Nonprofit and public organizations are helping New York’s commercial real estate market stay up and running. According to a report by Cushman and Wakefield, nonprofit and public organizations have sustained their 2016 leases despite New York City’s 40% drop in commercial sales in 2017.

In 2017, up to 6 million square feet of space was leased by nonprofit and public organizations throughout New York City, a 46.3% increase from 2016. The average transaction size also increased by 76% with investors signing leases to spaces as large as 47,000 square feet.

These numbers are significant after the Big Apple’s 40% drop in commercial sales in 2017 and Los Angeles was named the top city for commercial real estate investments.

What’s more significant is that nonprofit and public organizations have sustained these numbers by buying and selling up to $1.2 billion in 2017.

“The nonprofits are still big players,” said Cushman managing director Robair Reichenstein. “They are taking down space.”

For instance, investors in triple net lease investment offerings need to have, at the minimum, a total net worth of $1 million.

Yet nonprofits are buying and selling easily enough.

Children’s Aid, a nonprofit children’s welfare organization founded in 1853, recently bought an office condominium in Harlem for its new headquarters.

Still, if nonprofit and public organizations are doing well in New York City’s commercial real estate market, then why are firms and for-profit organizations taking flight?

“What we think is happening here is these large players are locking in value rents,” said Reichenstein.

The supply of properties is increasing as companies move to areas deemed better for commercial real estate investors such as new office developments. As a result, the real estate prices in the surrounding areas are still affordable for nonprofit organizations.

Additionally, nonprofit and public organizations have different goals in mind when it comes to investing in commercial property sales. For instance, the number of property sales transactions increased from 48 to 80 in 2017 despite the relatively flat rate of sales compared to 2016.

This is partly because nonprofits may use the proceeds of one sale to pay for renovations or maintenance. Certain renovations may require a permit and permits can cost anywhere from less than $100 to $1,000 or more. Other organizations use the proceeds of their sales to improve their services.

“By buying real estate,” said Stephen Powers of Transwestern, “[nonprofits] are able to get ahead of the issue of fluctuations in the market.”

In any case, while firms and other companies move on to bigger spaces, nonprofit and public organizations are keeping the New York City commercial property sales afloat.