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Back-to-Work Malady Hurting Manhattan Retail Recovery

The Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY), the City’s leading real estate trade association, today released a special report documenting the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on storefronts in Midtown Manhattan’s critical retail corridors.

These corridors have historically relied on foot traffic from Midtown office workers to power the local economy, and the continued absence of those office workers and tourists is one of the key reasons why the city’s economic recovery remains uneven.

According to the report, nearly 30 percent of storefronts are vacant in the office-dependent retail corridors of Grand Central and Midtown East as of Summer 2021. Historically, these corridors have maintained a 10-15 percent retail vacancy rate, showing the significant increase in vacancies since the pandemic. These vacancies include more than a dozen corner locations, several flagship locations and, in some areas, entire blocks of vacant storefronts.


Photo by Liza Summer from Pexels

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