A Decade After 9/11 Attacks, Lower Manhattan is Stronger than Ever
The Alliance for Downtown New York today issued a State of Lower Manhattan report, providing the most comprehensive review of Lower Manhattan’s remarkable economic and demographic changes and major leasing, development, and market trends since the devastating September 11th attacks a decade ago.
“A neighborhood that had been enjoying a renaissance – with an influx of diverse new businesses and a growing residential population – was abruptly, unthinkably brought to its knees,” said Elizabeth H. Berger, President, and Robert Douglass, Chairman, of the Downtown Alliance. “Despite enormous challenges over the last ten years, Lower Manhattan is better than ever. In one square mile, the district has added 307 companies, 12 new hotels, six new primary and secondary schools, and has seen its population more than double.”
Among the key findings of the State of Lower Manhattan report:
ECONOMIC GROWTH AND EMPLOYMENT
• Since 2005, 37% of relocations to Lower Manhattan have been Professional Services firms, 18% were in Creative Services, 15% were Nonprofits, and 14% were in the FIRE sector.
• Since 2002, the proportion of people employed in the Finance, Insurance and Real Estate (FIRE) sectors dropped 19%, while Professional Services increased 21%, Hotel and Retail increased 10%, and Education and Social Services increased 37%.
• Today, the district has 8,428 companies, 130 more than were here on September 11, 2001.
• Lower Manhattan has a total of 309,500 employees—four percent fewer than it did on September 11, 2001.
• Between 2009 and 2010, employment jumped a remarkable 3% and will continue to grow as the local economy improves and 8.8 million square feet of office space is completed at the World Trade Center site.
COMMERCIAL OFFICE MARKET
• Despite post-9/11 drops, commercial leasing activity has not only stabilized in the last decade, but recently spiked with the execution of several large deals, including Condé Nast.
• Lower Manhattan has maintained one of the lowest vacancy rates among business districts nationwide with a current rate of 9.7% and is expected to keep declining.
RESIDENTIAL GROWTH AN DEVELOPMENT
• Lower Manhattan’s population has more than doubled since 2001; today an estimated 56,000 people live south of Chambers Street and the population is expected to reach 60,000 in 2013.
• The 421g incentive program spurred more than 15 million square feet of conversions from office to residential use between 1995 and 2006.
• Lower Manhattan’s residential vacancy rate is at a low of 0.7% and has stayed below 2.5% over the past 10 years.
• While Lower Manhattan contains just 3.3% of the borough’s housing units, apartment sales in Lower Manhattan accounted for 7.5% of all Manhattan sales in the last 10 years.
TOURISM AND HOTEL MARKET
• Lower Manhattan saw a record-breaking nine million visitors to its major museums, events and attractions in 2010 and the National September 11 Memorial expects to attract at least three to four million visitors in the first year of operation.
• Lower Manhattan has 18 hotels and 4,092 hotel rooms, triple the number of hotels and 78% more hotel rooms than were open in 2001.
“There is still much to do, but we know Lower Manhattan will continue to grow and flourish,” said both Berger and Douglass. “With a 400-year track record of history and innovation, Lower Manhattan has survived wars, fires and economic uncertainty – and each time has come back stronger. Ten years after 9/11, Lower Manhattan has prevailed once again.”
Lower Manhattan’s extraordinary growth and momentum is currently being showcased on 20,000 Delta Air Lines and Virgin America Flights across the globe. Sponsored by the Downtown Alliance and featuring New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, the Delta Destinations promotional video, highlights Lower Manhattan as a prime destination for visitors and a top location to live and do business. The feature takes passengers on a virtual tour of Lower Manhattan’s history, heritage and culture while promoting top area businesses and unparalleled neighborhood amenities. The promotional spot will air on Delta aircraft main screens and personal seatback screens, reaching more than 3.6 million passengers. To access the video please visit: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_GJ7urgEWIk.
Earlier this year, NYC & Company additionally announced the Get More NYC: Lower Manhattan campaign designed to showcase the recovery and revitalization of Lower Manhattan in the last decade. The year-long campaign encourages visitors to stay in Lower Manhattan’s hotels, eat in its restaurants, shop in its stores and get a glimpse of all the neighborhood has to offer. Learn more about that effort at www.nycgo.com.
To access the State of Lower Manhattan report, please visit: http://www.downtownny.com/solm.