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Lisa Sinclair

Lisa Sinclair
Licensed Real Estate Salesperson

575 Madison Ave
New York, NY 10022
Office: 212.319.5447
Mobile: 917.509.7133
Fax: 917.369.3185

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In the News

Post 9/11, Lower Manhattan Is Now More Residential

Once dominated by commercial offices, Lower Manhattan is attracting more families to new residential properties. It's a trend that started not long after September 11th, 2001. NY1's Annika Pergament filed the following report on the area's changing real estate.

“They were shell-shocked and traumatized,” says Michael Brown of Ohrenstein & Brown LLP. “And if you recall the immediate days after 9/11, there were concerns about following terrorist attacks.”

That’s one big reason the law firm of Ohrenstein & Brown never returned to Lower Manhattan after September 11th.

Brown and his team used to have an office on the 85th floor of One World Trade Center. Today, work is farther north at One Penn Plaza on 33rd Street.

He says the staff’s uneasiness about moving back downtown, coupled with the need to get the firm quickly back on its feet held them back from staying in the Financial District. “People had to make arrangements as to where they were going to be in a relatively finite period of time or their staff would lost the cohesion that they may lost clients because the feeling was you could not survive,” says Brown.

Ohrenstein & Brown’s departure is just one example of the Downtown office fizzle. With more than 90 million square feet of office space, Lower Manhattan is the country’s third biggest commercial district, but vacancies have soared to roughly 16 percent, according to CB Richard Ellis. The vacancy rate was just four percent in the late 90s.

But can the market rebound?

“The area is much more diverse than it had ever been. It has always been a finance, insurance and banking community and now it’s much more diverse,” says John Maher of CB Richard Ellis.

While commercial properties have struggled, residential sales and rentals have been booming. Over the past four years, the Alliance for Downtown New York says Wall Street is now home to nearly 27,000 people – nearly double the pre 9/11 number – with many moving to new condos in Battery Park City.

“I think that in that area, it's very clear that you have much more chances of positive appreciation in the next five to 10 years because of all the monies that are going to go there,” says Jacky Teplitzky of Prudential Douglas Elliman. “There is so much interest there about what are we going to do, how are we going to develop?”

The real estate industry credits the residential surge to numerous incentives to revitalize the area after 9/11. In fact, the Downtown Alliance projects that more than 37,000 residents will live in Lower Manhattan by 2010.

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