The return to work - New York
Last week New York City's 300,000 strong municipal workforce returned to work five days a week. No remote work. No hybrid option.
It is one of numerous ways New York City has become a test case in the tentative return of urban life. Corporates are taking a softer touch approach than Mayor Bill de Blasio. The Delta variant has caused many to delay their office reoccupation plans, though as Boston Properties CEO Owen Thomas said last month, that question is now 'when' and not 'if' workers return.
A recovery in Manhattan's property market is well underway. Back in June we covered various signals suggesting those that had left the city during the pandemic did so temporarily. The number of residential sales in Manhattan rose 152% in the second quarter of 2021 compared to a year earlier, according to our own Douglas Elliman market report.
There's more to all this than meets the eye, in our Intelligence Talks podcast Liam Bailey joins Anna Ward and Dan Tubb, senior director of sales at the Towers of the Waldorf Astoria Residences, to discuss the future of Manhattan, the suburban housing boom and what it all means for housing markets globally. Listen here, or wherever you get your podcasts.
Google has agreed to pay $2.1 billion for its Manhattan headquarters and will add another 2,000 workers to the 12,000 it already has in the city over the coming years.
The pledge is another big vote of confidence from the tech sector, which has been expanding in the city as others have cut back on office space. Google’s New York presence began in 2000 with a single employee in sales who worked out of a Starbucks, according to the New York Times piece linked above.
The deal is part of a much broader recovery spanning both the commercial and residential sectors, though on both counts the picture is nuanced. For more on that I recommend this week's Intelligence Talks, in which Knight Frank’s Liam Bailey joins Anna Ward and Dan Tubb, senior director of sales at the Towers of the Waldorf Astoria Residences to discuss what happens next.