Optimal Spaces in News Day

by Mark Harrington & Pradnya Joshi

The inside skinny on the high-tech folks who keep Tech Island and Silicon Alley moving forward.

Dot-com Real Estate Shakeout: Stephen Sunderland, managing director of Optimal Spaces, Inc. a Manhattan firm that represents commercial tenants, says the dot-com shakeout continues in terms of commercial real estate.

In January alone, three of his Internet clients have seen their sites close and have given their office space back to their landlords, he said. While these companies negotiated leases at fairly low rents and could probably profit just from re-leasing out their space, he said his tech clients have generally not been interested in trying to find other tenants.

"They're just saying they want out," Sunderland said, whose clients included a medical portal, a university portal and the New York offices of Iam.com.

Landlords have still been publicly advertising market prices for rents, but many are willing to reduce rates for clients they think will be around for a while. "I'd still say on average, prices are up 25 percent from a year ago," Sunderland said. - Rradnya Joshi .

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