The Downtown Alliance, our number one source for all things Lower Manhattan, shared an extremely insightful report last November chronicling job development entitled “Surging Ahead: Lower Manhattan’s Economic Revival and What It Means for New York.” Powered by Apple Seed’s superb analysis, the report details the extraordinary economic revival south of Chambers Street, i.e. the Platinum District.  “The restoration of the economy occurred despite the substantial contraction of the financial sector and instead reflected the growth of an increasingly diverse and vibrant mix of industries…” Such statements of proven community resilience warm our Fi(or)Di hearts.  As we approached Platinum Properties’ 10 year milestone, we could not be happier with all that this symbolic neighborhood has to offer and all that lower Manhattan has become over the past decade.  We reflect on how our

                                                          Downtown Alliance Report | November 2014

Founder and CEO, Khashy Eyn, not only saw the potential in the once terrorized area, but also the hope and promise it could deliver in the years to come.

At the end of 2014, it was clear that Lower Manhattan’s resurgence and exponential growth had outgrown the whispers and subtle buzz among the enthusiastic community investors.  The post-September 11th recovery is in full swing, with the report noting, “the private sector employment in Lower Manhattan reached its highest level since the attacks 13 years earlier.”  The job growth is astounding, but more so than the numbers is the diversity that now defines and powers the Lower Manhattan economy and the state of New York.

The Financial District is no longer solely comprised of a sea of “suits” getting off at the Wall Street subway station.  Within the past decade, the Financial District has witnessed the decline of the FIRE sector (finance, insurance and real estate) by an astonishing 20 percent.  Replaced by the ever growing TAMI sector (technology, advertising, media and information) at a 37% increase since 2009, the “suits” no longer dominate the Financial District’s identity.  Aware of the revival theme, the hospitality industry is decisively anchoring down.  Jimmy Sarfraz, general manager of The Millenium Hotel shares:

We’re fortunate to be a part of the renaissance of Lower Manhattan. In addition to our wonderful service, our guests stay with us for accessibility.  Our location provides a great base to explore all that Lower Manhattan has to offer. Many of our rooms look out on to One World Trade and the soon-to-be opened World Trade Center Transportation Hub and Santiago Calatrava’s Oculus.

Guests also discover the wonderful new additions such as the revolving art installations at Brookfield Place, the beautiful new Sea Glass Carousel, the activities of Pier 25, and the delicious restaurants and fun bars in the revitalized South Street Seaport. It’s not the New York they always see on TV, but a quieter version and if they want to visit the lights of Times Square, we’re close to 10 subway lines that will get them there.

The Millenium Hotel Financial District | Photo Credit: Hilton Hotels

The job development breach extends beyond industry diversification and continues through to education level, with 68% of jobs only requiring an associate’s degree or less.  By 2019, the once predominant six figure salary, “Wolf of Wall Street” will become the endangered species of Lower Manhattan.  The area, however, continues to thrive as a “high-value business location, because it offers proximity to a large and growing population of highly educated workers.”  The Brain Game: 2015 Update reports that the region’s population of college-educated adults ages 18-44 is growing fastest in areas that are in close proximity to Lower Manhattan, and that this “moth to light attraction” serves as a top influential factor when it comes to company relocations.  Think Time Inc’s move to Brookfield Place, or Conde Nast’s anchor tenant deal at One World Trade.  Last June, at the lease signing between High 5 Games and One World Trade Center, Thom Ang, the VP of Creative at High 5 Games, commented in the Commercial Observer’s article, “We wanted to be able to have access to the best talent… We felt that [One World Trade] is a great place to get that type of talent.”  Top talent and top business demand top real estate.

Contact one of our Lower Manhattan specialists to learn more about job growth and development in the Financial District and how it relates to real estate.  An amazing kinetic force is about to unleash in FiDi and you can be part of it by living and working at the focal point.