NORTHEAST SNAPSHOT, NOVEMBER 2008
Upstate New York
With quick access to the major markets of New York City, Boston and Montreal, favorable real estate prices and wonderful quality of life, Upstate New York — otherwise known as the Capital Region — is a diamond in the rough of commercial real estate.
Downstate and out-of-state buyers are coming into the marketplace in search of new projects, especially New Urbanism redevelopments. State leaders are also playing their part by continuing to push economic programs that will bring jobs to the Upstate area.
A strong technology initiative has led to many new development opportunities in the area. In the greater Capital Region, projects such as the Nanotechnology Center demonstrate the competitive edge that Upstate can provide. The construction that is occurring around the Nanotechnology building, which is located near Albany State University, has become one of the more active spots for development.
Across the Hudson River from Albany in Rensselaer, New York, Marx Properties is developing the Rensselaer Waterfront Development, a mixed-use project on the shores of the Hudson that is hoping to become the waterfront town square of the city. The first phase will include approximately 200 residential units, 40,000 square feet of retail space, and the construction of a new pier and harbor. Future plans could include hotel office and mid-rise housing buildings.
The Capital Region is also seeing an influx in high-end retailers. Restaurants such as Cheesecake Factory and PF Chang’s are entering the region, and are joined by clothing retailers such as L.L. Bean and American Apparel.
Vacancy rates are the highest for Class A office space in downtown Albany, which comes in at 25 percent. Rates for suburban office space are dramatically lower at 10 to 12 percent. Vacancies for industrial space 25,000 square feet and above in the market are coming in at the same 10 to 12 percent rate, with flex space posting slightly lower numbers with 8 to 10 percent vacancies. Retail space is coming in at more than 10 percent vacancy.
— Daniel C. O’Brien serves as president and Cory Tyksinski is a sales manager with Albany, N.Y.-based NAI Platform.
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