"The Market's Not There" - One World Trade Center Lowers Asking Rents By 10%

With the housing purchase market for everyone but the wealthiest stagnating (confirmed by today's sliding "plans to buy a home" indicator), forcing Americans to scramble for rental properties and pushing residential asking rents to fresh record high quarter after quarter, the same can not be said for the commercial sector. In fact quite the opposite: according to the WSJ the owners of the towering 3.1 million square foot One World Trade Center, which at last check was 55% leased, have been forced to cut asking rents by 10% from 75% to $69. Why? "The market's not there," said Mr. Durst, whose Durst Organization bought a stake in the tower from the Port Authority in mid-2011. "When we started in 2011, everybody expected the economy to take off, and obviously that hasn't happened."

 

As WSJ reports, things are not going well for One World Trade Center...

No private office tenant has signed a lease at One World Trade Center in nearly three years. The 3.1-million-square-foot skyscraper, formerly named the Freedom Tower, is 55% leased.

 

The owner—a venture of developer Douglas Durst and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey—is cutting asking rents nearly 10% to $69 a square foot for larger tenants on the building's middle floors, down from $75 a square foot, Mr. Durst said in an interview Friday.

The reason appears to be a total lack of real demand despite all the mal-investment -driving indicators of economic health that a trillion dollars here and there can create...

"The market's not there," said Mr. Durst, whose Durst Organization bought a stake in the tower from the Port Authority in mid-2011. "When we started in 2011, everybody expected the economy to take off, and obviously that hasn't happened."

 

"We have a lot of people looking at the space, but because of the asking rent, we are not able to really put anything over the finish line," Mr. Durst said.

 

...

 

But leasing has been slow. One World Trade has one major private tenant, Condé Nast, which took about 1 million square feet in 2011. Meanwhile, 4 World Trade is 51% leased to two government agencies. Mr. Silverstein has been asking in the $70s and $80s a square foot, comparable to the rents at One World Trade, before the latest price cut.

If you build it - they will come... unless the entire recovery is a mirage... in whch case you roll your debt once again and keep your fingers crossed...