594

Home to Times Square, Midtown Manhattan is probably the most visited area in the whole city, both by tourists and locals. It's the main business, entertainment, and commercial center worldwide, and it contains the Broadway theater district. Some of the most popular landmarks in Midtown Manhattan are the Rockefeller Center and Grand Central Station.

Because of its unparalleled location, Midtown is the perfect area for all types of businesses to thrive. It holds some huge names in the entertainment and fashion industries, like Saks Incorporated, Telemundo, Thomson Reuters, CBS Corporation, Marvel Entertainment, Polo Ralph Lauren, and Viacom. Other companies in this vibrant area of the city are:

  • Barnes & Noble
  • Foot Locker
  • MetLife
  • Six Flags
  • The New York Institute of Finance
  • The New York Times Company

Midtown South

Median price for a dedicated desk: $471

This area refers to the part of Midtown below 42nd Street and right above the Flatiron Building.  It comprises well-known areas like Chelsea and Gramercy Park. The neighborhood's most beloved landmarks are the Empire Estate Building, Madison Square Garden, The New York Public Library, and Bryant Park.

Many technology and marketing firms are established along the busy Midtown South's streets. Some of the most popular are: 

  • Verizon
  • Dropbox NYC
  • Caudalie
  • American Eagle
  • Guess
  • Gravity Media
  • The O Group
  • Socialfly
  • Ogilvy

Midtown East

Median price for a dedicated desk: $561

This area of Manhattan unravels from 40th Street to East 59th Street. It comprises some of the most expensive avenues on the island, including Lexington Avenue, Park Avenue, Madison Avenue, and the mythical Fith Avenue.

This neighborhood is where the Saint Patrick's Cathedral and the Chrysler Building live --- and so does the United Nations Headquarters. Rumor has it that the demand in this area has grown exponentially in the post-pandemic climate. Some of the companies that already share the streets of Midtown East are:

  • Barclays Bank
  • Quontic Bank
  • Wells Fargo
  • TD Securities
  • Oak Hill Advisors

SoHo

Median price for a dedicated desk: $765

SoHo, or South of Houston Street, is a trendy neighborhood in Lower Manhattan known for its abundance of luxury boutiques and commercial establishments. Although it was not the nicest neighborhood to be in after World War II and well into the 1950s, its beautiful architecture drew the attention of artists in the '60s. Yet, it wasn't until the 1980s that SoHo became popular among the affluent residents of New York.

Today SoHo is a primary tourist and shopping destination in the city. Its walls hold stores like:

  • Fendi
  • Madewell
  • Prada
  • Muji
  • UNIQLO
  • Kenzo
  • AllSaints
  • Apple
  • Dior
  • Versace

Garment District

Median price for a dedicated desk: $665

New York's Garment District is the heart of the retail and clothing industries in the US. Part of Manhattan's Midtown neighborhoods, this area is the home base for various legendary fashion houses. It shares borders with Time's Square, Chelsea, and Hell's Kitchen. 

The brownstones in the Garment District were devoted to manufacturing for the longest time. That's why they have high ceilings that permitted the storage of big machinery. The large windows needed to keep fabrics and clothing fresh and free of odors are just another perk today's tenants can expect. 

Some of the household names found in this area are:

  • Calvin Klein 
  • Columbia Sportswear
  • French Connection

Hudson Square

Median price for a dedicated desk: $525

This Midtown South neighborhood marks the Manhattan entrance of the Holland Tunnel, a vehicular subaquatic passage that runs under the Hudson and connects the island with Jersey City, New Jersey. This area has been getting lots of attention from tech corporations recently. With more and more businesses moving in, it won't be long until the city invests a few million in communicating Hudson Square with some of its neighbors and the Hudson River Park.

Multiple finance, advertising, and tech companies call Hudson Square their home. What previously was a mostly industrial area has attracted big names like:

  • Viking Penguin
  • ABC Radio
  • WNYC
  • Comedy Central
  • New York Magazine
  • Google 

Tribeca

Median price for a dedicated desk: $387

Tribeca stands for Triangle Below Canal Street, and it's the neighborhood all the rich and famous want to call home. For most of the 19th and 20th centuries, this area of the city was a manufacturing center, but it's come a long way since then. Turing the 1970s and 1080s, Tribeca developed into a large-scale residential area that soon attracted some fancy residents.  

The neighborhood has a one-of-a-kind industrial character and a rather central location. Besides the buzz during the Tribeca Film Festival yearly celebration, this area is pretty calm and virtually tourist-free. Although expensive for residential purposes, rents in Tribeca remain somewhat accessible when it comes to office space. Some of the most renowned neighbors in this location are: 

  • Citi
  • New York State Insurance Fund
  • Urban Pixels

Wallstreet / Insurance District

Median price for a dedicated desk: $491

Some noteworthy landmarks around this area of the city are 120 Broadway, the Woolworth Building, the World Trade Center, and the 911 Memorial. This area is located in the heart of Downtown Manhattan and neighbors the Financial District. The Insurance District is home to state and federal government offices. The appellative of this area is the result of numerous insurance companies setting their corporate offices in it. Some of the most notable examples are:

  • Equitable
  • AIG
  • The NYS Insurance Department
  • The Liquidation Bureau
  • The NYC Office of the Actuary 
  • The NYC Department of Finance

Lower East Side

Median price for a dedicated desk: $486

This is where the city that never sleeps comes to life at night. The Lower East Side is known for its prominent nightlife, amazing bars, and live music venues. This Manhattan neighborhood has experienced some notable gentrification through the decades, and today, it's one of the most desirable areas to live.  

The Lower East Side also shows its charm during the day. The pre-war walk-up apartments that line its streets house artists, bohemians, and students, giving it a creative vibe just a handful of other neighborhoods in the Big Apple have. Some companies in the LES include:

  • Rose Media
  • R+ Agency
  • Gross Creative

Chinatown

Median price for a dedicated desk: $461

Manhattan's Chinatown is the largest in the US. Since its origins in the mid-19th century, it's been an enclave for Chinese immigrants and harbored the Chinese community in the New York City Metropolitan Area --- which is the largest outside Asia. Visiting Chinatown is like going to a different world. The neighborhood is buzzing with scents, textures, and images that are not common in other areas of the city. Not to mention it holds one of the largest knock-off markets in town. 

The Chinatown in Lower Manhattan is an attractive tourist destination and a foodie delight. This neighborhood is forever expanding and has reached its neighbors, Little Italy, the Bowery, the Lower East Side, and Two Bridges.

East Village

Median price for a dedicated desk: $559

This Manhattan neighborhood holds what's been deemed the coolest street not only in the city but in the United States: St Marks Place. Those lucky enough to call the East Village their home can attest to the fantastic environment people can experience in this part of town. This area has numerous bars, restaurants, and entertainment establishments. 

The East Village has nice people-watching spots, like the Tompkins Square Park. This neighborhood also houses a big part of the NYU student community. However, some parts of The Village don't have great subway access, making it a tad unattractive for those not so fond of walking.  

Find the Best Office Space for Your Needs with Rubberdesk

Renting office space in Manhattan has countless advantages. This exciting borough has it all, and it's the perfect place for those businesses looking to conquer the world. It's important to note, though, that given the size and demand of the commercial real estate market in NYC, it's not always the easiest to navigate. A flexible office space marketplace makes finding the best coworking operators and serviced offices in town a breeze.

Ready to find your ideal office space? Let Rubberdesk help! Our extensive marketplace will let you discover the hidden gems of New York City's commercial real estate. We'll match you with the right host to accommodate your unique business needs. Visit our site and start exporting all the options we have for you.

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