Neighborhood Profile: Upper East Side

upper east side

Though not a major commercial district, the Upper East Side is still a great place to do business for certain companies, institutions and organizations. Known for its refined atmosphere, stately townhouses and world-class museums, the neighborhood is among the best-known in New York City. Is it the right place for your business, though?


A largely residential neighborhood, the Upper East Side is located in Uptown Manhattan, roughly bordered by Central Park to the west, the East River to the east, 59th Street to the south and 96th Street to the north. A primarily residential neighborhood, it began to develop around the time of the Civil War and soon became an enclave for the city’s wealthiest citizens around the turn of the 20th century. Today it retains its prestigious atmosphere and is renowned for its world-famous museums such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Guggenheim Museum.


The Upper East Side, while not a major business district akin to Midtown or Downtown Manhattan, still offers a number of advantages and benefits for companies looking to set up shop there. Its large, upscale residential population and close proximity to major tourist hubs like Central Park make it perfect for luxury retailers and galleries looking for a prestigious location. It’s also fairly close to Midtown’s top transit hubs like Grand Central Terminal and offers both the Lexington Avenue and now Second Avenue subway lines for transportation. The neighborhood’s convenience to the bucolic greenery of Central Park as well as the hustle and bustle of Midtown Manhattan make it attractive for businesses seeking a convenient yet laidback alternative to the Financial District and Midtown that’s truly unique.


The neighborhood lacks modern Class A office space as well as major transit nodes aside from just two subway lines, making it a poor choice for large companies with large, suburban workforces. Its stuffy atmosphere isn’t ideal for startups and tech firms either. Businesses in need of contemporary office space, such as major banks and professional service firms, will likely need to look to Midtown and Lower Manhattan as opposed to this neighborhood.


Despite its limited transportation options and lack of modern office space, the Upper East Side is still a great location for retailers, galleries and even nonprofits. It’s rich array of amenities and unique location make it a good choice for businesses, organizations and institutions in the right market.