Covid-19 Pandemic and NYC Real Estate
THE IMPACT OF THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC ON NYC ARCHITECTURE AND REAL ESTATE-PART 1
Let’s talk about one of the impacts that the Covid-19 Pandemic had on the world, especially on New York City architecture and real estate. The Pandemic obviously did not just affect NYC or just United States, it changed the whole world and started a new chapter for mankind with a new system of economy, new culture and habits, and also a new way of communication and relationship.
Benefits of Remote work
As you know during the pandemic, many companies started to reduce their resources because of the slow economy and allow the rest of their employees to work remotely from home and no longer had to physically show up in the office in order to stop the covid spread and reduce business costs.
After a short period of time of remote working both employers and employees realized instead of spending too much time every day commuting from home to work and work to home, they can simply just wake up, go from bed straight to their home office, turning on their computers and start work. Employers also realized that they could minimize their office costs by renting a smaller place, saving on utility bills, and providing fewer office supplies instead of maintaining a full-capacity office which leads to bigger profit margins for them.
So far so good and it sounds like a win-win contract for both employees and employers, right? With the benefits seen this arrangement should be longer term, right? No. In reality, some companies have forced their employees to head back to the office due to political pressures and/or productivity concerns. and have seen in some cases like big companies, ask their employees to even work overtime to make up for the pandemic lockdown.
Most workers don’t want to go back to commuting because they realize it is a huge waste of time for themselves and they believe they can use this time better than spend commuting and have either quit to find a remote job or start an online business for those who have entrepreneurial mindsets and are able to handle the business pressure and all liabilities come with it.
Supply and Demand
The true and deeper consequences of the Pandemic were Depression, Inflation, and Recession. For companies to survive, many have gone completely online or at least partially, given up all physical offices, get a smaller office, or rent a room in office share buildings which is really cost-efficient with shared conference rooms, kitchens, and meeting areas, and some time good for more connection with other companies in the same building.
the mentioned fact, greatly affected businesses dependent on office traffic and most obviously commercial buildings, many left vacant and unused. For commercial building owners to survive, they have opted to convert their properties to residential, change their Certificate of Occupancy, and rent them out as dwelling units.
The main positive point with residential buildings and facilities is that they are always in demand. Simply because nobody can give up the roof over their head.
With these conversions, now after two years, the big challenge starts for Architects, NYC real estate, and the Department of Building (DOB).
The neighborhood balance in the city will be changed if most of the commercial building converts to residential, it will change the city as we know it. Any conversion will, of course, require DOB approval, and I as an architect can help you with the zoning calculation and the building code research to find out their feasibility, or the closest way to get what you plan for.