Peter Braus Discusses Lower Manhattan in the COVID-19 Era

As the slowdowns and shutdowns of the COVID-19 era seem likely to last deep into 2021, many analysts and real estate figures see a significant and sustained drop in demand threatening the ecosystem of developments.

“We clearly have a need for another stimulus,” said Peter Braus, managing principal of Lee & Associates, a firm that focuses on commercial real estate. “Economists on the left and right agree there’s a need for additional stimulus to recover, and it’s incredibly frustrating, outrageous and unnecessary that 850,000 small businesses have closed in the country over the summer.”

“The area will remain desirable, due to location, but it’s just not going to have enough people to keep restaurants open,” Braus said.

Braus said he expects an especially tough winter, as more Lower Manhattan restaurants and retail either need to cut back due to colder weather and smaller crowds, or shut down altogether.

“In the summer, when restaurants started reopening, it really brought people back and made the city enticing,” he said. “But losing that critical part of the recovery will have a significant impact.”

Downtown Manhattan’s Different Sectors Feel Each Other’s Pain