What may be good news for New York, could be bad news for Stamford Connecticut: It appears UBS will be moving a sizeable chunk of its workforce from Stamford back to Manhattan, possibly to 3 World Trade Center.
UBS says the company is considering moving its trading floor, and thousands of employees, back to Manhattan in part because it has found it more difficult to recruit talented people in their 20s to work in the suburbs. Stamford is about 35 miles out of Manhattan. For many Manhattanites who work there, an end to the 45 minute plus commute will come as a huge relief, adding about 200 hours back to their lives per year if their commute time is cut by 50% (assuming they still will have to commute from somewhere)…..that’s the equivalent of a 8 day vacation! Much more if they choose to live in Tribeca, Wall Street or Battery Park within walking distance….
UBS would maintain offices in Stamford, although they would be smaller. The number of Stamford employees had already dropped to 3,000, from 4,000 two years ago.
This move would re-emphasize trends we identified starting some time ago: people want shorter commutes as they rob them of precious time they can spend with friends, family or simply rest. Another trend we continue to see is younger people want to live in big cities: they are drawn to them, not only for employment opportunities and ‘career climbers’ but also because its easier to meet other people in a large city, and a city like New York certainly draws a diversified crowd not only from around the country, but the entire world. This trend is not exclusively confined to the young, as a vast number of empty nesters return annually to Manhattan for its excitement and cultural variety.
With Conde Nast and now UBS heading to the Wall Street area, we should expect the real estate market in the area to continue its path of gentrification. Prime beneficiaries should be larger apartments that house families used to Connecticut-sized homes and small, slick rental apartments.