The 10 most expensive streets in the U.S.

Steep rent isn’t a deterrent for the many corporations occupying the U.S.’s most coveted office addresses

January 12, 2018

Office buildings in 47 of the most high-profile locations across the nation asked an average of $48.65 per square foot in rent in 2017. That represents a premium of almost 47 percent over the rest of the country, according to JLL’s 2017 Most Expensive Streets study.

And yet, these buildings seem to have no trouble attracting tenants, with just 12.8 percent of space vacant — 250 basis points below the U.S. average. Asking prices in the top 10 are even more jaw-dropping, ringing in at an average $85.28 per square foot — with just 12.3 percent vacancy.

What’s driving demand in such expensive space? “Global finance and law firms have traditionally invested in high-profile streets like Fifth Avenue — and they still do,” says Scott Homa, Senior Vice President and Director of U.S. Office Research at JLL. Merrill Lynch, for instance has homes in three of the top 10 priciest streets, in Fairfield County, Washington, DC and West Palm Beach.

Yet they increasingly have new neighbors. “Tech companies are adding to the demand now more than ever,” he says. “As these companies mature, their real estate strategies increasingly mirror traditional white-collar industries. As a matter of fact, five of the top 10 most expensive streets today are tech hubs.”

And he’s not just talking about the San Francisco Bay Area’s Sand Hill Road, either. “We see tech firms maturing and moving into more premium space in cities like Boston, Cambridge and Austin,” says Homa.

And while top-notch office buildings have an allure, it’s people who are really the big draw. “Companies are following the talent,” says Homa. “Most of the most expensive streets are in cities known for their innovation and global connectivity.” Notably, with the exception of Austin, the top ten are exclusively located in coastal areas.