As the COVID-19 pandemic in New York winds down, Meta Platforms Inc is expanding its reach in Manhattan. The company is leasing 900,000 square feet at 770 Broadway, East Village, to add to its office space in the city.
Meta will be occupying space that Verizon Media owned
Meta previously leased office space in the building. Verizon Media, now Yahoo, owned the new space. Yahoo is abandoning the space since it plans to change its work structure to include remote work and office work.
According to a spokesperson for Meta Platforms, the company is happy doing business in New York hence why it is eager to increase its footprint in the city. Moreover, the company hopes to attract new talent while maintaining its current ones.
The move is not just a win for Meta but also the city’s real estate space. This industry went through a rough patch during the pandemic; thus, Meta’s choice to lease the space shows that things are improving. The CBRE, an organization that tracks office numbers in Manhattan, states that leasing activity has increased by 100% since March 31.
Manhattan could benefit from workers going back to the office
Many experts believe that returning to office work is vital for Manhattan’s economic recovery. This isn’t just true for the real estate market. Small businesses also benefit from people going back to work as commuters going to and fro often buy from them.
Fortunately, many outlets have reported an increase in foot traffic. For instance, Placer.ai, which monitors office building foot traffic, reported that Manhattan office buildings had seen a 107% increase in traffic since February.
However, the site acknowledges that traffic wasn’t even high before the pandemic, as it was 46.7% in January 2019. Although things were to be looking up, office vacancies are incredibly high as many companies allow employees to work remotely.
Furthermore, companies asking workers to go back to the office seem to prefer a hybrid model where workers are at the office only a few days a week.
Kathy Hochul, the governor of New York, and Eric Adams, the Mayor of New York City, are now encouraging businesses to return to working at the office full-time.