The hustle and bustle of New York City’s business districts is still down by a third of what they were pre-pandemic, placing the Big Apple’s downtown recovery post-COVID among the worst in America’s largest cities, according to a new study.
An analysis conducted by the University of Toronto found foot traffic in New York City’s Midtown and Lower Manhattan districts is only 66% of what it was in 2019, placing the city’s recovery rate near the bottom of the rankings and in line with other cities that have struggled to bring back workers to their downtown areas.
New York City’s 33% drop in foot traffic landed the city’s recovery rate at 54th out of the 66 cities studied. For comparison, San Francisco, California – with a downtown area that has had a notoriously difficult time recovering post-COVID – ranked higher, with a 67% recovery of foot traffic.
UBER, LYFT TO PAY $328M IN SETTLEMENT WITH NEW YORK AG LETITIA JAMES OVER WAGE THEFT ALLEGATIONS
“We’ve been tracking since early 2022, and New York was an early comeback story – but then stalled,” Karen Chapple, director of the University of Toronto’s School of Cities, told The New York Post, which first reported the analysis. “Part of this is due to commercial office tenants gradually giving up their leases,” Chapple said.
The Partnership of the City of New York, which represents some of Wall Street’s biggest titans, disputed the accuracy of the University of Toronto’s analysis.
REMOTE WORK COSTS NYC OVER $12B ANNUALLY: REPORT
The organization’s CEO, Kathryn Wylde, told The Post that New York “has business districts across the five boroughs which have likely experienced an uptick in foot traffic as a result of work from home… So I don’t think [New York’s] comparison with smaller cities with a single ‘downtown’ is a fair one.”
The university’s analysis found the city with the worst downtown recovery post-COVID is St. Louis, Missouri, with foot traffic only at 53% of what it was in 2019, followed by Louisville, Kentucky, at 54%, and Minneapolis, Minnesota, at 56%.
The city with the best recovery was Las Vegas, Nevada, the only city in the rankings that exhibited greater foot traffic in its downtown than before the pandemic, at 103%.
Read the full article here