nydailynews.com nydailynews.com 18 Dec, 2020 12:30 am

How to use all that vacant space

How to use all that vacant space
Even after the COVID-19 vaccine rolls out, New York City will face its deepest crisis in living memory. The pandemic not only killed and sickened tens of thousands of New Yorkers; it disrupted the twin engines of its economic growth: Manhattan office development and international tourism.

Even after the COVID-19 vaccine rolls out, New York City will face its deepest crisis in living memory.But the rise of work-from-home and collapse of travel, at least for now, doesn’t necessarily have to kill New York City.Transforming vacant workspaces into housing could arrest the city’s decline and put New York on a path to a prosperous and more equitable future.New York’s leaders should pivot away from a decades-long economic strategy of making New York — including the Manhattan core — a place where people have to work, to making it a place where people genuinely, truly want to live.

The city’s political power will decline along with population — indeed, the city is likely to lose two Congressional seats in the next redistricting New York can avoid this vicious cycle and tap pent-up post COVID demand if it preserves its unique non-office assets.To put it another way: New York can bounce back after COVID if its leaders recognize that the city’s comparative advantage will be New Yorkers themselves.

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