on the cover

On the Cover: The Panic and Pivot of Manhattan’s Office Megalandlords

Availability data provided by CoStar. Photo: Jeff Chien-Hsing Liao

The July 17–30 cover package for New York Magazine, with an anchor story by features writer Andrew Rice, examines the impending crisis resulting from historically high post-pandemic office vacancy rates in New York City, the impact it may have on the economy and the city at large, and how landlords and government officials are trying to solve the problem. In a fascinating deep dive, RXR CEO Scott Rechler candidly opens his books for Rice, going through his portfolio and dishing on which buildings can be saved — and what made one building so worthless that it had to be given back to the bank.

To illustrate the scope of the issue, New York also included maps of different parts of the city and analyzed the types of buildings that are more likely to be doomed, blocks with a high concentration of vacancies, and how industries like tech are taking varying approaches to redefining their use of office space.

“Standing inside vacant buildings — some of them trying to appeal to the shrinking number of office tenants with spa-like amenities, some of them slated to be converted into residential apartments, some of them (like the Flatiron) with their fates up in the air — I was struck by the enormity of the change underway in Manhattan in a way numbers could never convey,” said Rice.

Elsewhere in the issue, Simon van Zuylen-Wood writes on the topic of male fertility, sperm, and the tantalizing business opportunities and disorienting politics of the worldwide decline in man’s most precious bodily fluid, and Justine Harman dives into how vintage denim has gone from fringe specialty to the domain of digital natives everywhere.

The Panic and Pivot of Manhattan’s Office Megalandlords