Foot traffic in Latest York City’s business districts continues to be down 33% from what it was before the COVID-19 pandemic — certainly one of the bottom recovery rates within the country, a recent survey reveals.
The University of Toronto’s evaluation measured the number of holiday makers, including shoppers and tourists, plus residents and employees within the so-called “downtown” or business/tourist districts in major cities in the US and Canada.
Lower Manhattan, including the Wall Street financial district, and Midtown, featuring Times Square, were considered the Big Apple’s “downtown” district for the study.
Researchers measured foot traffic through cell phone presence, comparing March to mid-June in 2023 to the identical period in 2019.
Latest York’s 66% recovery rate ranked 54th out of 66 cities surveyed.
Supermarket magnate and radio host John Catsimatidis told The Post on Sunday that employees have to return to the office.
“I’m very concerned about Latest York City,” he said. “Right away, Manhattan has one nail within the coffin.
Latest York City got here in 54th place for downtown recovery out of 66 cities.University of Toronto
“When you impose congestion pricing to enter the business district, you’ll put two nails within the coffin,” he said, referring to the transit plan to charge drivers in certain city zones to attempt to discourage vehicles.
“You see no one walking after dark.”
Democratic city Councilman Keith Powers, who represents Midtown East and West and Times Square, said the town needs to create more housing within the area to make up for the lack of office space and employees.
“We’ve made regular progress in getting people back to Midtown, but we should be forward-thinking in regards to the future and recognize changes to the work place,” he said. “Certainly one of our strategies is rezoning Midtown South to incentivize more housing and create a 24/7 neighborhood.”
Las Vegas ranked first, having 103% of the foot traffic — or 3% more — from pre-pandemic. The gambling mecca was the one city to have more foot traffic than before the COVID-19 outbreak.
A researcher for the study suggested the societal shift to distant paperwork has caused a dramatic drop in foot traffic in Gotham’s business districts.
“We’ve been tracking since early 2022, and Latest York was an early comeback story – but then stalled,” said Karen Chapple, director of the University of Toronto’s School of Cities, to The Post.
A researcher says that Latest York was an early comeback story after the lockdown until it stalled.Getty Images
“A part of that is as a consequence of business office tenants progressively giving up their leases,” she said.
The researcher did note that unlike earlier studies, her project excluded Hudson Yards since it just isn’t traditionally considered a part of Midtown.
Other major cities that recovered most or considerably more foot traffic from the pre-pandemic period in comparison with the Big Apple include Miami (92%), Nashville (88%), Atlanta (85%), Los Angeles (83%) and San Diego (80%).
As with Latest York, there are other cities which have struggled to get well the pre-pandemic density of their central business district.
Chicago’s foot traffic was just 61% of what it was before the pandemic.
The recovery rate for Seattle and Minneapolis was under 60%.
Other non-downtown tourist areas in Latest York have seen a stronger increase in traffice.Getty Images
High-tech San Francisco’s recovery rate was nearly equivalent to Latest York City’s — or 67%.
However the Partnership for the City Of Latest York, a significant business advocacy group, questioned the accuracy of the University of Toronto’s data, citing more moderen reports showing a stronger recovery in Manhattan’s key commerce and tourism districts.
Pedestrian foot traffic in Times Square averaged 285,000 within the last week of October 2023, or 80% of the pre-pandemic count of 356,000 throughout the equivalent week in 2019, it said.
In Downtown Brooklyn, monthly foot traffic reached 75% of pre-pandemic levels in June 2023.
“A number of our pre-COVID foot traffic involved tourists, and international tourism continues to be down. We even have by far the densest concentration of office employees, so the hybrid work week has had an even bigger impact here, with average weekday presence within the office [having] dropped from 80 % pre-pandemic to just below 60% today,” said Partnership CEO Kathryn Wylde.
Wylde also noted such studies don’t bear in mind the rise in foot traffic where many office employees now work and shop.
“However, the town has business districts across the five boroughs which have likely experienced an uptick in foot traffic consequently of make money working from home,” she said. “So I don’t think [the Big Apple’s] comparison with smaller cities with a single ‘downtown’ is a good one.”
Broadway sales and attendance were at 85% and 81% of pre-pandemic levels, respectively, throughout the last week of October, the Partnership added.
Wylde pointed to other promising data points indicating a stronger recovery, noting that Latest York City’s regional airports had their busiest month in history, with greater than 13.3 million passengers served in August and adding that the 192nd recent business opened in Times Square in October, surpassing the 179 businesses that closed throughout the pandemic.