MANHATTAN — Office tenants are flocking to Hudson Square, boosting Mayor Michael Bloomberg's push to sell the Downtown neighborhood as a hot spot for media and technology companies, new real estate data shows.
Office leasing activity in Hudson Square and the West Village nearly doubled compared to the same period last year, soaring higher than any other area in Midtown South in the fourth quarter of 2011, according to data released Tuesday by Cushman & Wakefield.
Hudson Square, which is home to tenants that include MTV, WNYC, Getty Images and New York magazine, saw a 99-percent year-to-year increase in leasing activity. Overall Midtown South, which runs from 32nd Street to Canal Street, saw only a 9-percent increase.
The average asking rents in the neighborhood — roughly bounded by West Houston Street, Sixth Avenue, Canal Street and Greenwich Street — have also increased.
Asking office rents are now $49.60 per square foot, an increase of almost $5 from last year, according to the new data. Asking office rents in Midtown South as a whole increased by only $1 on average during the same period.
"Most of the buildings [in Hudson Square] were light industrial and were updated sometime between the 1970s and about four years ago," he said.
The neighborhood's business improvement district, Hudson Square Connection, has long promoted the area as an up-and-coming center for creative companies.
"This is the home of the innovation economy," BID president Ellen Baer said in an October interview with DNAinfo.
Bloomberg praised the growth of Hudson Square in September, when publishing company Pearson P.L.C. announced its move to the area with the help of $13.5 million in tax breaks.
Investments in parks, infrastructure, schools and housing "have helped [the city] attract a diverse range of businesses," the mayor said at the time.
"There are few places where that is more apparent than right here in the burgeoning neighborhood of Hudson Square."