Feb 15, 2002
NEW YORK - Five months after the Sept. 11 attack, more than one in four
jobs in lower Manhattan has been lost, and half of the businesses whose
buildings were destroyed or damaged do not plan to return to the
neighborhood, surveys have found.
The surveys solidify the growing sense that the world's financial capital
will not be same even as the buildings are repaired or rebuilt.
About 100,000 of the 370,000 jobs that were once in downtown Manhattan have
been lost entirely or have been moved to midtown, out of town or out of
state, according to the Alliance for Downtown New York.
M. Myers Mermel, chief executive of TenantWise.com, an online
commercial real estate firm, said 49 percent of the tenants in destroyed or
damaged office buildings say they are leaving downtown for good. Those
tenants once occupied 17 million square feet.
Many companies that are not leaving outright are decentralizing for fear of
suffering a devastating loss in another terrorist attack.
"The trend once upon a time was to have the corporate campus, to have
everyone in one place," said Valerie Lewis, a spokeswoman for the Alliance
for Downtown, a business improvement organization. "9-11 has flipped that
around. Now dispersal is in."
Citywide, 94,000 jobs have been lost permanently since the Sept. 11 attack,
Mayor Michael Bloomberg said this week as he delivered a delivered a budget
address that called for spending cuts and heavy borrowing.