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Hot tech sector, Wall Street drive record Manhattan leasing

July 10, 2019 / Herbert Lash

A boom on Wall Street and a thriving technology sector have pushed the unemployment rate in Manhattan to record lows and propelled office leasing activity to its best first six months of a year in a quarter century, brokerage data shows. The new leasing of office space rose to 18.3 million square feet in the first six months of 2019, the first time since 1994 at the mid-year point total leases exceeded 18 million square feet, according to data from Cushman & Wakefield. New leasing activity jumped 21.5% in the second quarter from the year-earlier period to 10.0 million square feet. Venture capital is pouring into Manhattan, lifting rents in the chic Flatiron section and other areas of the city and driving start-ups into a Garment district increasingly awash in fast-casual dining options, said Zach Aarons, co-founder and partner at venture capital firm MetaProp.