Midtown Manhattan Ranks Second in 2011 Survey of U.S. Green Real Estate Markets

Three New York City submarkets rank among the country’s top 10 green real estate markets according to Cushman & Wakefield’s 2011 Green Building Opportunity Index.

Midtown Manhattan - Green Building Opportunity Index

Cushman & Wakefield, in collaboration with the Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance’s BetterBricks Initiative, recently released its second annual Green Building Opportunity Index and three New York City submarkets cracked the top ten. Midtown, Midtown South, and Downtown placed second, fourth, and seventh, respectively in the Index, which (among other goals) aims to assist urban planners and policymakers in examining data to understand what new policies and incentives may be useful in accelerating green building practices at the local level.

The Green Building Opportunity Index calls itself the first office market assessment tool to provided weighted assessments of the top 30 U.S. office markets on the basis of both real estate fundamentals and development considerations. It ranked each market on a scale across six different categories: (1) office market conditions; (2) investment potential; (3) green adoption and implementation; (4) local mandates and incentives; (5) state energy initiatives; and (6) green culture.

The country’s top 10 green real estate markets as determined by the Index are:

  1. San Francisco
  2. Midtown New York City
  3. Washington, D.C.
  4. Midtown South, New York City
  5. Los Angeles
  6. Boston
  7. Downtown New York City
  8. Portland
  9. Seattle
  10. Oakland

Specific rankings (again, out of 30 markets evaluated) within each of the Index’s six categories for New York City’s submarkets are:

  • Midtown: 3rd in office market conditions; 3rd in investment potential; 5th in green adoption and implementation; 4th in mandates and incentives; 9th in state energy initiatives; and 3rd in green culture.
  • Midtown South: 2nd in office market conditions; 2nd in investment potential; 25th in green adoption and implementation; 3rd in mandates and incentives; 8th in state energy initiatives; and 2nd in green culture.
  • Downtown: 7th in office market conditions; 7th in investment potential; 20th in green adoption and implementation; 6th in mandates and incentives; 10th in state energy initiatives; and 4th in green culture.

Some of these individual rankings may seem somewhat inconsistent to you (for example, every new commercial office building at the rebuilt World Trade Center site will be LEED Gold-certified, which makes Downtown’s ranking for green adoption and implementation seem unfair). But closer review of the 10-page national overview (also available through this link) should provide some context and clarity to the bare statistics referenced above.

This year’s Index also – for the first time – separately profiled 2 of the top 10 markets, including Midtown, in significant detail. (gbNYC intends to review and present the results of that report in a separate article.) In the meantime, you can access the GBOI Midtown Profile Report here. It analyzes a variety of factors specific to the Midtown submarket, including general and green office market statistics, major leasing transactions, and a review of the submarket’s LEED-certified and Energy Star-rated commercial office buildings.

About Stephen Del Percio

Stephen Del Percio has written for gbNYC+ since 2006 and currently serves as in-house counsel for one of the world's largest engineering, construction, and technical services companies. He earned a B.Eng. from Columbia, his J.D. at William & Mary, and lives in New York City with his wife and daughter. You can follow Stephen on Twitter, email him at stephen@gbNYC.com, or join gbNYC on Facebook to continue the conversation.

about gbNYC

gbNYC is a multi-disciplinary consulting and real estate services firm. In addition to representing office tenants and commercial buyers in leasing and acquisitions, we also provide innovative consulting solutions from a unique, green building perspective. We advise on green building financial incentives, comment on proposed green building marketing strategies, author white papers, treatises, and market analyses, organize seminars on the LEED process and professional accreditation, and provide advice and analysis on green building risk management and the overall state of green real estate, leasing, and construction, in New York City and beyond.

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3 Responses to Midtown Manhattan Ranks Second in 2011 Survey of U.S. Green Real Estate Markets

  1. Frank Zweegers Wednesday, July 13, 2011 at 9:44 am #

    Interesting post!

  2. Herald Towers Monday, July 18, 2011 at 8:59 am #

    It’s great to see so many developers in Midtown Manhattan taking green initiatives in their design. We love everything that Midtown has to offer, and these improvements just make our neighborhood that much better. Thanks for sharing this data!

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