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Wall Street No Longer Biggest Renter Of Manhattan Office Space: Report

The Huffington Post  |  By Posted: 04/ 3/2012 6:03 pm Updated: 04/ 4/2012 3:03 pm

Manhattan

When it comes to New York office space, Wall Street's no longer king.

For the first time ever, financial services firms aren't renting the most office space in New York City, according to a report from consulting firm Cushman & Wakefield Inc., cited by Crain's New York. The financial sector rents 26 percent of overall square footage in New York, compared to the 28 percent rented by media companies, the report found.

Forfeiting the title as Manhattan's biggest renter is just the latest indication that the financial industry is being forced to cut back. Last year, Wall Street bonuses fell 14 percent as banks laid off more than 200,000 workers as of November, Bloomberg reports.

While it may be hard to feel bad for the still-employed Wall Street workers, who are making an average of $121,000 even with the pay cuts, the financial industry's shrinking impact is affecting New York's economy more generally. Declining Wall Street pay has also meant cuts in the revenue the New York state government collects from taxes on that pay, according to the Buffalo News.

And if Wall Street doesn't shrink all by itself, it may be forced to do so. The nation's biggest banks, such as JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America and Citigroup, could one day be broken up by regulators, according to a recent report from bank analysts.

But the desire to shrink may not be the only reason the finance industry is shying away from leasing space in New York, which is the city with the sixth most expensive office space in the world, according to Cushman and Wakefield.

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