Neighborhood Profile: Lower Manhattan

lower manhattan

One of the world’s chief financial centers, Lower Manhattan – also known as Downtown Manhattan or the Financial District – has undergone immense challenges and changes in recent years. Once primarily a 9-to-5 financial hub, Lower Manhattan has now morphed into a thriving 24/7 mixed-use community with a diverse economy, anchored by booming tech and media sectors alongside longtime financial stalwarts. Although it may be not quite as prestigious as Midtown Manhattan, this community still offers plenty of great reasons to do business there.


Lower Manhattan is generally considered bounded by Chambers Street and the entrance to the Brooklyn Bridge to the north, New York Harbor to the south, the Hudson River to the west and the East River to the east. It’s the oldest neighborhood in the city, with its narrow, winding streets dating back to the Dutch and British colonial days of the 17th and 18th centuries. The home of Wall Street, it’s considered one of the world’s leading financial centers, though most growth is driven by technology, media and advertising firms these days. It’s also seen robust population growth in recent years and a thriving upscale retail scene.


The neighborhood is generally more affordable than Midtown Manhattan, giving a financial edge to companies located there. It also offers a diverse office inventory, from the millions of square feet of new, Class A office space at the World Trade Center to turn-of-the-20th-century buildings ideal for tech, digital marketing and media firms.

In addition, Lower Manhattan also offers excellent transportation options with its high concentration of subway lines, PATH trains to New Jersey, ferry services and numerous bus routes. The neighborhood’s also home to plenty of picturesque public spaces to enjoy such as Battery Park and the Hudson River promenade while great shops and restaurants abound at Westfield World Trade Center, Fulton Center, the South Street Seaport and Stone Street.


The community, unlike Midtown, lacks a direct suburban commuter rail link, making it much less easy to reach from places like Long Island and New Jersey. Access to the region’s three main airports is also considerably harder compared to Midtown a well. It’s also seen as less prestigious than Midtown, making it somewhat less attractive to major companies seeking a prominent, globally-renowned address.


Despite lacking commuter rail links and being seen as somewhat less prestigious than Midtown, the neighborhood is still a great place for businesses. Financial firms, advertising agencies and fast-growing media and tech companies will all feel at home in this historic, vibrant neighborhood.