coronavirus pandemic

Return to New York City?

The coronavirus pandemic could benefit CT commercial real estate.

NBC Universal, Inc.

New York City’s phase two reopening started today, but it’s no picnic.

There were reports of choking traffic with people avoiding mass transit, long waits to get in an office building elevator and overhanging coronavirus fears.

So, what could this mean for Connecticut in terms of businesses looking for greener pastures?

Quinnipiac University Assistant Teaching Professor of Economics Zachary Cohle pointed out even with office life resuming in NYC, many, if not most, still work from home. It raised the question: will New York-based businesses look to places like southern Connecticut for their operations? Lower costs, lower hassles and perhaps lower exposure to coronavirus.

Cohle said, “Now is the time to kind of cut down on the physical offices you have because so much of certain jobs can be done online.”

The lure of a shorter commute to an office in Stamford instead of New York just might be more appealing than it was six months ago, said real estate agent Ralph A. Lewis III, who does a lot of commercial business in Fairfield and New Haven counties.

Lewis explained, “Four of my immediate neighbors work in New York City, in Manhattan, and they’ve all been home since March. And I see the benefit of an extra hour in the morning and an extra hour in the afternoon.”

Lewis admitted so far there have been no big business relocations from New York to southern Connecticut, but, he believes it’s only a matter of time, considering a recently reported shift in the residential real estate market. 

“It’s easy to read that the Post Office announced 10 thousand New Yorkers changed their address to the state of Connecticut," he said.

Lewis pointed out it may take a while until you hear about corporate moves to Connecticut from New York because those big office employers likely have long term leases.

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