It’s no secret that New York City was one of the hardest hit areas during the pandemic. Many residents moved out to less-crowded locations. Many offices and businesses shut down during the pandemic or had their employees work from home. City leaders were very cautious with reopening plans. Still, you can’t keep the best city in the world down for long. NYC has been coming back to life and to see Midtown Manhattan right now is proof positive.
Bustling with Activity
Times Square is seeing up to 330,000 pedestrians on its busiest days, which is about 80% of the pre-pandemic traffic. The popular green chairs in Bryant Park are almost always occupied and the Bryant Park Corporation has ordered an additional 2,500 chairs to meet the demand for people wanting to enjoy that beautiful outdoor space this summer. Pedestrian traffic in the Garment District is about 77% of the pre-pandemic pedestrian traffic level Rockefeller Center is packed with activity, as are most Midtown bars, restaurants and shops.
We’re not quite all the way back to pre-pandemic life in Manhattan, but things are definitely feeling like normal again.
Return to Office Life
One big difference we are noticing is fewer office workers. Many businesses have shifted to hybrid work schedules or moved to less expensive and less crowded locations. In mid-April, only about 38% of Manhattan’s million office workers were in town on an average workday. However, this number continues to grow as businesses get back to more typical work schedules. We probably won’t see a full return to previous office worker numbers from before 2020 as hybrid schedules and more remote work opportunities have become the new norm.
Nonetheless, Midtown is bustling once again with business, entertainment and tourist activity. We are very happy to see so much life and energy around Manhattan again. Domestic tourism has been very prevalent this year and we’re expecting many visitors from all over the United States this summer. Everything will be plenty busy and that’s the New York lifestyle we’re all accustomed to.
Foreign tourism has unfortunately been much slower coming out of the pandemic. Travel restrictions and general caution have kept people from taking vacations to NYC. Most foreign visitors have been businesspeople or those traveling for practical reasons. We look forward to having our overseas friends back here eventually, but it’s easy to understand why international tourism is slow to return to the city.
A Brighter Future Ahead
Even as we see new waves of Covid cases come through town and inflation makes everything a bit more expensive, life does not seem to be slowing down. People know how to be cautious when necessary and businesses are prepared for new ways of doing things to keep workers and customers safer.
Midtown Manhattan is thriving once again and all signs are pointing toward continued recovery and rejuvenation for our great city. If you are ready to buy or sell a luxury home in Manhattan, contact us today.