Overall vacancy rates downtown have risen steadily since the mid 80’s while rents have tumbled: In the core financial area, 27 per cent of all the offices are empty (buildings are taxed). The self-help is coming in the form of what is appositely termed a Business Improvement District. Set up by Lower Manhattan Property Owners, the scheme involves a self-imposed, voluntary tax of $US9 a sq foot (On site value). The Age

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