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Old Posted Nov 16, 2015, 7:02 AM
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Eighth Avenue Transforms as Upscale Office Towers Rise
Industry veterans say lower-end retail shops between the newer properties are ripe for development

Nov. 15, 2015

On a stretch of Manhattan’s Eighth Avenue, high-end office towers loom over low-rise retail shops. And filling up these skyscrapers are blue-chip companies and hedge funds along with big law firms.

In less than a decade, the tract roughly from West 40th Street to Columbus Circle has added more than 3 million square feet of commercial space. Some real-estate executives are predicting more office buildings could rise at even a faster pace.

Ripe for new, mixed-use development, industry veterans said, are the souvenir shops and occasional adult video store that sit on blocks between the newer properties.

“It’s one of the few Midtown places where you can actually still assemble a site with a decent-size footprint and expect to get the sort of rents you need for an office building or the sales prices for residential condominiums,” said Mary Ann Tighe, chief executive of CBRE Group Inc.’s New York Tri-State Region and a member of the brokerage team for the New York Times Building at 620 Eighth Ave.

.....Not everyone envisions Eighth Avenue lined with office buildings. The commercial construction has been driven by factors specific to the sites but isn’t an indicator of future office growth, said Mitchell Moss, a professor of urban planning and policy at New York University. Development has bypassed Eighth Avenue and jumped to Ninth and Tenth avenues and the Hudson Yards district, he said.

“It’s a place for nonluxury hotels and middle-class tourists,” Mr. Moss said. “There is no reason why every piece of Manhattan has to look like Park Avenue.”

.....Extell Development Co. has a cluster of lots partly on Eighth Avenue between West 45th and West 46th streets that could provide a glimpse of the avenue’s further transformation. A company spokeswoman said it was too early to comment on plans for the site.
NEW YORK heals.

“Office buildings are our factories – whether for tech, creative or traditional industries we must continue to grow our modern factories to create new jobs,” said United States Senator Chuck Schumer.
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