Manhattan businesses still struggle to recover from coronavirus pandemic amid Delta variant



Businesses in New York have been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic. However, Manhattan restaurants, which depend on the lunch rush from employees in neighboring office buildings, have suffered particularly from the lack of activity.

Real estate firm Cushman & Wakefield reported that there are a quarter of the lower Manhattan storefronts on the ground floor that are available for rent amid the pandemic. Meanwhile, about a third of the storefronts are available in Herald Square.

Although areas of Manhattan have seen a decrease in customer numbers due to the pandemic, businesses in Midtown are said to have suffered the most

“Midtown has clearly been the hardest hit of any Manhattan neighborhood,” said Jeffrey Roseman, retail real estate broker at Newmark.

“If you think of other office-centric areas, whether it’s downtown, Flatiron, or Hudson Yards, there are a lot of residential neighborhoods around those areas that have helped support these markets. Midtown, for the most part, is a one-ride pony. These are mainly offices and hotels, which have also been affected by the slowdown in tourism.

While some businesses have been forced to shut down in Manhattan due to the pandemic, others are focusing on the newly vacated spaces.

Restaurants like Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen, Sonic and Shake Shack have signed new rental agreements in Manhattan.

While the city center still has not returned to its pre-pandemic influx of customers, Stephen Smittle, senior vice president of operations for Le Pain Quotidien, believes customers will eventually return to the once busy area. .

“Our thought is that Midtown New York will return to a level that might not be 100% before the pandemic, but based on the information we have gathered, I think Midtown will return to a significant level,” Smittle said. . .

In the pre-Covid-19 era, the streets of downtown Manhattan were teeming with people – but now New York’s famous business districts are struggling to survive Photo credit: AFP / Angela Weiss


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