Midtown — the epicenter of Manhattan office, retail and hospitality — has seen a stark transformation over the past eight months. The hundreds of thousands of office workers and tourists who used to fill the streets and businesses every day now only trickle down the hallowed corridors of Fifth Avenue, Park Avenue, Madison Avenue and Broadway.
Dozens of boutiques, showrooms and restaurants that paid millions in rent every year have already shuttered in the world’s priciest retail cluster. It will be months before the financial giants, law firms and advertising behemoths that made Midtown office buildings the most valuable real estate in the country tell their workers to come back.
“For the most part in the city, it’s really Midtown that hasn’t recovered yet,” GFP Real Estate LLC Chairman and principal Jeffrey Gural said in an interview Monday. “If you look around, there are parts of the city that are not as empty, it’s really Midtown that is empty.”
Midtown’s identity hinges on the tenets of society that have been shaken over the past eight months. As the world’s largest office district, it has been hard hit by the sudden shift to working from home. Its retailers, which were propped up by the enormous amount of daily foot traffic…
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