For those of us invested in New York City’s commercial real estate (CRE) — either financially or emotionally — getting through 2020 was like processing the five stages of grief: First came denial, followed by anger, then bargaining, onto depression and, finally, acceptance.
After all, one in seven chain stores permanently closed in 2020, along with a slew of NYC institutions, including the Roosevelt Hotel and the Hilton Times Square. So, it’s little wonder that everyone from consumers to businesses and investors experienced a range of emotions as we adjusted to the new normal.
What’s more, it’s become increasingly clear that a return to normal simply will not happen. Working from home is here to stay, and hundreds of thousands of people have discovered the benefits of swapping city living for a backyard out in Hudson Valley or the Hamptons.
Therefore, as we accept that NYC commercial real estate is transitioning toward a new normal, we have to understand the key forces that will shape this evolution. So let’s explore the five most important factors affecting CRE in 2021 and beyond.