Midtown Manhattan vs. Lower Manhattan: Which is Best for Your Company?

new york city skyline

Coke vs. Pepsi. McDonald’s vs. Burger King. East Coast vs. West Coast.

The world is filled with choices. For many companies looking to relocate to or within New York City, the classic question of whether they should move to Midtown or Downtown often comes into play. Both business districts, the largest in the city and the first and third largest in the United States, respectively, each offer their own distinct advantages and disadvantages. Before choosing one, it’s important to know their benefits and drawbacks – and what each means for your company.

Midtown Manhattan

Midtown Manhattan stands tall as the world’s largest central business district. With its air of prestige and global acclaim, Midtown is often seen as the most prominent central business district in the country as well.

Midtown Manhattan offers a number of advantages. Its home to New York’s main intercity transit hubs at Penn Station, Grand Central Terminal and the Port Authority Bus Terminal, offering excellent access to the metropolitan area. It’s also home to one of the highest concentrations of subway lines in the city and also boasts prestigious addresses like Madison and Fifth Avenues. Additionally, Midtown offers a wealth of restaurants, shops, theaters and nightlife options, making it even more attractive for employees after work.

Midtown’s main drawbacks? The neighborhood has an aging office stock that’s desperately in need of modernizing and is also much more expensive than Lower Manhattan. Its 9 to 5 atmosphere, corporate appeal and hordes of tourist crowds may be a turn off to some companies too.

Lower Manhattan

Home to Wall Street, Lower Manhattan is one of the world’s leading financial hubs. Once a largely 9 to 5 neighborhood, the Lower Manhattan of today now boasts new apartments and trendy shops and restaurants, giving it a 24/7 true neighborhood feel.

The neighborhood’s main advantages are its relative affordability compared to Midtown and Midtown South. It also hosts a vast transportation network punctuated by Fulton Center and the new World Trade Center Transportation Hub, making it very easy to access from Brooklyn, Midtown and across the Hudson. The community is also more accommodating for TAMI tenants compared to Midtown and has that trendy edge that Midtown lacks, making it a draw for companies with a large Millennial workforce.

On the downside, the district lacks the regional transit access that Midtown boasts, making a commute from the suburbs or trip to or from a nearby airport much more difficult. Outside of Wall Street, it’s also generally seen as less prestigious than Midtown, making it less desirable for companies aiming for a global presence.

Choosing the Right One

In the end, both Midtown and Lower Manhattan have plenty to offer. Companies aiming for cheaper office space in a trendier area will probably find downtown to be better offer, while larger corporations looking for prestige and easy access are probably better off in Midtown. In the end, only you know what’s best for your company!