Published under the same title in Economic Policy Review, Vol. 29, No. 2, pp. 53-74,


Post-COVID, New York City faces reduced demand for commercial space in its central business districts, even as residential demand is resurgent. Just as in past eras of New York’s history, conversion of commercial spaces into housing may help the city adapt to these new market conditions and provide an additional pathway for producing badly needed housing. If 10 percent of office and hotel spaces were converted to residential use, around 75,000 homes would be created, concentrated in Midtown Manhattan. However, there are considerable obstacles to such conversions, including a slew of regulatory barriers. Allowing greater flexibility in building uses—including by reducing the distinction between short- and long-term use and rethinking the separation of uses embedded in the city’s zoning code—could help facilitate these shifts.


Banking and Finance Law | Law | Law and Economics | Property Law and Real Estate

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