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(Crain’s) — The office markets in the outer boroughs are weathering the recession much better than Manhattan’s. That’s because the bridge-and-tunnel buildings cater mostly to local firms, not the battered, Manhattan-centric financial industry, according to an economist at the CoStar Group.

The average vacancy rate for Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island fell to 6.1% in the first quarter of 2010, from 7.8% a year earlier. CoStar doesn’t track buildings in the Bronx. In contrast, Manhattan’s vacancy rate went in the other direction, rising to 7.9%, from 6.8% a year earlier.

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