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Manhattan sees record 21% office vacancies

Daniel Alpert, managing partner of Westwood Capital, is seen in his office on Fifth Avenue in New York October 15, 2020. (TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP via Getty Images)

OAN Newsroom
UPDATED 2:09 PM PT – Friday, August 13, 2021

Manhattan is experiencing a record high in office vacancies as businesses have continued to flee the Empire State. A Newmark market report said Manhattan’s availability rate reached 21 percent in the second quarter of 2021, which set a new record for the region.

Reports for Midtown and Midtown South showed similarly high vacancies. Meanwhile, analysts said New York’s aggressive COVID-19 lockdown measures forced businesses and workers to leave the city in record numbers.

“The other cities have become more competitive as a result of the pandemic and the whole remote work phenomenon,” said President of Business Organization Partnership for New York City, Kathryn Wylde. “It’s going to require a real shift in public policy toward focusing on quality of life, a positive business climate and affordability.”

High tax rates and a drastic rise in crime have been cited for stunting New York’s economic recovery following the ease of coronavirus restrictions.

In residential neighborhoods, restaurants and bars are filling up as social life revives.

Yet in office-centric areas such as midtown Manhattan, the streets are more quiet.

Vacancies in the city’s commercial real estate market suggest a rebound will be slow-going.

— Bloomberg CityLab (@CityLab) June 22, 2021

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