Commuter Return is a Wildcard for Downtown Real Estate

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Downtown offices are as empty as the clothing stores next door, but real estate investors prefer the former. Part of the bias can be due to new and ununderstood challenges facing the office.

The hearts of major cities such as London and New York have become ghost towns as workers stopped commuting during the pandemic. According to local landowner Shaftesbury, one of the busiest districts of the British capital, the West End, now has a normal yield of 40%...

As planned, if all UK government lockdown restrictions are lifted on June 21, activity is expected to recover. According to Kastle Systems’ return-to-work barometer, New York office occupancy was 16.8% before the crisis as of May 19. Facebook and JP Morgan recently announced that they will return their staff to the office starting in July.

Offices are more optimistic than stores scattered around the city, despite the prospect of more traffic around the city center. Last week, Shaftsbury was worth a…

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