Ah, Midtown Manhattan. With its concrete canyons, packed sidewalks and iconic landmarks like Times Square and the Empire State Building, its often the first thing people think of they hear the words “New York City.” For businesses, Midtown Manhattan is often seen as “the place to be.” Indeed, the neighborhood offers plenty of perks like prestigious addresses, exceptional transportation options and abundant office space – as well as some drawbacks, too. Before deciding to relocate to Midtown Manhattan, it’s important to know the neighborhood’s basic information, benefits and drawbacks.
Located in the heart of Manhattan, Midtown is New York City’s leading central business district and indeed, the largest in the world. Roughly bounded by 59th Street to the north, 14th Street to the south and the East and Hudson Rivers, Midtown Manhattan is home to prestigious real estate addresses such as Fifth Avenue, Madison Avenue, 42nd Street and Rockefeller Center. It plays host to the city’s primary rail hubs, Penn Station and Grand Central Terminal, as well as the Port Authority Bus Terminal. Midtown’s economy is diverse, home to major companies in fields such a finance, media, communications, technology, advertising and publishing.
Arguably, Midtown’s top advantage is its unmatched transportation access. The neighborhood boasts more than a dozen subway lines as well as convenient access to the city’s suburbs via Metro-North rail at Grand Central Terminal and New Jersey Transit and Long Island Rail Road at Penn Station. Additional transit options include buses to New Jersey and Upstate New York at the Port Authority Bus Terminal and comfortable travel to other East Coast cities via Amtrak, also at Penn Station.
Midtown is also unrivaled when it comes to shopping, dining and nightlife options for workers as well. The neighborhood is packed with great restaurants, from delis to upscale steak houses. Fifth Avenue and Herald Square offer a wealth of shops to explore while 40 world-famous Broadway theaters also lie in the district.
The neighborhood is also tops when it comes to the prestige factor, being home to coveted Park Avenue, Fifth Avenue and Madison Avenue addresses. It also offers plenty of Class A office space, in fact holding more than 200 million square feet of office space in total.
Perhaps the biggest drawback of Midtown is its astronomical office rents, which currently stand at more than $79 per square foot as of July 2016. This hinders what companies can afford to relocate there. In addition, notwithstanding the construction of Hudson Yards and the looming Midtown East rezoning, Midtown suffers from an aging and outdated office stock as well, making it less attractive to companies who increasingly demand the latest cutting-edge technology. Finally, Midtown, still being a 9 to 5 “suit and tie” type of neighborhood by and large, isn’t a very good option for technology and creative companies that have driven the city’s growth in recent years.
For businesses who can pay the premium, Midtown Manhattan is definitely worth it. Although not well suited for millennial-centric startups and tech firms, Midtown’s exceptional transportation infrastructure, globally-renowned prestige and superb theater and shopping options make it a good choice for law firms, financial companies, advertising businesses and other large corporations looking for a convenient, centralized location.