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Forget offices: Young, hip New Yorkers bringing Midtown back

Move over, Williamsburg. Here comes … Midtown?


Residents and brokers who specialize in the area — known for aging office buildings and executives — say it has been transforming during the city’s recovery, getting younger, hipper and trendier.


It can surely use the new blood.


The skyscraper-laden district stretching from 34th Street to Central Park South was disemboweled by the pandemic and continues to bleed office tenants, even as other pockets of the city appear ready to move on from the pandemic.


Banks and tech companies have been looking to the south and west, with companies including Google and Meta Platforms buying space in lower Manhattan and HSBC signing a 20-year lease in Hudson Yards. Meanwhile, with occupancy rates remaining low, the total value of New York’s office buildings fell for the first time in over two decades.


That’s cast a cloud of uncertainty over the neighborhood, which is home to some of the city’s most iconic real estate.


But while older office towers languish, brokers say young home buyers have flocked to the neighborhood, eager to take advantage of prices that haven’t soared like they have in the rest of Manhattan and much of Brooklyn.


“All of a sudden we have people moving from Downtown, all of a sudden you have these people who think it’s cool to be living further up,” said Bertrand Buchin, a real estate agent with Douglas Elliman. “They won’t go to the Upper East Side, but they think it’s cool to live in Midtown.”

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