Manhattan Is Now Becoming a Rich Ghost Town — Why?

New York City borough's empty storefronts are a dark omen.

View of Midtown Manhattan at dusk. (James Leynse/Corbis via Getty Images)
Corbis via Getty Images

Walking through Manhattan these days, you will notice long stretches of famous thoroughfares, like Bleecker Street in the West Village or Fifth Avenue in the East 40s, that are filled with empty storefronts.

The Atlantic writes that their dark windows portend a disturbing trend —Manhattan is now a rich ghost town.

According to separate surveys by Douglas Elliman and Morgan Stanley, at least 20 percent of Manhattan’s street retail is vacant or soon to be so. For three straight years, the number of retail workers in the city has fallen by more than 10,000. That sector has lost more jobs since 2014 than during the Great Recession.

There are multiple causes: The rent is too high, which is exacerbated by the growth of online shopping and there are fewer chances for the “upstarts, the strivers and the rest.”

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