As the average commute grows, but becomes less frequent, the additional travel time for reaching different locations in Midtown becomes less important. This will give employers seeking office space more flexibility to choose between different parts of Midtown, bringing different submarkets into more direct competition.
For example, two blocks in Midtown, one near Penn Station and the other near Grand Central Terminal, which used to map to vastly different market areas based on a 5-day, 1-hour-maximum one-way commute, now have essentially identical accessible area under the "new normal" of 3-day, 2-hour commute.
None of these challenges is unique. Central business districts face similar shifts everywhere.
Midtown is well-prepared to tap into a dispersing workforce with major infrastructure projects like East Side Access, Gateway Program, and the possible new Midtown Bus Terminal.
These new connections allow Midtown employers to access hybrid workers living further from New York City than ever before. But these new connections will also change how buildings in different parts of Midtown compete with each other.