Before the world first heard about Covid, a house with a backyard and space to set up an office was Giovanna Almeida’s dream. Giovanna left Belo Horizonte for New York in 2015 and was living in Brooklyn, where she had to self-isolate at home during the height of the pandemic.
While I still go to the office, I spend an hour commuting from home to work. Ability to conduct meetings and reports from home Completely changed the life of this BrazilianHe was at least two years ahead of his plan to live with more space at less cost.
Today, she and her husband live in New York’s neighboring state, New Jersey, where their 11-month-old baby will soon be able to run freely on the lawn behind their recently purchased home. Giovanna is a typical example of the trend that changed New York One of the states that lost the most residents In the last two years.
Manhattan Island is the entire U.S. state with the highest number of residents looking for homes and apartments in other cities or states: 200,000 in total as of March 2020. Many residents left both the New York boroughs of Queens and Brooklyn: 51,000 from Queens and 88,000 from Brooklyn, where Giovanna lived.
Columbia University Business School Professor Stijn van Neuerburg studies real estate and finance. He worried about the future of the city he had chosen to live in In 2003.
He likes New York, but believes officials must take urgent action to prevent it from entering a vicious cycle of declining tax revenue. “That’s what happened in the ’70s,” he recalls.
According to a survey by the Partnership for New York City, telecommuting, for part of the week, He came to stay. As of October 2021, 54% of city office workers work from home. Only 8% people work in offices and other facilities every day.
In April 2022, 28% of employees worked remotely, but A hybrid model is popular The number of people working from the office every day was just 8%. As of last September, 16% continued to work from home, and only 9% went to work in person each day.
Due to this, many offices are vacant. Now, at the end of the year, the city council and government of the state of New York announced the conclusion of the work of a commission that had spent six months studying precisely this problem: Commercial and citizenship evasion.
Just take a walk down 57th Street, between Fifth and Sixth avenues, to understand what’s going on. This area, once one of the most expensive commercial square meters in the city, is now home to many shuttered shops and completely empty office buildings with “For Rent” signs.
One of the commission’s proposals is to convert these offices into residences. Professor Neuerburg thinks the idea is good and cheap. Just change the zoning law. “You can put the shop on the first floor and shift offices on the other floors because it will create demand for business,” he says.
People coming and going who decide to stop at a restaurant, sit down to eat, or buy something at a store on the way home. Ensures survival of small and medium enterprises.
Juarez Bochy hasn’t left New York yet, but he’s seriously considering moving to another city with his wife. At the start of the epidemic he was forced to work from home and never returned to the office. In fact, if he could be like that, he’d love to.
With the autonomy to manage her own time, she now jogs in the morning and by 8am she is already working. He rarely passes through the area he frequents on his way to his old office. Today he is mostly in Brooklyn, where he lives.
Attracts people back
As many did the same, the subway’s revenue plummeted. Shops, bars and restaurants are also affected.
But in Neuerburg’s view, New York’s future lies in going the other way: bringing back those who left and ensuring that the city’s population is diverse in terms of income and interests. “No city can survive solely on finance, technology and lawyers,” he says.
To become a vibrant city again, it is important to have artists, hotel and restaurant workers, and people working in the entertainment industry.
“Before the epidemic, 60 million tourists visited New York each year,” recalls the alarming professor. “Without Broadway, without theaters and restaurants, they wouldn’t come.”. Also need help with council accounts.
The professor explains that starting in 2024, in New York A 10,000 million USD deficit With a budget of 100 billion US dollars every year. That is, 10% of the budget.
That’s a big hole, and the city needs to raise revenue or cut spending. In other words: More taxes and less services. It looks back at what New York faced in the 1970s and what Detroit has yet to overcome.
For this reason, Stijn Van Nieuwerburgh advises: How fast can the city vote? Change the zone And conversion of commercial buildings to residential buildings will rapidly grow tax revenue, guarantee maintenance of transport, education and security services.
By Heloisa Villela
BBC News World