Analysis Documents Migration Out of Lower Manhattan During Pandemic
An intriguing new data analysis from CBRE, the real estate services and investment firm, quantifies how many people left Lower Manhattan permanently during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The report, “COVID-19 Impact on Migration Patterns,” uses change-of-address requests filed with the U.S. Postal Service to compile a real-time demographic snapshot of inflow and outflow of residents at the neighborhood level. Authors Eric Willet (CBRE’s research director) and Matt Mowell (the senior economist at CBRE Econometric Advisors) establish that each of the eight residential zip codes in Lower Manhattan lost population during 2020.
The greatest outflow was in the Greenwich South neighborhood (Broadway to West Street, south of Vesey Street and north of the Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel), where 487 people departed, which amounts to 23.8 percent of the population (of 2,046) within zip code 10006.
Southern FiDi (West Street to the East River, south of Beaver Street) saw 381 residents decamp, which comes to 10.3 percent of the population of 3,716 within zip code 10004.
For Eastern FiDi (Broadway to the East River, south of Maiden Lane, north of Beaver Street), the story was similar: 793 residents left, or 9.0 percent of the 8,847 who live in zip code 10005.
Northern Battery Park City (above Brookfield Place) experienced a shrinkage of 525 residents, or 6.3 percent of the 8,388 people who lived in zip code 10282 before the pandemic began.
Southern Battery Park City (below Brookfield Place) contracted by 334 residents, equivalent to 6.9 percent of the 4,855 people who live in zip code 10280.
In Southern Tribeca (West Street to Broadway, north of Vesey Street and south of Chambers Street), 541 residents left the community, which amounts to 6.1 percent of the local population (8,920) in zip code 10007.
The Civic Center and Seaport communities (Broadway to the East River, north of Maiden Lane and stretching a few blocks beyond the Brooklyn Bridge) lost 5.7 percent of the population in zip code 10038 (or some 1,157 residents).
And Northern Tribeca (north of Chambers Street and south of Canal Street) underwent a shrinkage of 5.3 percent of the population (which translates to 1,468 residents) within zip code 10013.
In total, Lower Manhattan appears to have undergone a net population loss of approximately 5,700 people during 2020. Much of this contraction appears likely to have resulted from the pandemic coronavirus.
It is worth noting that these are net figures, which also take into account how many people moved into each zip code during the same period. (Without such an adjustment, the total decline for each community would be significantly higher.) Also striking is the context provided by comparing these metrics with corresponding data points from 2019. During that year, each of these eight zip codes (with the exception of 10007, where population increased slightly) also experienced a greater number of departures than arrivals. For 2020, however, the deficit grew for each community by a multiple of between three and five times the same figures for the previous year.
Postponed Park Premieres
New FiDi Public Space Is Culmination of More Than a Decade of Advocacy and Planning
A new green space that Lower Manhattan community leaders have been advocating for since 2009 is now open to the public. Elizabeth Berger Plaza is named in honor of the former president of the Dowtown Alliance, who died in 2012, after a battle with pancreatic cancer.
First proposed in 2009 and formally approved in 2012, the park is bounded by Greenwich Street, Edgar Street, and Trinity Place, along with an exit ramp from the Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel. The new park was formed by combining two existing, smaller plazas, and eliminating a two-lane exit ramp from the Tunnel, which ran between them—thus creating a single, larger public square.
Would a Swim Facility that Doubles as a Floating Filtration System be a Net Plus?
Community Board 1 (CB1) is continuing a decade of grassroots advocacy by prodding the administration of Mayor Bill de Blasio to consider a proposal to create a floating pool in the East River, near the Brooklyn Bridge. To read more…
Less than two months after hatching, the tiny Spoon-billed Sandpiper begins the long journey from Russia’s arctic tundra to the coast of China. No guide, no map, no GPS. But the baby birds instinctively know exactly where to go: to the mudflats of Jiangsu province. Unfortunately, industry and reclamation threaten the birds’ habitats. Spoon-billed Sandpipers are one of the most threatened species in the world, with fewer than 100 remaining. Join us as Wendy Paulson, conservationist, birder, teacher, shares her encounters with this fascinating bird and how a growing environmental movement in China might ensure its future. Free
As organizations prepare to welcome people back to their physical locations, they must incorporate learnings from the past year. New ways of working have emerged, including fully distributed and hybrid digital-physical workplaces, offering new opportunities to support long-term individual and organizational thriving. Join Melissa Marsh, Founder and Executive Director of PLASTARC, a social research, workplace innovation, and real estate strategy consultancy, for an interactive workshop in which we will discuss how to optimize this transition in the months ahead. Free
Manfred Ohrenstein was born in Mannheim, Germany in 1925. He grew up under increasingly restrictive Nazi rules, holding his Bar Mitzvah at age 13 on the precipice of the Holocaust. In November 1938, less than a week before Kristallnacht, Ohrenstein and his family escaped Germany, made their way to London, and then found refuge in New York City. Ohrenstein attended high school, college, and law school in his new home, shedding his German accent along the way and practicing public speaking as a soapbox orator on behalf of Zionism. Ohrenstein became a prominent civic leader in New York, representing Manhattan from 1961 to 1994 in the New York State Senate and serving as the Minority Leader of the State Senate for more than half of his tenure. He co-founded the Museum in the 1980s and still serves as a Vice Chairman of its Board of Trustees. Join Ohrenstein and Jack Kliger, Museum President & CEO, for this Stories Survive program exploring Ohrenstein’s story of escape and leadership. $10
Historically what has made NYC attractive to newcomers in the past has been:
1. Employment opportunities on many levels of wages
2. Commercial opportunities on a vast array of possibilities
After arrival what kept residents from moving out of the city were:
a. Relatively low-cost reliable public transportation
b. Fantastic array of reasonably priced recreational, educational, and cultural opportunities
c.. Affordable housing reasonably adjacent to mass transit
d. Outstanding health, educational and general public institutions
e. The spectacle, diversity, excitement and overall ambiance of the city itself
And tourists arrived (and spent their dollars) for various combinations of the above.
It is of course possible that an argument could easily be made that any item a/e should be moved up into the 1-2 attraction list.
The point being is that what attracted folks to come and live in the City has not disappeared, and with civic planning and hard work that attractiveness can be expanded upon in the future.
City Preservation Agency Okays Plan for New Structure on East River Waterfront
The City’s Landmarks Preservation Commission has approved a proposal by the Howard Hughes Corporation, the real estate firm that is redeveloping the South Street Seaport, and the City’s Parks Department, to create a new outdoor restaurant underneath the FDR Drive.
At a Tuesday hearing, the LPC praised the modifications to a 2019 proposal that would have placed a much larger structure (also beneath the FDR Drive) at the intersection of South and John Streets, blocking the view corridor of the East River, and eclipsing the historic tall ships docked on the waterfront. Community Board 1 (CB1) strongly opposed that version of the plan, and the LPC was guided by the Board’s judgment.
HRPT Moves Ahead with Plans to Recast Former Tow Pound as Waterfront Park
Lower Manhattan residents who use the Hudson River Greenway to traverse the waterfront will soon have another open space to savor. The Hudson River Park Trust has begun demolition and reconstruction work on Pier 76 (located at 12th Avenue in the West 30s, across from the Javits Convention Center), which will be transformed into an interim park by June. To read more…
Eyes to the Sky
April 19 – May 2, 2021
Wildly twinkling stars
At nightfall on April 6, on a visit to the countryside, I was drawn outdoors by an exceptionally clear, deep dark and starry sky. In every direction the stars were twinkling. From the southwest, flashing Sirius, the brightest of all stars seen from Earth, to pulsing Arcturus in the east, something out of the ordinary was happening. Sirius took hold of me, inspired me to concentrate my gaze to discern its white light fracturing into prismacolors. The star flickered, throwing off fragments of green, blue and red dazzle. It was like gazing at sunlight on snow or on jiggling dewdrops or a finely faceted diamond in daylight. To read more…
A chorus of New York naysayers are telling us that the City will never be the same after this pandemic. They are right—but not in the way they think. New York City is on the cusp of another “Roaring 20’s,” and I, for one, can’t wait.
One hundred years ago we were recovering from a pandemic (the Spanish Flu) and a Great War that spread fear and death. New York is facing a similar trauma. Loved ones lost are never coming back. Some of us have lost jobs, homes, or even just our favorite restaurants. A century ago, when it was all over, people were ready to let loose—and let loose they did. I believe that a similar spirit is about to start a recovery that will reshape the city in exciting ways, creating new opportunities for many.
More Survivors than Responders Now are Submitting Claims
The September 11th Victim Compensation Fund (VCF) has released its annual report for 2020, which documents some significant developments.
Over the course of its ten years of operation thus far, the VCF has awarded $7.76 billion to more than 34,400 individuals who have suffered death or personal injury as a result of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 and their aftermath. The vast majority of these injuries take the form of illness caused by exposure to toxic materials that were released by the destruction of the World Trade Center.