By Sarah Trefethen
Hurricane Sandy has left a third of lower Manhattan’s Class A and Class B office space closed for business, according to an on-the-ground survey by Jones Lang Lasalle.
Of downtown’s 101,175,754 s/f of rentable office space, 32.8 percent — 33,222,387 s/f — is currently closed, the company reports.
Some of the closed buildings are waiting for ConEd services to come back online, while others have been shut down by water than penetrated the building and damaged internal infrastructure, according to John Wheeler, JLL managing director and head of the company’s downtown office.
“We’re going to update these figures on Monday and I think you’re going to see significant improvement in the number of buildings that are open,” he said, but some buildings suffered damage to more complex systems – such as electrical systems and generators – that it will take time to fix.
Geography seemed to be bit biggest determining factor in how a building fared in the storm, Wheeler said, while the age of a building was less relevant. The Water Street corridor was hit particularly hard, along with the southern tip of Manhattan. Buildings that bucked the trend, such as the World Financial Center and the Goldman Sachs building, were designed with water-sensitive equipment and infrastructure above the level of the storm surge, he said.
Early published estimates put the shuttered downtown office space at 10 percent of the total square footage.