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Spread Your Cubicles and Fly, Little FiDi

The Financial District is getting a nice pat on the back today, as both the Times and Observer penned pieces announcing that the Downtown office building scene is officially back and in full force. WTG! The vacancy rate is way down after those scary post-9/11 years of 12-13%, and the average rent is climbing. Yes, it's good news all around, so of course the parade has to get drizzled on a little. The price-per-square-foot is not what it was in 2000, the vacancy rate is misleading because there's 20 million square feet less office space to fill, and the only way for Downtown to stay the course is to keep undercutting Midtown's $59/sf average. Yeesh, talk about a dispirited high-five.

But back to the glass being half full. Legg Mason signed a 97,000-square-foot lease at 55 Water Street yesterday, and Moody's?which already took 589,000 square feet at 7WTC?is adding two more floors to their deal. Plus, JPMorgan Chase is dealing with the Port Authority to build a 1.6-million-square-foot tower on the site of the Deutsche Bank building (right), which is currently being demolished. The site was originally going to be for a residential building, but don't worry, good seats at 20 Pine are still available. Bear hug for the FiDi!
· Demand Looks Good for Downtown Towers [NYO]
· Lower Manhattan: A Relative Bargain but Filling Up Fast [NYT]

[130 Liberty Street photo via Flickr user armisteadbooker]